USS Enterprise Returns Home from Final Deployment

Story Number: NNS121105-04Release Date: 11/5/2012 10:52:00 AM
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From USS Enterprise Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- More than 5,500 Sailors and Marines assigned to the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG) arrived in Norfolk, Va., Nov. 4 following a seven-and-a-half-month deployment supporting operations in the Mediterranean and the Arabian Seas.

USS Enterprise's return to Norfolk marks the 25th and final homecoming in her 51 years of distinguished service.

The aircraft carrier is scheduled to be inactivated Dec. 1, in a ceremony at Norfolk Naval Station, in Norfolk, Va.

"We are pleased to be returning to our families after a very successful deployment, but to know that it is the last time Enterprise will be underway through her own power makes our return very sentimental," said Capt. William C. Hamilton, Enterprise commanding officer.

While deployed, Enterprise CSG served in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility (AOR), conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

During her 238 days away from Norfolk, "Big E," as Enterprise is affectionately known, safely steamed 80,968 miles and Carrier Air Wing 1 (CVW-1) flew more than 8,000 sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and exercises in the 5th and 6th Fleet AORs.

"This has not been a victory lap for Enterprise by any means," said Rear Adm. Ted Carter, Enterprise Carrier Strike Group commander. "This has been a full-on combat operation. We've seen the full spectrum of Navy operations on this deployment. It's been a business as usual kind of deployment."

Enterprise was commissioned Nov. 25, 1961 as the eighth ship to bear the name Enterprise. Big E was the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. During her 51 years of service, Enterprise deployed 25 times and participated in every major conflict since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Enterprise has been homeported in both Alameda, Calif., and Norfolk, Va., and conducted operations in every region of the world.

The December inactivation ceremony will be the last official public event for Enterprise, and will serve as a celebration of life for the ship and the more than 100,000 Sailors who have served aboard the ship. All Enterprise veterans, their families, shipyard workers, and friends 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.

Enterprise CSG is comprised of: Commander, Carrier Strike Group 12, the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65), CVW 1, Destroyer Squadron 2, guided-missile destroyers USS Porter (DDG 78), USS Nitze (DDG 94), and USS James E. Williams (DDG 95).

The squadrons of CVW 1 embarked aboard Enterprise are: Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11 "Red Rippers," VFA-136 "Knighthawks," VFA-211 "Fighting Checkmates,"Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 "Thunderbolts," Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 123 "Screwtops," Carrier Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 137 "Rooks," Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 "Rawhides,"and Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 11 "Dragonslayers."

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

For more news from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, visit

11/20/2012 9:39:00 AM
Congratulations on the completion of a storied career. I served with her in 65-66 during the Vietnam War. She was part of the nuclear task force which included the Long Beach and the Bainbridge. She should become a memorial of some sort. Would love to see her in Liberty State Park in NJ across the river from the Intrepid.

11/9/2012 3:41:00 AM
Big E , I am sad your life is at an end, I am happy that you served so well and that your last deployment was so successful. Thank you for hosting me well over the last 14 yrs. I have treasured every moment aboard. I know your legacy will continue, maybe CVN-80 ! Cheers from New Zealand , Dr Dave -

11/8/2012 2:49:00 PM
1965 to 1968 V4 DIV try to show up on the 27 of november. the crow

11/6/2012 11:20:00 AM
Perhaps a crazy idea…….. Why not deploy the USS Enterprise on one last mission to a port in New Jersey or New York to be a floating hotel and/or triage area for people who have lost their homes from hurricane Sandy? I am sure it would boost morale for those on the coast line waiting for assistance. Perhaps the Big E could serve in another way to help the cause. John

11/6/2012 10:35:00 AM
I welcome you, buddies. welcome home. we were aiting you to done our support and thanks for all claudio alpaca

11/6/2012 10:15:00 AM
Eight years on the Big "E". Firest as a member of VF-2 "Bounty Hunters" and three deployments and later as the Quality Assurance Officer AIMD and two deployments. My best Captain was CC Smith who would do Captain's Mast while standing out side the bridge and getting a suntan... I did not like being run aground in Oakland harbor. Gus

11/5/2012 3:49:00 PM
God be with you Big E! And God Bless your crew!

11/5/2012 3:41:00 PM
I personally am going to really miss all of the news and pictures of the USS Enterprise CVN-65 that I have been able to watch and hear about on this facebook page. I think that the US Navy has gone out of its way to keep the family members of the crews of their numerous vessels informed as to their safety, and just what the navy actually does. I say BZ to our Navy, and BZ to the USS Enterprise CVN-65 and BZ to every service member that has ever served aboard her in any capacity.God bless you all

11/5/2012 3:02:00 PM
Dear Enterprise, you are the carrier that followed my whole life (nearly 46 years) untill today. You aren't only one carrier but the carrier for me. When thinking about carriers, your name is the first that appears in my brain. I'm sad to hear that your active career comes to an end but I hope your fate will be a better than CV-6 recieved. Maybe I'll get the chance to visit you as a museum ship in future. Wishing you an everlasting life after inactivation - one of your fans from Germany. Goodbye

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A Sailor hugs his children during a homecoming celebration for the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65).
121104-N-QY430-118 NORFOLK (Nov. 4, 2012) A Sailor hugs his children during a homecoming celebration for the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). Enterprise's return to Norfolk will be the 25th and final homecoming of her 51 years of distinguished service. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Rafael Martie/Released)
November 4, 2012
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