Navy Petty Officer Third Class Jessie L. Caulson, son of Lynne McNeal of Baxley, and Thomas Caulson, of Willacoochee, recently deployed. Caulson along with fellow Sailors and Marines, assigned to the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65), departed Norfolk Naval Station for the ship’s 22nd and final deployment. Enterprise is slated to deploy to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth and Sixth Fleet areas of operation as part of an ongoing rotation of U.S. forces supporting maritime security operations in international waters around the globe. Working with allied and partner maritime forces, the Enterprise and her accompanying strike group will focus heavily on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts designed to maintain regional stability. The Enterprise Carrier Strike Group consists of approximately 5, 500 Sailors and Marines who, during the last few months, successfully completed a series of complex training events and certifications to ensure they were capable of operating effectively and safely together. These skills, which will be vital as the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group travels to the Fifth Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), were recently tested during the carrier’s Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX).
For Enterprise, the Navy’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the deployment represents the culmination of more than 50 years of distinguished service. Commissioned in 1961, the Enterprise is both the largest and oldest active combat vessel in the Navy. Enterprise’s age, however, does not impact its effectiveness. Throughout its storied history, Enterprise has played a role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, and was one of the first Navy assets deployed following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The importance of the role Enterprise has played in both national and naval history is a fact not lost on the Sailors and Marines currently aboard the ship. Enterprise is scheduled for deactivation and eventual decommissioning following its anticipated return later this year, marking the end of the carrier’s legendary 50-plus years of service. The Enterprise Carrier Strike Group is comprised of Enterprise, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) One, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) Two, guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69), and guided-missile destroyers USS Porter (DDG 78), USS Nitze (DDG 94), and USS James E. Williams (DDG 95). CVW-One is comprised of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 136, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 251, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 137, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 123 and Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron (HS) 11. For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.navy.mil, or www.twitter.com/usnavy. For more news from USS Enterprise (CVN 65), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn65.