Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fate of the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) After Decommissioning in 2013

Looks like they're considering 2 different options. Neither pleasant.

Either quickly chopped to bits:
The Navy preferred alternative suggests that once PSNS receives the Enterprise, it immediately take apart and dispose of the reactor compartments. Shipyard workers would also take apart the hull of the ship and recycle the remnant sections.
Or left to rot in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard:
A second option, called the no-action option, involves receiving the defueled Enterprise from Newport News and storing it indefinitely and intact at PSNS. Waterborne storage would call for mooring the Enterprise on the west side of Mooring Alpha.
And that place is more a graveyard than a museum.

Sadly, I don't really have a good excuse to go to the Seattle area, but I may have to make one if I can find someone with enough pull to get me aboard the Enterprise for a look-see. I'd love to see it again.

32 comments:

  1. I know it has to happen (your graveyard link) but it's still sad in a way.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, it's the reactors. You absolutely have to pull 'em because of the radioactivity (which is practically non-existent once the reactors are shut down, but still measureable in some spots), plus the design details are classified.

    If it had conventional boilers, you could just park it & call it a museum.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Seattle has some good brewpubs...

    ReplyDelete
  4. I figured it would be a museum. Longest service life of any warship. It should be, anyway; that homo-erotica involving Top Gun notwithstanding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That statement is not quite true. The four Iowa-class dreadnoughts served from WWII all the way into the First Gulf War.

      Delete
  5. They mothballed a helluva lot of ships after WW2 and brought quite a few back for the Korean and Cold Wars. As a matter of fact I was on two of them during the Southeast Asian War Games, the USS Oak Hill and the USS Princeton. The Smokey Oakie was a Landing Ship Dock, and yes, I went 'cross the Pacific on LSD. The Princeton was a WW2 Aircraft Carrier that was converted to one of the first LPH, or Landing Platform, Helicopter.

    If the Chinese, Russians or Iranians get too frisky the Enterprise might sail again.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mrs. Who and I toured the "Big E" when it was at Pensacola, N.A.S. a good many years ago. We waited in line for hours to file our way on board, walked the static displays inside, and the frikkin MOMENT we got to the flight deck, our daughter had a potty emergency and they had NO available facilities for the public anywhere aboard. We. Had. To. LEAVE. I was never so disappointed...

    However, we did manage to snap a picture of a small party of Klingons scouting the Enterprise from land.

    ReplyDelete
  7. CVN-65 has 6 portholes that came from her predecessor, USS Enterprise CV-6. The word is those portholes are to be installed in the next carrier to be built and named USS Enterprise.

    For information on CV-6 take a look at http://www.cv6.org I attended their national reunion in Austin in July 2011 with my gr-uncle who served aboard her from June '42 to Aug '44 and was featured in the History Channel Production of "Battle 360".

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anon - I guess the portholes were installed on the island of CVN-65.

    I never knew they were there. I worked in the engineering spaces, lived 2 decks below the hangar bay, and except for a few times watching flight ops, never made it up into the island.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The portholes were on the front of the flight deck in secondary conn. Look right at the front of the ship and you will see them.

      We performed a couple of exercises where the scenario included the bridge being hit. Secondary Conn was is right at the forward end of the ship allowing the carrier to continue basic flight operations without a navigation bridge. Only drawback was the jet-wash came right into space from the A-6's and S-3's making things a little hot for a few seconds.

      Delete
    2. The portholes were on the front of the flight deck in secondary conn. Look right at the front of the ship and you will see them.

      We performed a couple of exercises where the scenario included the bridge being hit. Secondary Conn was is right at the forward end of the ship allowing the carrier to continue basic flight operations without a navigation bridge. Only drawback was the jet-wash came right into space from the A-6's and S-3's making things a little hot for a few seconds.

      Delete
    3. Those 5 portholes were up in "Secondary Conn" the command area at the forward end of the flight deck that had all the controls the bridge had in case the bridge got destroyed or damaged. There was even "trick wheels" on each of the four after steering gear equipment spaces on deck 6 if I remember correctly, I used to stand watch down there. Cold and noisy in winter, hot and noisy in summer.

