The decommissioned aircraft carrier, ex-America (CV 66) departed the Navy’s Inactive Fleet Facility April 19 for its final and vital mission as a live-fire test and evaluation, and weapons effect platform for the next generation aircraft carrier.
The events will consist of a variety of comprehensive tests above and below the waterline.
“These tests will allow invaluable data to be collected to be used by naval architects and engineers to improve the design and survivability of the nation’s future aircraft carrier fleet," said Rear Adm. Dennis M. Dwyer, program executive officer for carriers. "This new generation of carriers will allow the Navy to fulfill the missions of the 21st and 22nd centuries and to protect the sons, daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the veterans of this great ship."
The third Navy ship to carry the name, USS America, CV 66 sailed the world’s oceans for more than 30 years as a symbol of freedom and democracy. From the day America was commissioned Jan. 23, 1965, until her decommissioning Aug. 9, 1996, the ship played a significant role in almost every conflict the United States faced.
During her lifetime, America deployed three separate times to support combat operations in Vietnam and played an integral role in supporting the United States' Cold War efforts. America helped liberate Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm, enforced no-fly zones over southern Iraq during Operation Southern Watch, participated in Operation Continued Hope in Somalia, Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, and in NATO operations in Bosnia.
She was decommissioned Aug. 9, 1996.