The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 7, 2012

Our View: No more 'Big E' in Navy

The Joplin Globe

— USS Enterprise, CVN 65, is no longer on duty in the U.S. Navy. It is a passing of an era, in our view.

The “Big E” was our and the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, one of those “things” that has diminished reliance on “horses and bayonets” in defense needs, if you will. That ship has been at sea for 51 years promoting the interests of America all over the world in many different wars and crises. It will be missed, for sure.

Enterprise was more than just a single ship at sea. It was an icon of American strength and willingness to preserve peace when possible and respond in strength when needed. As well, we can think of no single event where Enterprise was used irrationally or inappropriately in such efforts.

Instead Enterprise and ships like it were the backbone of American strength at sea and thus around the world during a turbulent 51 years. Think back through those years. In how many was American naval power NOT needed and relied upon by America? They were few and far between, in our view.

Just the presence of Enterprise acted as a strong deterrent against anyone that might act against America and our allies during those 51 years. Recall the old question that presidents usually asked during times of international tensions: “Where are the carriers and Marines?”

We just had a national crisis in Benghazi. But we have no carriers in the entire Mediterranean Sea and we were too late sending in a platoon or so of Marines to mitigate that attack on Americans.

USS Enterprise and all that it represented will be missed by America. We only hope that those that replace it will remain sailing the seas of the world in the same manner as did the “Big E.”