USA: Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carriers Sail Together in Atlantic Ocean
The nuclear-powered aircraft carriers USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) crossed paths in the Atlantic Ocean off the East Coast July 14.
Enterprise, on its way home from a regularly-scheduled seven-month deployment to the 6th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility, had just picked up its crew’s family members from Mayport, Fl., for a Tiger Cruise. Eisenhower was off the Southeastern Coast conducting a carrier qualification (CQ) for squadrons around the country.
The common link between the two ships was Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne, Enterprise’s commanding officer (CO), who was returning home from his third deployment as CO of a carrier in three years. Mewbourne had previously commanded Eisenhower during two deployments in 2009 and 2010.
The ships spent some time alongside each other, and photos were snapped from helicopters in the air and from Sailors and their families on both ships.
“To our embarked Tigers, it provided the extremely rare opportunity to witness flight operations from a uniquely powerful perch while also seeing a truly magnificent ship and crew in action. For me, it provided a moment of utter humility and supreme thankfulness for the blessings I was given in command of both ships [and] to work with incredibly dedicated and talented people in making America proud,” said Mewbourne.
Capt. Marcus A. Hitchcock, Eisenhower’s commanding officer, said the opportunity for the two ships to meet, exchange greetings and say ‘welcome home’ to returning heroes was an important event for both ship’s crews.
“We flew some of our Sailors off the ship to Norfolk to visit their spouses and family members who are returning from deployment on Enterprise,” Hitchcock said. “To be able to do that for both crews was a great demonstration of our commitment to the morale of our Sailors.”
The two meeting occurred safely even with Eisenhower conducting flight operations for CQ during the entire evolution.
Enterprise’s family members were able to not only see their ship’s air power demonstration earlier in the day, but Eisenhower pilots conducting flight operations.
“Being able to come alongside the Enterprise was amazing,” Hitchcock said. “Capt. Mewbourne took most of this crew through two deployments. Giving him the opportunity to see Eisenhower in action one more time was a poignant moment for everyone and we are very proud of him and the entire Enterprise team.”
Source: navy, July 18, 2011