The USS Enterprise, unlike other Navy ships that consider Norfolk, Virginia as home, did not go underway for Hurricane Irene. Instead, the ship was moved through tug boats on August 25 to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.
The move was done as the Naval Shipyard was considered as safer for ships that are unable to get under way. The move took three hours to complete.
Cmdr. Jody H. Grady, command duty officer of the ship, shared: “These Sailors worked hard to move the ship, and now they are keeping her safe during the storm… This will be a sea story that they will be able to tell their children and their grandchildren that they were on the legendary Big ‘E’ (Enterprise) during Irene.”
In addition to serving as home for its crew, the USS Enterprise also accommodated Sailors serving aboard the Harry S. Truman, because its extended shipyard maintenance availability does not allow overnight stays.
Lt. Melissa E. Johnson, of the Operations Department of the USS Enterprise, shared: “We try to help our neighbors as much as possible… We are responsible for tracking weather, checking on roads, flood areas and keeping the base notified of tornadoes, and we’re making sure Truman is informed as well. Our primary concern is the safety of our Sailors and equipment.”
Most of the crew were actually at home with their families during the storm, but those who were left on board took pains to keep the ship safe. USS Enterprise Public Affairs Officer Lt. Cmdr. Sarah T. Self-Kyler said: “Enterprise has been weathering storms for half a century, and in the age of social media, we have even more tools to reach our audience in our effort to ensure everyone is safe.”