One of the most famous aircraft carriers in Navy history officially retired on Sunday after more than 50 years of service. The USS Enterprise, the Navy's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier docked at Naval Station Norfolk, marking the last time it will hit the open water under its own power, according to

The Enterprise has played a role in some of the most important periods in American military history, and even as it neared the end of its active duty, it was still an important part of operations in the Middle East. In fact, aircraft from the Enterprise flew more than 2,000 missions during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

"This has not been a victory lap for Enterprise, by any means," Rear Adm. Ted Carter, commander of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, told the website. "This has been a full combat operation. It’s been a business as usual kind of deployment."

Ever since its beginning, the Enterprise has been one of the most active vessels. In 1962, the Enterprise was dispatched as a response to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Nearly 40 years later, it was returning from the Persian Gulf in September 2001 when it was ordered to return to Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks.