Navy Chief Petty Officer Christopher M. Royael, son of Claudia and Art Royael of Clearwater, along with 5,500 sailors and Marines assigned to the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, arrived in Norfolk, Va., following a seven-and-a-half-month deployment supporting operations in the Mediterranean and Arabian seas.
The return of the USS Enterprise to Norfolk was the 25th and final homecoming in the ship's 51 years of service. The aircraft carrier is scheduled to be inactivated Dec. 1 in a ceremony at Norfolk Naval Station.
Enterprise was commissioned Nov. 25, 1961, as the eighth ship to bear the name Enterprise and was the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The carrier was deployed 25 times, participated in every major conflict since the Cuban Missile Crisis and conducted operations in every region of the world.
While deployed, the carrier strike group served in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility, conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The December inactivation ceremony will be the last official public event for the Enterprise and will serve as a celebration of life for the ship and the more than 100,000 sailors who have served aboard the carrier.
Royael is a 1997 graduate of Clearwater High and joined the Navy in August 2000.
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Army National Guard Spec. Susan I. Lagano, daughter of Araceli Iglesias of Clearwater, graduated from Basic Combat Training at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla.
During nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission and received instruction and training exercises in drill and ceremonies, Army history, core values and traditions, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, rifle marksmanship, weapons use, map reading and land navigation, foot marches, armed and unarmed combat, and field maneuvers and tactics.
She earned a master's degree in 2005 from the University of Phoenix.