USS Enterprise Makes Final Port Stop In Naples, Italy
Since its deployment during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, the USS Enterprise has seen conflicts ranging from the war in Vietnam to those in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Afghanistan. After more than 50 years at sea, the USS Enterprise is headed home from deployment for the last time.
The U.S. Navy's oldest operating vessel, the world's first nuclear-powered carrier, made its final port stop in Naples, Italy, on Friday before setting sail for its home port, Norfolk, Va., where it will be broken down piece by piece before its steel ligaments are sold off for scrap. Its last hurrah mirrored its first. The Enterprise made its inaugural stop in Naples after its commissioning in 1962.
The Enterprise embarked on its 25th and final deployment in March, to the Middle East. In those seven months, its 180 aviators flew roughly 8,800 sorties and the ship crossed the Strait of Hormuz 10 times, peacefully facing off against Iranian sailors amid building tensions in the region. During its longest period at sea, the crew went 52 days without setting foot on land.
"This ship has served its time," said Rear Adm. Walter Carter, commander of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, while the ship was ported in the Gulf of Naples on Friday. "It's time to retire."
Many who have served on the ship continue to follow its movements. Nearly 2,000 veterans attended the Enterprise's 50th birthday celebration last year in Norfolk, and 12,000 seats have been set aside for the inactivation ceremony in December.
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Posted by: Sherry