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The USS Enterprise Is Officially Dead
The Navy and Newport News Shipbuilding have officially pulled the plug on the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, ending a painstaking, never-before-done process that began several years ago.
The completed inactivation of the former USS Enterprise was confirmed Monday by officials at the Sea-Air-Space 2018 exposition in National Harbor, Maryland.
However, the ship won’t be leaving the area anytime soon.
It is expected to remain at Newport News until 2021, possibly longer, while the Navy assesses the environmental impact of disposal options, said Capt. John Markowicz of Naval Sea Systems Command.
Sailors aboard the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) "man the rails" as the carrier approaches its pier at her homeport of Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, on Feb. 29, 2004Photo via DoD/Wikimedia Commons
Several scenarios remain on the table, Markowicz said. The ship could be towed to Puget Sound, where other nuclear vessels have been disposed. But it could also be handled commercially.
The shipyard completed its base contract work on Enterprise in December. The government recently finalized its review and certification of the paperwork.
The Newport News yard, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, is the nation’s sole designer, builder, and refueler of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.
Enterprise is the only ship of its class and served the country for 51 years. It defended the nation’s interests from the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and was the forerunner of the Nimitz-class ships that now make up the bulk of the carrier fleet.
Enterprise completed its final combat deployment in 2012. It was towed from Naval Station Norfolk to the Newport News shipyard in June 2013.
The deactivation process required more than 1,000 shipbuilders who defueled Enterprise’s eight nuclear reactors, inactivated its propulsion systems and prepared its hull for a final tow.
Shipbuilders are currently doing advance work on the newest Enterprise, which will be the third carrier in the Gerald R. Ford class.
©2018 the Daily Press (Newport News, Va.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has confirmed that a nightmare scenario has come to pass: Captured ISIS fighters are escaping as a result of Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held northeast Syria.
Turkey's incursion has led to "the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees," Esper said in a statement on Monday.
Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.
The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.
On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.