BREAKING NEWS…Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus has just announced that the next Ford Class Carrier, CVN-80 will be named USS Enterprise during his speech at the inactivation ceremony for CVN-65. Long live the name Enterprise!

The USS Enterprise (CVN 65) is slated for “inactivation” tomorrow in a ceremony at NOB Norfolk, bringing to close a half-century of service to this country around the globe. She was (is) a one-of-a-kind ship and for all of us who have stood watch and flown from her deck, we count that time as something special – my last trap and flight in an E-2C Hawkeye as CO of VAW-122 was on Enterprise, and the first chapter of the next phase of my Navy career began on her bridge a scant four months later. I’ve thought long and hard about making the trip down to Norfolk for the ceremony, but having been a part of too many squadron and ship decoms already (and witnessing one of those ships being slowly cut to pieces by the ship breakers), it frankly would have been too painful.

I choose instead to remember Big E in her heyday – deck packed with Sailors and warbirds, a bone in her teeth and course set for the distant horizon. Ave atque vale Enterprise, ave atque vale

Posted by SteelJaw in History, Innovation, Navy

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    I have fond memories of the mighty ship. On 9/11 we were heading to a port call in Capetown, SA when we watched the destruction of the twin towers live on CNN in our ready rooms. While others could only gnash their teeth in frustration, we were able to strap on our CVW-8 planes and deliver some righteous and furious vengeance to our newly declared enemy from the flight deck of the Big E. It was glorious. Especially after a couple of sweltering months with no working AC on the ship. The next few weeks were by far the most rewarding of my time in the Navy.

  • RightCowLeftCoast

    And with her decomissioning, and with the Nimitz being kept CONUS due to some age related issues, the Navy will be down to 10 active flattops, with a difficulty of surging additional ready flattops until the Nimitz is repaired. Perhaps, the Navy should reconsider, and wait a couple months and keep the Big E in commission until the Nimitz can take her place at sea.

    • Andy

      A decision that would have had to have been made sometime ago. While it makes sense in an isolated environment, nonetheless, we are in a Depression and have made a national decision that what monies that are in the Treasury shall be devoted to things other than the National Defense. Those who have argued that the Navy does not need 11 “big decks” have their wish. Long live Enterprise.

    • Marcd30319

      If people had used their head, the Big E could have been rotated to Yokohama so the George Washington does its RCOH, and when the Ford is commissioned, then retire Enterprise.

      • RightCowLeftCoast

        It appears that the Big E was last in drydock back in 2008. Based on that she could have gone another 2 years before her next drydock period, so your suggestion is not outside of the realm of possibility. But with the Obama Administration looking to spend less on defense and more on entitlement programs, this would reduce naval operations costs.

  • May I inquire as to what the name Enterprise means, with regards to a ship name? Silly question, but just want to make sure I understand what the word Enterprise means when I see it on a grey hull.

  • Marcd30319

    The USS Enterprise was the John Wayne of the post-war U.S. Navy aircraft carriers — big, touch, larger-than-life.