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History of the First Aircraft Carrier

USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the eighth United States naval vessel to bear the name.  Like her predecessor of World War II fame, she is nicknamed “Big E”.  At 1,123 Feet (342 m), she is the longest naval vessel ever built.  Enterprise had a crew of some 4,600 service members.  She was inactivated on December 1, 2012 and decommissioned on February 3, 2017.

On November 25, 1961, Enterprise was commissioned, with Captain Vincent P. de Poix, formerly of Fighting Squadron 6 on her predecessor, in command.  On January 12, 1962, the ship made her maiden voyage starting an extensive shakedown cruise and a lengthy series of tests and training exercises designed to determine the full capabilities of the nuclear-powered super carrier.

In October 1962, Enterprise was dispatched to her first international crisis.  Following revelations that the Soviet Union was constructing nuclear missile launch sites in Cuba, President Kennedy ordered the United States Department of Defense to conduct a large-scale buildup.  Among the preparations, the U.S. Atlantic Fleet readied large numbers of its ships.  On October 22nd, President Kennedy ordered a naval and air “quarantine” (blockade) on shipment of offensive military equipment to Cuba, and demanded the Soviets dismantle the missile sites there.  Five United States Second Fleet carriers participated in the blockade – Enterprise (as part of Task Force 135), Independence, Essex, Lake Champlain, and Randolph, backed by shore-based aircraft.  By October 28th, the crisis was averted, after the United States secretly agreed to remove nuclear missiles from Italy and Turkey.

Information taken from Wikipedia

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USS Enterprise (CVN-80)

USS Enterprise (CVN-80) will be the third Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier to be built for the United States Navy.  She will be the ninth United States naval vessel to bear the name and is scheduled to be operation by 2028.  Her construction began in August 2017 with a steel-cutting ceremony.

CVN-80 will be built by Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia.  The steel from CVN-65 will be recycled and used to construct CVN-80. 

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John F. Kennedy - (CVN-79)

USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79)

The USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is the second Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier.  The ship was launched on October 29, 2019 and christened on December 7, 2019 by Caroline Kennedy.  She is the third navy ship named after members of the Kennedy family, and the second aircraft carrier named John F. Kennedy, succeeding USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67), which served from 1968 to 2007.

The new technology and warfighting capabilities that the John F. Kennedy brings to the fleet will transform naval warfare, supporting a more capable and lethal forward-deployed U.S. naval presence.  In an emerging era of great power competition, CVN 79 will serve as the most agile and lethal combat platform in the world, with improved systems that enhance interoperability among other platforms in the carrier strike group, as well as with the naval forces of regional allies and partners.

*Information gathered from US Dept of Defense and Wikipedia

 

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George H. W. Bush (CVN-77)

USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) is the tenth and final Nimitz-Class supercarrier of the United States Navy.  She is named for the 41st President of the United States and former Director of Central Intelligence Agency.  George H. W. Bush was a naval aviator during World War II.  The vessel’s callsign is Avenger, after the TBM Avenger aircraft flown by then Lieutenant George H. W. Bush in World War II.  Construction began in 2003 at the Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard.  She was completed in 2009 at a cost of $6.2 billion and her home port is Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.

The ship was assigned to Carrier Strike Group Two for her first deployment.  Under the command of Rear Admiral Nora Tyson, George H.W. Bush, Carrier Air Wing Eight and the four ships of her group departed on her first deployment on 16 May 2011.  They sailed across the Atlantic to Britain to participate in Exercise Saxon Warrior, held in the Western Approaches and culminating in a so-called “Thursday War”.  She then moved toward Portsmouth, U.K. on 27 May, anchoring adjacent to Stroke Bay through 31 May, because she was too large to enter the harbor, and the naval base did not have sufficient nuclear berths for the carrier to moor alongside.  The carrier arrives at Naples, Italy on 10 June 2011.  The carrier returned to Norfolk on 10 December 2011, following a seven-month deployment supporting operations with the U.S. Navy’s 5th and 6th fleets.

 

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USS Ronald Reagan

USS Ronald Regan (CVN 76)

Construction of the ninth Nimitz class ship took place at Northrop Grumman Newport News, Virginia starting with the ship’s keel laying February 12, 1998, and christened by Mrs. Nancy Regan on March 4, 2001.  USS Ronald Regan was commissioned during a ceremony on July 12, 2003.  Vice President Cheney delivered the principal address while Nancy Reagan, wife of the ship’s namesake, served as the ship’s sponsor.  On May 27, 2004 USS Ronald Reagan departed Naval Station Norfolk to circumnavigate South America on its way to its new homeport of Sand Diego.

USS Ronald Regan departed San Diego on January 4, 2006 for her maiden deployment to conduct naval operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.  This included supporting the missions Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. By May 29, USS Ronald Regan and Carrier Air Wind Fourteen concluded military operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. 

In August 2015, USS Ronald Reagan departed San Diego as the Forward Deployed Naval Force (FDNF) replacement for USS George Washington (CVN 73) in Yokosuka, Japan.

 

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