Enterprise Returning from Final Deployment

Ship will be inactivated in December ceremony

Sunday, Nov 4, 2012  |  Updated 11:22 AM EDT
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Enterprise Returning from Final Deployment

USS Enterprise

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The USS Enterprise is sailing home to Virginia after the final deployment for the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

The Navy says the USS Enterprise is scheduled to return to its home port in Norfolk on Sunday. The ship will be deactivated in December after more than 50 years of service.

Launched in 1960, the ship has participated in every major conflict since the Cuban Missile Crisis. During its 25th and final deployment, the Enterprise operated in Europe and the Middle East. It conducted maritime security operations and supported Operation Enduring Freedom.

The December 1 inactivation ceremony will be the last official public event for Enterprise. Enterprise veterans, their families and shipyard workers are invited to register to attend the inactivation week events. Tickets to the events will be on a first available basis.

After the inactivation ceremony, the ship's radioactive fuel and reactors will be removed, a process that will take approximately four years. The ship is scheduled to be towed to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington State in 2017 for final dismantlement and recycling.

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