The world’s first nuclear aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise, is scheduled to leave Norfolk Sunday for it’s final deployment.
WAVY.com spoke with the leadership of the Enterprise Strike Group who say the ship’s final mission is a fitting end to the “Big E’s” combat record.
USS Enterprise CPO Stephen White said, “…actually making and writing history.”
White’s military career began on the Enterprise in 1995 when he was ordered to the carrier for his first deployment. He volunteered for the carrier’s last.
“I can think of no greater honor than to come back to the first ship I ever served on and finish my career…,” White said.
Most of the sailors serving aboard the USS Enterprise are less than half the age of their ship. The Big E was launched in 1960 at Newport News Shipbuilding.
Despite the history surrounding this final deployment, make no mistake, her orders have little to do with nostalgia.
The eyes of many nations will be on the Enterprise and her airwing as they complete this combat deployment.
RADM Walter Carter, Jr., said, “This is what we do in the United States Navy. We sail the seas of the world, and we go where we’re needed.”
The Carrier Strike Group is needed in the strait of Hormuz to answer threats from Iran too close to the vital shipping lane.
USS Enterprise Commanding Officer Captain Bill Hamilton said, “The crew understands what’s at stake and I think we’ll do just fine.”
USS Abraham Lincoln passed through the Strait of Hormuz twice last month, despite warnings from Iran to stay clear. I asked the Captain of the Enterprise about the continuing threats from Iran.
Hamilton added, “I’ve got orders telling me to go through the Straits of Hormuz, and so we’re gonna do it.”