US Navy’s First Nuclear-Powered Carrier Begins Final Deployment

Posted March 12th, 2012 at 2:30 am (UTC-5)
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The U.S. Navy's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier has departed on its final deployment.

The USS Enterprise left Sunday from a Naval station in Virginia.

The Navy says the ship is scheduled for a routine deployment to the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf, focusing on maritime security and efforts to maintain regional stability.

Originally built at a cost of $451 million, the Enterprise has been involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War and two wars in Iraq since being commissioned in 1961. It was also featured in the 1986 film Top Gun.

It is powered by eight nuclear reactors and is the U.S. Navy's oldest and largest combat vessel. More than 200,000 sailors have served on board.

The Navy will deactivate the Enterprise later this year, following its deployment.