US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced earlier today duringthe inactivation ceremony for the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) thatthe third Gerald R Ford-class carrier, CVN-80, will also be named theEnterprise. CVN-80 will be the ninth Navy warship to bear the name Enterprise,and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Good choice–sure beats calling it the GabbyGiffords or something (Look up Littoral Combat Ship if you don’t know what I’mtalking about).
Mabus says he selected the name Enterprise to honor CVN-65,which became the Navy’s first nuclear-powered carrier when she was firstcommissioned back in 1961. “The USS Enterprise was the first of its kind,and for 51 years its name has been synonymous with boldness, readiness and anadventurous spirit,” Mabus says. “Rarely has our fleet been without aship bearing the name. I chose tomaintain this tradition not solely because of the legacy it invokes, butbecause the remarkable work of the name Enterprise is not done.”
An earlier World War II carrier, CV-6, also calledEnterprise became a legend in the Pacific theatre fighting the Japanese. Sheplayed a key role in the pivotal US victory at Midway, and she earned 20 battlestars by the time the war ended. If I recall correctly, the Enterprise was onethree Navy carriers built prior to December 7, 1941, to survive the entire war.
Incidentally, CVN-79, the second Ford-class ship will becalled USS John F Kennedy–he has stature as a naval hero and President of theUnited States. He also had a previous carrier CV-67 named after him.
According to the Navy: “The Gerald R. Ford-class aircraftcarrier will be 1,092 feet in length and have a beam of 134 feet. The flight deck will be 256 feet wide,and the ship will be able to operate at speeds in excess of 34 knots.”