      Delete
  9. To see her taken apart would kill me. I never got to serve on her in my 20 years in the Navy and my family is personally tied to the old CV-6 because a Great Uncle flew with the Black Rams during the Marshall Islands Raid of 1942.

    I say arm up her weapons, set her adrift and let her shoot missiles down till they can sink her, let old E die a glorious death!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was on board the Big "E" for about a year, I was able to get up on the bridge and walk around when she was in the yards. I walked around the captains cabin and while on fire watch I had pretty much open access except the reactor areas. She is an awesome ship and I will be very sad to see her with either options the navy has proposed. Ph2 Morden

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I served for 63 to 65 including a trip to the Med and Operation Sea Orbit. To see her retired and scrapped is really kind of heartbreaking, but I understand. There's just too much dis-assembly required to make her safe again as a museum or other kind of memorial, sadly. I was an EM3 on the Big E, and stood after steering gear watches, switchgear watches plus I inspected equipment all over the ship including the island machinery spaces so I got down into bowels as well as up into the island and other spaces so I know how much of a living breathing enterprise she was. I loved her and I miss her even though I also served on the Intrepid and the Independence, my time on the Big E is the most memorable.

      Delete
  11. I wish they could remove the reactors and make her safe for the public but in the end that will not likely happen. I would like to see her Island saved though park it outside the main gate to Norfolk

    ReplyDelete
  12. was on the ship twice during last overhaul at norfolk yard. my son-in-law was stationed aboard and we were invited to come aboard for two shake-down cruises. beautiful experience. the old girl was in bad need of cosmetics along with 3 billion dollar overhaul, but my spirit is still aboard her. hope fate will see her come alive again.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I was an ordnancemen in the G3 Division. God Bless the BIG E and all who sailed on her...

    ReplyDelete
  14. If they can save three Battleships they should be able to find the money to save the 1st nuclear Aircraft Carrier.

    I mean they have a Nautical Museum sitting right there. Pull the cores and let her cool down for a few years while they get her fitted for tourists. Then open her to the public as a historical learning tool.

    ReplyDelete
  15. A question: what happens to the thousands in her crew? Are they forced out of the Navy? And if they're thinking of dragging her to Washington State, as one story said, why stop her in Norfolk? Tradition? Thanks. My hat's off to the ship and her crew. Darn scary to think that as of March 2013 we'll be down to 9 of them to cover the world, as one goes out for a 4-year revamp and the next one doesn't come on line till 2015. Two years of scarier yet. From a former WAC.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What happens to the crew?

    Some will stay on during the decommissioning process, the rest will be reassigned to other ships, or possibly shore-duty stations.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Give the big E to the port of Los Angeles and permanently anchor her there along with the U.S.S. Ohio. Don't scrap her.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Yesterday I took a tour of the USS Harry S Truman in Norfolk and right beside it was the Enterprise being dismantled. Sad to see it. If I knew of a way to post a photo here, I would

    ReplyDelete
  19. let her rest in peace in the port

    ReplyDelete
  20. The Nautilus is on display and you are able to go down into the Torpedo room and OPS compartment. The hatch to the reactor compartment is shut and there is shielding on the hull at the reactor compartment. I wonder why they can't do the same for Enterprise and set her up as a museum.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Just because there are portholes in the bow, it doesn't mean those are the CV-6 portholes. The CV-6 portholes are in the Captain's Cabin, and are labeled accordingly. I've seen the photos.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The Big E isn't being commissioned in 2013. She won't be decommissioned until 2016, after her reactors have been defueled.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I work at PSNS and was a crew member from 80-84, did two deployments on her, As I understand, she will be towed to Bremerton in 2014, Dry docked in DD6 to cut off the Angle Deck and part of the bow and then moved to another DD to be cut up. When she shows up I will for sure want to get onboard one last time.

    ReplyDelete
  24. served on board in va-22, mostly as a flight deck shooter ,loved it.sorry to see the Big E go down.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Was McDonnell Avionics rep at initial shakedown at Gitmo, first Med cruise and Cuban blockade with VF-102 Phantoms. Big E is a major part of my great memories. Never can I say was - She will live in heart forever

    ReplyDelete
  26. I hope that some way can be found to save one of the most famous ships on the planet.

    ReplyDelete
  27. The world's first nuclear carrier.. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete