Big news on the Enterprise front, actually on TWO Enterprise fronts. Today, after 51 years of exemplary active service, the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was officially retired during an Inactivation Ceremony held in Norfolk, Virginia. Nearly 12,000 past and current crew members, their families and dignitaries attended the event, which took place not long after Enterprise had completed its 25th and final deployment. When built, “Big E” – the eighth ship to be called Enterprise -- was the longest vessel in the world, at 1,100 feet, and the first nuclear carrier (it had 8 nuclear reactors). It served in numerous conflicts, from the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam to the Gulf Wars and Operation Enduring Freedom.
The other news is of the breaking variety. Those attending the Inactivation Ceremony watched a video featuring Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who revealed that America’s naval fleet will not be without an Enterprise for very long. “I am honored to tell this crowd of past and present crew that the work of the name Enterprise is not done,” Secretary Mabus said. “Rarely has our fleet been without a ship bearing the name Enterprise since the beginnings of our Navy. And because of that, this decommissioning ceremony is even more poignant. Now, there’s nothing I can do about this retirement and about the name Enterprise leaving the fleet today, but there is something I can do to keep the name in the fleet. So I am happy to announce the next nuclear aircraft carrier, CVN-80, will be named USS Enterprise. Thank you.”
Click HERE to check out the video.