USS Enterprise to be decommissioned in early February

The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise transits the Atlantic Ocean during its tailored ship's training availability in August of 2010. Credit: Stacy Laseter

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The USS Enterprise (CVN 65) is set to be decommissioned in early February — fifty-six years after first entering service.

U.S. Navy officials said the Enterprise played a major role in naval operations across five decades — including the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Enterprise was the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

The Navy says the “Big E” recovered astronaut John Glenn from his historic space flight, and launched the first strikes against al-Qaida and the Taliban following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Hundreds of thousands of sailors served on the CVN 65, the eighth ship to bear the name Enterprise.

A decommissioning ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 3 at 10 a.m. aboard the Enterprise, which is currently at Newport News Shipbuilding.

Look for full coverage of the Enterprise’s decommissioning next week.

Construction on the next generation Enterprise is slated to begin in 2018. Delivery to the Navy is expected in 2027. The new Enterprise will eventually replace the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower when the aircraft carrier enters the fleet.