OCTOBER 2, 2014 — The first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2016, but one of its anchors is going back to sea — on the younger carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72).
USS Enterprise, originally built by Newport News Shipbuilding in the 1960s and refueled for the third and final time in the early ’90s, is currently docked at the shipyard’s Pier 2 for inactivation after more than 50 years of service.
IA few hundred yards, USS Abraham Lincoln, less than half the age of Enterprise, is in dry dockundergoing its refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH). During this multi-year process, every inch of the carrier is updated or refurbished, including its two massive anchors.
During the overhaul process, Newport News Shipbuilding inspections found that one of the Lincoln’s anchors needed to be replaced, so shipbuilders swapped out the old anchor for one of Enterprise’s. The Enterprise anchor, cast in 1962 and weighing in at 30 tons, is an exact twin of Lincoln’s other, much younger, anchor.
With two working anchors, the sailors aboard Lincoln will be able to test the carrier’s anchor-lift system during sea trials, scheduled for 2016.
“The legacy of Enterprise will live on in her sailors, her shipbuilders and now in the anchor aboard Lincoln,” said Chris Miner, Newport News’ vice president of in-service aircraft carrier programs. “The ships are reaching important milestones in their lives; Lincoln will finish her mid-life RCOH, and Enterprise will finish her inactivation, both in 2016. With this anchor, both ships will be linked, and Lincoln will carry Enterprise’s spirit as it returns to the fleet.”
USS Abraham Lincoln arrived at Newport News in March 2013 to begin the RCOH process. During the carrier’s RCOH, the shipyard refuels the ship’s reactors, paints the ship’s hull, modernizes systems and performs a complete recapitalization of the entire ship. Once the RCOH is complete, USS Abraham Lincoln will continue to operate in the U.S. Navy fleet for another 25 years. Lincoln’s RCOH is 45 percent complete and on track for delivery in October 2016.