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Enterprise Ends 51-Year Career At Sea  
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8283 posts, RR: 8
Posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1027 times:

Sad news story for me today:

Quote:

The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) returned to homeport at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., for the last time Sunday under its own power, ending a storied era of service at sea in all the nation’s wars and conflicts since the Cuban Missile Crisis 50 years ago.

The full story is at:

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2...ar-career-at-sea.html?ESRC=navy.nl

The Enterprise was joined with two other nuclear powered surface warships in what was called Nuclear Task Force One. I served on the Long Beach - the middle ship in this picture:



While there was a lot of promise at the time for nuclear surface warships it simply didn't make it outside of the carriers. The benefit I saw on the Long Beach was focused on the ability to leave port and go full speed 24/7 to a hot spot. The main liability was the TALOS system, which was a ram jet missile. The last time I saw the LONG Beach was in Perth. The TALOS system had been taken out and the space was converted to a gym.

So a sad farewell for all who served on her, or with her.

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8550 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1027 times:

Amazing career for a US icon!

Not only is "she" an impressive machine, when you think how many years she operated, it just proves what amazing strength the USA has had. Utterly mind boggling.


User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10899 posts, RR: 37
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1027 times:

I knew she was at the end of her brilliant career after this last deployment in the Persian Gulf.

What is to become of the carrier?

Is she going to be scrubbed or is she going to be used for some other purpose or will she become a Museum piece like the Intrepid in Manhattan?

    



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5612 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1027 times:

I just hope that we can bring her name back into service again on a future ship of her stature. We have lost too many great ship names to politics.

Congratulations to the Enterprise and her crews for the many fine years of service!

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineDarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1365 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1027 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 3):

I just hope that we can bring her name back into service again on a future ship of her stature.

I would guess that that's a certainty.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6672 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1027 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 3):
I just hope that we can bring her name back into service again on a future ship of her stature. We have lost too many great ship names to politics.

Don't worry !




New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1027 times:

Perhaps someone looking at this thread can educate me, but I am under the impression that "Big E" was:

- stock Forrestal class hull;
- 8 small submarine reactors (unlike Nimitz et al, who have 2 larger, more efficient reactors);
- as a proof of concept vessel, tended to be maintenance heavy

Whatever my level of knowledge about Enterprise, that it lasted 50 years is a tribute to the basic design and there is no doubt it has become an American icon.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3766 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1027 times:

Unfortunately, despite the significance of this one-off proof of concept of a ship, which still performed operationally for over 50 years, I doubt we'll see it turned into a museum, as much as I'd love to see it happen.

Nuclear vessels don't make for good museum platforms. Defueling and securing them entails gutting them out almost completely. The cost of rebuilding it afterwards would destroy any chance of seeing her become a profitable tourist attraction, unless through heavy government subsidies. It's hard enough for a conventional carrier...

Shame. I'd love to have a chance to get on board for a visit.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7238 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1027 times:

What I do not understand is why shut down the reactors in Norfolk, then have the ship towed to the west cost for ultimate break up, even if it meant shortning the last cruise due to "time on the reactor", are there no defueling facilities on the west coast?

The first time I knew of the Enterprize (this version) was a National Geographic magazine I was reading in an office - an old copy - where on her shakedown cruise off Cuba they had an arieal shot of her making a tight circle, she did that fast enough that the wake fully outlined the circle.

The US Navy needs an Enterprize, lets hope a replacement is among the new Ford Class.


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5612 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1027 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 8):
What I do not understand is why shut down the reactors in Norfolk, then have the ship towed to the west cost for ultimate break up, even if it meant shortning the last cruise due to "time on the reactor", are there no defueling facilities on the west coast?

Because the required facilities to cut a ship the scale of Enterprise open and remove the reactors safely is not inp lace on the west coast. The nuclear navy is built on the east coast and they have the ability to handle such things.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8283 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1027 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 8):
The first time I knew of the Enterprize (this version) was a National Geographic magazine I was reading in an office - an old copy - where on her shakedown cruise off Cuba they had an arieal shot of her making a tight circle, she did that fast enough that the wake fully outlined the circle.

These ships were fast. The LONG BEACH never lost in any of the Tonkin Gulf Drag Races she was in during her first two deployments there. (Those were the ones I was on.)


User currently offlineBladeLWS From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1027 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 8):
What I do not understand is why shut down the reactors in Norfolk, then have the ship towed to the west cost for ultimate break up, even if it meant shortning the last cruise due to "time on the reactor", are there no defueling facilities on the west coast?

The only facility in the US for refueling/defueling carrier reactors in Newport News Shipyard in Norfolk. Since she tied up to the pier they've already started the process of cooling down and taking them out of critical power. Once the decom is done in Norfolk she'll be stripped of anything useful for the fleet and/or memorabilia removed to go to other units or into naval historical command storage. Ex-Enterprise will then be towed up river to NPNS where she will be defueled. I do not believe they will cut into her flight deck at this stage since refueling operations have not needed it before. Once she's been defueled, aviation and lube oil tanks spotless, and everything except for the kitchen sink removed for the fleet she'll be towed the long way around to Brementon. There PSNS has the expertise to breakup nuclear powered vessels.

From there it's pretty much straight forward where they will cut down from the flight deck to the reactor compartments, also through the sides of the hull in various spots. Reactor vessels and piping part of the reactor will be removed, sterilized, and sent for storage up river next to old submarine and cruiser reactors. Once that's done everything that is related to the nuclear part of the ship is removed she'll be sold to the lowest bidder for scrapping.

It's sad that such a fine ship has to end this way but there is no possibility for museum status due to it's cost of upkeep, and that the process to remove the reactors and piping destroys the interior of the ship. I had high hopes that objects such as the island and what not would be kept for a semi-museum but it seems that will not happen. The best we'll get is some anchor and prop lawn displays...


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