|Operation Sea Orbit|
|Part of Cold War (1962–1979)|
Operation Sea Orbit route.
|Type||Naval surface warfare and naval air operations|
|Planned by||United States Navy|
|Objective||First circumnavigation of the world by nuclear-powered surface warships|
|Date||31 July 1964 to 3 October 1964|
|Executed by||Rear Admiral Bernard M. Strean, USN|
Task Force One:
• USS Enterprise (CVAN-65)
• USS Long Beach (CGN-9)
• USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25)
• Carrier Air Wing Six (CVW-6)
|Outcome||Mission successfully accomplished.|
Operation Sea Orbit was the 1964 around-the-world cruise of the United States Navy's Task Force One, consisting of USS Enterprise (CVAN-65), USS Long Beach (CGN-9), and USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25). This all-nuclear-powered unit steamed 30,565 miles unrefuelled around the world for sixty-five days.
The cruise began on July 31 and ended on October 3. The full itinerary comprised Rabat, Morocco; Dakar, Senegal; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Monrovia, Liberia; Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Nairobi, Kenya; Karachi, West Pakistan; Fremantle, Melbourne, and Sydney in Australia; Wellington, New Zealand; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Montevideo, Uruguay; and Santos, Rio De Janeiro and Recife in Brazil. Enterprise made only three port calls: Karachi, Sydney and Rio De Janeiro.
Operation Sea Orbit was the idea of Vice Admiral John S. McCain, Jr., who saw the exercise – which demonstrated how nuclear-powered ships could operate unfettered by shore logistical ties – as a statement of American technical achievement similar to that of the coal-burning Great White Fleet in 1907-1909. Enterprise was under the command of Captain Frederick H. Michaelis; the guided missile cruiser Long Beach under the command of Captain Frank H. Price, Jr.; and guided missile frigate Bainbridge under the command of Captain Hal C. Castle.
Veterans of Operation Sea Orbit gathered on July 30, 2004, for a 40th anniversary reunion. In 2011, Operation Sea Orbit was included in the Technology for the Nuclear Age: Nuclear Propulsion display for the Cold War exhibit at the U.S. Navy Museum in Washington, DC.
- Baldwin, Hanson W. (1964-10-03). "Nuclear Task Force to End World Cruise Today". The New York Times. http://select.nytimes.com/mem/archive/pdf?res=F50D1EF93A5F147A93C1A9178BD95F408685F9.
- Thompson, Jason (2004-08-04). "Operation Sea Orbit Veterans Celebrate 40th Anniversary Aboard Big E". United States Navy. http://www.news.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=14569.
- "USS Enterprise (CVN-65): 1961-1965". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/e4/enterprise-viiia.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-24.
- "USS Long Beach CGN-9". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/l8/long_beach-iii.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-24.
- "USS Bainbridge CGN-25". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/b1/bainbridge-iv.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-24.
- "Technology for the Nuclear Age: Nuclear Propulsion". Cold War Gallery. U.S. Navy Museum. 2011. http://usnavymuseum.org/Ex1_NuclearPropulsion.asp. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Operation Sea Orbit.|
- JO1 Jon Franklin, USN (January 1965). "Historic 'Show the Flag' Cruise". All Hands. BUPERS - U.S. Navy. http://www.navy.mil/media/allhands/acrobat/ah196501.pdf. Retrieved 2009-07-27.
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
- http://www.nukestrat.com/pubs/nep7.pdf - 1994 paper hi-lighting limited, public-relations only value of all-nuclear task groups given continued dependence on conventionally fuelled escorts and continuous replenishment of supplies
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