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.
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.
Via Christian Albrecht