Big E - the world’s first nuclear aircraft carrier moves into NNS dry docks for deactivation

By Vessels

USS Enterprise (CVN 65), the world’s first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, has been moved into Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) dry docks for defueling and deactivation.

Saturday, the longest naval vessel in the world, nicknamed the “Big E”, was moved from Pier 2 at the Newport News Shipbuilding division (NNS) to Dry Dock 11 of the shipyard, which is her original birthplace. The works of NNS employees on the defueling process in the dry dock will continue under the current inactivation agreement.

Six tug boats maneuvered the ship approximately one mile to its new location at Dry Dock 11.

The ship’s relocation in the NNS shipyard took two and a half hours work of over 200 shipbuilders, who assisted in the movement process. The operations in the dry dock will go on until the fall of next year.

Chris Miner, the Vice President of in-service aircraft carrier programs of Newport News Shipbuilding said:

"Our shipbuilders and Navy partners continue to work closely as we accomplish this truly unique contract."

"Our shipbuilders' slogan for the inactivation of the USS Enterprise is 'Honor a Legend.' The pride the shipbuilder and Navy team have in being part of this legendary ship's history is demonstrated every day as they safely complete each step of this challenging work," added Chris Miner.

USS Enterprise's inactivation involves defueling the ship's eight reactors and preparing the hull for its final dismantlement. These are the first in such kind of defueling operations of nuclear powered carrier.

The USS Enterprise (CVN-65), like her predecessor USS Enterprise CV-6 of WW II fame, was nicknamed the Big E. The aircraft carrier was laid down at Newport News and Drydock Company and was commissioned in 1961 as a member of the U.S Navy fleet. The U.S Navy super-carrier was a part of naval maritime security operations and used as a military aid in the Cuban Missile Crises and Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.