Enterprise steaming toward final homecoming on Sunday

WASHINGTON – The 51-year-old USS Enterprise is scheduled to return to Norfolk, Va., on Sunday — the final arrival in port of the Navy’s oldest operational warship, which has participated in every major conflict since the Cuban missile crisis.

More than 5,500 sailors of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group are coming off a 238-day deployment supporting operations in the Mediterranean and Arabian seas. During its 25th and final deployment since being commissioned on Nov. 25, 1961, the Enterprise steamed more than 80,000 miles, while the attached Carrier Air Wing One flew more than 8,000 sorties in support of the war in Afghanistan as well as several exercises.

“This has not been a victory lap by the Enterprise by any means,” Rear Adm. Ted Carter, Enterprise carrier strike group commander said in a Navy press release. “This has been a full on combat operation. We’ve seen the full spectrum of Navy operations on this deployment.”

The Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier ever commissioned, will be inactivated in a ceremony scheduled for Dec. 1 and later broken down for scrap.

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