The world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier will be decommissioned next week in what will be the final farewell to a warship that has played a role in major world events from the 1962 Cuban missile crisis to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The USS Enterprise has spent the past several years being defueled and dismantled at Newport News Shipbuilding, the shipyard where it was built and refueled.
The “Big E,” as it was affectionately called by its crew, was inactivated from service in 2012 in front of about 12,000 people in a ceremony at Norfolk Naval Station after completing its 25th deployment.
The decommissioning ceremony is a long-honored naval tradition that retires a ship from service through a variety of ceremonial services, including lowering the ship’s commissioning pennant.
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