Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Tristan L. Collazo, son of Ilda Lopez of Fredonia, along with 5,500 Sailors and Marines assigned to the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG) recently arrived in Norfolk, Va., following a seven-and-a-half-month deployment supporting operations in the Mediterranean and the Arabian Seas.
USS Enterprise's return to Norfolk will be the 25th and final homecoming in her 51 years of distinguished service. The aircraft carrier was scheduled to be inactivated Saturday in a ceremony at Norfolk Naval Station.
While deployed, Enterprise CSG served in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility (AOR), conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
During her 238 days away from Norfolk, "Big E, " as Enterprise is affectionately known, safely steamed 80,968 miles and Carrier Air Wing 1 (CVW-1) flew more than 8,000 sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and exercises in the 5th and 6th Fleet AORs.
Enterprise was commissioned Nov. 25, 1961, as the eighth ship to bear the name Enterprise. Big E was the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. During her 51 years of service, Enterprise deployed 25 times and participated in every major conflict since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Enterprise has been homeported in both Alameda, Calif., and Norfolk, Va., and conducted operations in every region of the world.
The December inactivation ceremony is the last official public event for Enterprise, serving as a celebration of life for the ship and the more than 100,000 Sailors who have served aboard the ship.
Collazo is a 2006 graduate of Fredonia High School of Fredonia and joined the Navy in August 2006.
For more information on USS Enterprise, her legendary history, and Inactivation Week events, visit www.enterprise.navy.mil.