USS Enterprise to Inactivate After 51 Years of Service

Story Number: NNS120918-20Release Date: 9/18/2012 5:18:00 PM
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From Enterprise Carrier Strike Group Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- After 51 years of distinguished service, the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) will inactivate on Dec. 1, 2012, in a ceremony to be held at Norfolk Naval Station, in Norfolk, Va.

The inactivation ceremony will be the last official public event for the ship, and will serve as a celebration of life for the ship and the more than 100,000 Sailors who served aboard. Details of the actual ceremony are still being finalized; however, numerous dignitaries and thousands of veterans of the ship are expected to attend the event.

Commissioned on November 25, 1961, the eighth ship to bear the illustrious name Enterprise, the "Big E" was the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

A veteran of 25 deployments to the Mediterranean Sea, Pacific Ocean, and the Middle East, Enterprise 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 Sept. 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.

All Enterprise veterans, their families, shipyard workers, and friends of Enterprise are invited to register to attend the inactivation week events and the ceremony on the ship's website, Tickets to the events will be on a first available basis.

For more information on USS Enterprise, her legendary history, and Inactivation Week events, please visit

10/18/2012 9:45:00 AM
I was on the flight deck on Jan. 14, 1969. Lost a good friend that day. But have gained a lot more because ot the fire. We now have a reunion about every three years. Thanks to Mike Nevelle.

9/27/2012 12:06:00 AM
That ship is the biggest American success ever .In my view no ship anywhere will ever replace her.

9/25/2012 8:51:00 PM
Serving as the MMCM in charge if the E-3 Division from Sep, 1974 to June 1977 I oversay the El Electricians and Machinist Mates, who maintained the laundry, galley and filter shops. We had a daunting task and kept all of that machinery operating in support of the main mission of the ship. The men in our shops were very professional and an enjoyment to lead!!

9/25/2012 3:29:00 PM
CVN-80 - there should always be an Enterprise in the fleet!

9/21/2012 9:45:00 AM
This needs to be a museum.

9/21/2012 8:49:00 AM
I was trying to registrar for a tour, but every time I click on the RSVP link it states that the site I am trying to go to is unsafe and boots me back to my homepage. Could you please assist me in being able to sign up? Thanks so much Patty

9/20/2012 8:40:00 PM
Member CV-6 Assn

9/20/2012 4:54:00 PM
hate too see the old girl go,i will remember my time and duty on the BIG E I JUST they hadn't taken th bee aive off her,thats was her marking u cold see for miles and know it was her. BM2 LK Hoyt USN 1968-1978 RIP old girl.

9/20/2012 3:37:00 PM
Severed on board in VF2 1976

9/20/2012 1:58:00 PM
There hasn't been a lot of time in the history of the US Navy when there has not been a USS Enterprise on the rolls. When will a 9th Enterprise be named? Stan Bodenstein USN '65-'72, Enterprise '67-'71 Los Alamos, New Mexico

9/20/2012 12:51:00 PM
Good afternoon from the IKE! I will always regret never having had the chance to serve on the Big E. I would like to point out an error in fact. This article states the Enterprise launched the first Navy strikes of OEF. That is not true. The Enterprise launched on the morning of Oct. 8, 2001. However, VF-213 with Carrier Air Wing Eleven launched from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) the night of Oct. 7, 2001. I was there attached to VF-213 as a TARPS Photo Mate, and helped launch that strike.

9/19/2012 7:22:00 PM
to all my Big E shipmates the Ol girl is being put out to pasture follow the links if ya want to attend her retirement after 51 years of guarding our country.

9/19/2012 5:59:00 PM
beautiful Enterprise, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEARTS

9/19/2012 2:09:00 PM
Congrats to the Big E. Lets keep the politicans away from Naval tradition and have the 3rd Ford Class carrier named Enterprise instead of after a former President of whichever party happens to be in power at the time!

9/19/2012 10:17:00 AM
My dad servered in the Navy for 20 plus years. My first tiger cruse was on the Big E. I feel in love with the ship immediately. I was hoping to one day follow my dads footsteps and serve on the ship myself. The Big E, will be highly missed, and has served her country honorably. Yours truly, Navy Brat.

9/18/2012 5:56:00 PM
To all the sailors past and present that served onboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65), you have become an important part of history. As a Navy Veteran myself, serving onboard USS Dwight D Eisenhower (CVN 69) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), I want to thank you for your incredible service to our country. "Big E" has contributed more to defending our country than any other naval vessel. Having served around the world and in nearly every conflict, "Big E" was there. FAREWELL Enterprises and Thank You!

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The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) is underway as part of Enterprise Carrier Strike Group.
120319-N-FI736-133 ATLANTIC OCEAN (March 19, 2012) The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) is underway as part of Enterprise Carrier Strike Group to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Scott Pittman/Released)
March 22, 2012
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