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The USS Enterprise Visit

By the time you read this, the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) aircraft carrier may have left the bay of Palma de Mallorca, where she arrived last Tuesday with some 6,000 sailors and marines on board. Not so long ago, perhaps twenty years back, it was quite common for US navy ships to dock in Palma, much to the delight of Mallorcan shopkeepers, taxi drivers and the girls in Palma’s Barrio Chino (red-light district). But since the first Gulf War, US marine operations have been based in the Persian Gulf, and visits to our shores have since become infrequent and few and far between. USS Enterprise had last been to Palma in 2001, when she visited on her voyage to the North Arabian Sea as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

USS Enterprise was the world’s first ever nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. She was built in 1961 and entered service in November 1961. Her first big showdown was in October 1962 in Cuban waters, setting up a quarantine as part of the Second Fleet. This year, the ship celebrates its 50th anniversary. Until today, USS Enterprise is the longest aircraft carrier around with 342.3 m in length, a sleeve of 40.5 m, a draught of 11.9 m and with a displacement in maximum load of 93.284 tons, attaining speeds of some 30 knots. The ship was built by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company and is currently the oldest ship in service of the US Navy. She is unlikely to come back to Mallorca anytime soon, as USS Enterprise is slated for decommissioning or retirement in 2013. When visiting Palma, USS Enterprise was carrying 20 F14 Tomcat aircraft, 36 F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets and 4 Sea Hawk helicopters.

When USS Enterprise leaves Mallorcan waters, the 257 m long USS Bataan, an amphibious assault ship, is expected to arrive in Palma’s waters for a visit.

The photo (top) was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: July 1st, 2011. The time was 19:21:11. The photo (bottom) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of wikipedia.org.

Thank you very much.

8 replies »

  1. Thank you for this information. Does anyone know the exact time the USS Enterprise will leave the port of Palma?

    • hi mette,
      as far as i know, uss enterprise cvn 65 left the bahia de palma on saturday, july 2nd, around midday. uss bataan arrived in palma sunday, july 3rd, around 20h00, docking at dique del oeste.
      klaus

    • hola Mette,
      thanks for letting me know. But if you look closely, they are two different aircraft carriers. USS Enterprise has sailed away, believe me. Instead we now have a slightly smaller aircraft carrier visiting Palma, the USS Bataan, and yes, this one is docked in the port. USS Enterprise would be too big and its 12 m draft below the water level would not even fit into the port of Palma. USS Bataan‘s draft is only 8 m below the waterline.
      Best wishes,
      Klaus

  2. Hi Klaus,
    I am sure you are right. I have not looked that closely, and don´t have the knowledge. But I find it very impressive and interesting. Thank you for your information. You know a lot about US military ships?

    • hi Mette,
      I know absolutely nothing about US military ships. All I do is read the local papers. And I was interested about getting a photo of the Enterprise last week just to have a different subject for my blog. So I look up the details on the Internet, such as Wikipedia, about the draft dimensions and things.
      Are you in Palma?
      Good night.

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