The world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, was moved back to her original birthplace at Newport News Shipbuilding. Work to defuel her eight nuclear reactors will continue in the dry dock as the ship is inactivated.
Six tugboats guided the ship about one mile to its new location. More than 200 shipbuilders assisted with the ship’s relocation, a two-and-a-half-hour effort. Work will continue in the dry dock until the fall of 2016.
“Our shipbuilders and Navy partners continue to work closely as we accomplish this truly unique contract,” said Chris Miner, Newport News’ vice president of in-service aircraft carrier programs. “Our shipbuilders’ slogan for the inactivation of the USS Enterprise is ‘Honor a Legend.’ The pride the shipbuilder and Navy team have in being part of this legendary ship’s history is demonstrated every day as they safely complete each step of this challenging work.”
The 1,123-foot (342-metres) long Enterprise was commissioned in 1961 with eight nuclear reactors on board, and the next year was deployed to participate in a blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Since then, it has played a role in a number of naval missions, including deployments to Vietnam and to the Middle East as part of the U.S. response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Nicknamed the “Big E,” the Enterprise was the oldest active duty ship in the U.S. Naval fleet, according to the military, and was the eighth U.S. military ship to bear the name Enterprise.