Uss Enterprise Takes Final Voyage

March 12, 2012 by staff 

Uss Enterprise Takes Final Voyage, The nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise sits at the pier as sailors move supplies and equipment in preparation for the ships final deployment.
When the makers of “Top Gun” were filming on board the USS Enterprise, they donated a set of black fuzzy dice to liven up the ship’s otherwise drab interior.

A quarter-century later, the dice will still be dangling inside the tower of “the Big E” as the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier sets sail on its final voyage Sunday.

The trinket is a reminder of the ship’s storied 50-year history that includes action in several wars, a prominent role in the Cuban missile crisis and serving as a spotter ship for John Glenn’s historic orbit of the earth.

“To serve on this ship, certainly in this capacity, you certainly have to be a student of the ship’s history,” said Rear Adm. Walter Carter, commander of the Enterprise strike group. “Fifty years of service, in our nation’s history, we’ve never had a warship in service that long.”

The Enterprise is the longest aircraft carrier in the U.S. fleet. It is also the oldest, a distinction that brings pride as well as plenty of headaches for the ship’s more than 4,000 crew members. The ship is effectively a small city that frequently needs repairs because of its age. It was originally designed to last 25 years, but a major overhaul in 1979 and other improvements have extended its life.

The ship largely looks like any other carrier on the inside and has modern amenities like gyms, a coffee shop and a television station with dozens of channels. It even produces its own daily newspaper while at sea.

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