The mighty USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65), the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, began its deactivation Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 at Norfolk naval base in Virginia. These images mark the ship’s crew disembarking the ship for the last time.
Although formal decommissioning won’t take place until 2016 — after the ship’s eight nuclear reactors are inactivated — the ENTERPRISE will never again go to sea under her own power.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, in a video played towards the end of the ceremony, announced that CVN 80, third ship of the new GERALD R. FORD-class carriers, will be named ENTERPRISE, thus becoming the ninth American naval ship to bear the name.
Under current construction schedules, the new ENTERPRISE won’t enter service until 2025, replacing the USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69). See the bottom of this post for a peek at what’s to come.
Here’s a pretty neat chart put out by Huntington Ingalls Industries to celebrate the career of the Big E. HII is today’s corporate parent of Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va., where the ENTERPRISE was built.
And the Navy put out this handy compilation of notable statistics:
… and THE FUTURE . . .