Q. Could you provide a brief description of the planned process and schedule to dismantle the USS ENTERPRISE?
A. Following the Inactivation Ceremony on December 1, 2012, the Enterprise will remain at Naval Station Norfolk for approximately 6 months to off-load equipment. After the equipment off-load, the ship will move to dock at Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS) for inactivation.
The inactivation phase will last approximately 4 years. As part of the inactivation, hydraulic systems will be drained and expendable materials, tools, spare parts and furnishings will be removed. Additionally, tanks containing oil and other fluids will be drained and cleaned, any hazardous material will be removed, and the ship's electrical and lighting systems will be de-energized. Concurrent with inactivation, the ship will be defueled using the same proven techniques that have been used successfully to refuel and defuel over 350 Naval nuclear-powered warships. The ship will also be prepared for dismantlement and recycling and could be towed to a facility like Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS&IMF) to continue that process.
Q. Why is the ship being defueled in Newport News and towed elsewhere for disposal? Why can't defueling and disposal be performed by the same organization?
A. Some of the inactivation processes require specialized defueling equipment which is currently only available at HII-NNS. Additionally, specialized equipment and expertise, like that found at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, is required to package the reactor compartments for disposal and recycle the rest of the ship.
Q. Can the ship’s life be extended? Why can’t she support another deployment?
A. The USS ENTERPRISE has been in service for over 50 years. Many of the major components and other equipment are nearing the end of their useful life, and it is not cost effective to further extend ENTERPRISE for combat operations.
Q. Can the ship be turned into a museum?
A. The inactivation and defueling process will have major impacts on the structure of the ship. It is not cost-effective to return the ship to a condition that would support it becoming a museum. Additionally, the cost to maintain a ship as a museum is generally cost prohibitive.
As the ship is inactivated, equipment that may be of historic interest will be reclaimed and passed on to museums or appropriate Navy commands so ENTERPRISE’s many contributions to the nation’s defense over the past half-century are remembered.
Q. What will happen to the crew when the ship is inactivated?
A. Most of the crew will be reassigned to other commands shortly after the inactivation begins. A smaller group of personnel will stay with the ship for watchstanding purposes until the reactors are completely defueled. A small crew will be attached to the ENTERPRISE during the tow to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
Q. What does decommissioning a ship mean? Is it different from inactivating a ship?
A. When a commissioned U.S. Navy ship is decommissioned, it is taken out of active service and the crew is reassigned to another ship or command. The day of the official decommissioning is established by the Fleet within the fiscal year specified by the Chief of Naval Operations.
Inactivation is a process that lays up a ship for long-term storage in the event of mobilization or for safe storage pending disposal. Ship inactivation typically occurs in the months preceding the official decommissioning date.
Q. I used to be on the ship but didn't purchase a cruise book. Do you have any for sale?
A. The Navy does not stock or sell copies of ships' cruise books. Cruise books, usually similar in general content and format to high school or college yearbooks, are not official publications. They are compiled by the officers and men of a ship, unit, or station for private distribution and customarily published by a local job printing firm. Like school yearbooks, they are usually paid for by subscription from crew members or from proceeds of the ship's store. For more information or to purchase a cruise book directly from our vendor, please visit www.cruisebooksource.com.
Q. How do I connect with other Veterans of USS Enterprise?
A. There are several USS Enterprise and Navy alumni organizations on the Internet. You'd be surprised at what you would find by simply searching on any commercial search engine using the words "USS Enterprise Alumni" or "navy alumni." You can also visit the following Web sites for USS Enterprise alumni-related information:
Q. I am a Plankowner and need a replacement certificate- how do I get one?
A. Plankowner certificates are unofficial and not produced through the Navy. They are procured and issued by crewmembers of the ship at the time of its commissioning. The US Naval Insititute may be able to help you aquire a replacement certificate. Illustrations and prices of these certificates can be obtained by the Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD 21402.
Q. I used to know someone aboard USS Enterprise. Can you tell me where they are now?
A. We don't have any way to track former crewmembers; however you can use the Navy Locator to find someone who is still on active duty.
Q. Can you tell me what unit awards USS Enterprise has earned over the years?
A. Information regarding unit awards is available via the Web at the Navy Department Awards Web Service or view the ENTERPRISE awards page, or you can contact the Chief of Naval Operations, Awards and Special Projects Branch at the below address. This office can identify awards earned by Navy units:
Chief of Naval Operations
Awards and Special Projects Branch (Code N09B33)
2000 Navy Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20350-2000
Veterans are entitled to one replacement set of their medals. To request medals, send a Standard Form 180, which can be obtained from the National Personnel Records Center Web site, to:
Naval Liaison Office
National Personnel Records Center
9700 Page Boulevard
St. Louis, Missouri 63132-5100
Please write "Do not open in mailroom" on the outer envelope.
Q. I would like to purchase an Enterprise ball cap, patch, or other items from the ship's store.
A. Unfortunately, we are only authorized to sell items from the ship's store to crew members and visitors on the ship. We cannot accept mail orders or mail any products from the store.
Q. How do I contact a Sailor or Marine serving aboard the ENTERPRISE via e-mail?
A. Unfortunately, we do not have the means to forward e-mail to all of our Sailors and Marines via this Web site. The most expeditious means to get an emergency message to a Sailor or Marine is through the American Red Cross.
Q. We have had a family emergency and I must reach a Sailor or Marine servng on USS Enterprise. How do I contact them quickly?
Q. How do I send cards, letters, etc. to a Sailor or Marine serving aboard Enterprise?
USS Enterprise Mailing Address
Please note that for the safety of our crew, the ship cannot accept any mail or packages addressed to "Any Servicemember" or generic addresses. Mail must be addressed to a specific Sailor or Marine serving aboard Enterprise.
Q. I am a teacher, Scout Leader, etc. and my students or scouts want to show support for the Sailors and Marines aboard USS Enteprise... What is the best way?
A. One way to show support is by doing a good deed on behalf of servicemembers. Visit a VA Hospital or nursing home, or volunteer in the local community to help make up for servicemembers who normally would volunteer but are now deployed or otherwise too busy with their duties. Many servicemembers volunteer to coach children’s teams, feed the homeless, an aid their communities in a variety of other ways. Interested Americans can show their support and honor their military by volunteering in their communities. Although many towns do not have a military base nearby, military recruiters are stationed nearly everywhere. Local governments and Chambers of Commerce are encouraged to reach out to these local members of the military, invite them to speak at community events, and encourage members of the community to learn more about America’s military.
Q. I have orders to Enterprise and need to know how to report to the ship.
A. Please visit the Welcome Aboard page for more information.