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(VIDEO) A tribute to the longest serving US Navy supercarrier

The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) arrives at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., on Nov. 4, 2012. The Enterprise's return to Norfolk was the 25th and final homecoming of her 51 years of service. (U.S. Navy/Rafael Martie)
April 14, 2017

USS Enterprise (CVN-65), formerly CVA(N)-65, is a decommissioned U.S. Navy aircraft carrier of legendary fame. She was the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier as well as having served for 51 consecutive years, longer than any other U.S. aircraft carrier. The only ship of her class, Enterprise was — at the time of inactivation in December 2012 — the third-oldest commissioned vessel in the U.S. Navy after the wooden-hulled USS Constitution and USS Pueblo.

The USS Enterprise was replaced by the supercarrier USS Gerald R. Ford, creating a succession of extraordinary firsts among all U.S. Navy vessels. This footage is the ultimate flight deck operations compilation tribute video to the USS Enterprise. It contains cockpit vision, plus a multitude of other angles featuring F/A-18 Super Hornets, S-3 Vikings, and E-2 Hawkeyes. It also includes rare footage of the Enterprise steaming at full speed.

(Ultimate Military Channel/YouTube)

In 1954, construction began on the grand ship, the eighth U.S. ship to bear the name Enterprise. It would have four propeller shafts powered by eight nuclear reactors, something that had never before been attempted. It took three years and nine months to complete the construction of the supercarrier, according to the Navy.

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Once it was commissioned and underwent trials, then-Secretary of the Navy John B. Connally Jr. said, “The new Enterprise will reign a long, long time as queen of the seas.” Her first mission took place in October of 1962 in communist Cuba. She was called on again in September 2001 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The USS Enterprise recorded 400,000 arrested landings on May 24, 2011, by an F/A-18F Super Hornet piloted by Lt. Matthew L. Enos and Weapon System Officer Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Welsh from the Red Rippers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11, the Navy stated.

(Ultimate Military Channel/YouTube)

With a displacement of 85,600 tons and a length of 1,101 feet, the USS Enterprise can travel at more than 30 knots and hold a crew of 4,600, seven fixed-wing squadrons and one helicopter, making her a top choice for the large number of deployments she has undertaken, according to the U.S. Navy.

Some of the deployments that the supercarrier has participated in include the Vietnam-Operation Frequent Wind in 1975, Operation Desert Fox in 1999, Operation Enduring Freedom in 2007, initiated raids in South Vietnam and various operations in the Middle East, to name a few, according to Hullnumber.

The video is well worth the watch to see the many capabilities the Big E had, has, and will continue to have with her future successors.