NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The U.S. Navy’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN 65), will be officially decommissioned on February 3, 55 years after she first entered naval service.
A veteran of 25 deployments to the Mediterranean Sea, Pacific Ocean, and the Middle East, the ‘Big E’ has served in nearly every major conflict to take place during her history.
From the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, to six deployments in support of the Vietnam conflict, through the Cold War and the Gulf Wars, Enterprise was there. On September 11, 2001, Enterprise aborted her transit home from a long deployment after the terrorist attacks, and steamed overnight to the North Arabian Sea. Big ‘E’ once again took her place in history when she launched the first strikes in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom. She completed her final deployment November 4, 2012.
Enterprise was inactivated December 1, 2012, following a week of tours for shipyard workers, veterans, families and friends. During the ceremony, the Secretary of the Navy announced that CVN 80 will be named USS Enterprise.
The decommissioning ceremony will take place at Newport News Shipbuilding, where the ship is being defueled and dismantled.