The aircraft carrier is one of the most notable symbols of American power and superiority. It’s a ship that can carry aircraft anywhere in the world to enforce justice, protect the country’s interests, and ensure the enemies of this great nation have really bad days.
As badass as aircraft carriers are, like everything in life, they get old. Sadly, as they age, they become too expensive to operate and maintain, in addition to falling behind the times in terms of technology. When that happens, these mighty ships are retired. Some continue to live on as museum ships, but others, like the USS Ranger, are decommissioned and scrapped.
The USS Ranger, initially commissioned in 1956, recently entered the port of Brownsville, Texas where she will be scrapped. Aircraft from the Ranger flew sorties during the Vietnam War, patrolled the skies over the seven seas during the Cold War, and carried out missions during Operation Desert Storm, the Persian Gulf War.
Military operations aren’t all Ranger is famous for, though. In 1985, scenes from the incredibly American movie “Top Gun” were filmed onboard her. Top fucking Gun, man. This ship has seen some shit.
Despite her storied history, the decision was made for Ranger to be scrapped. Even though a Change.org petition gathered many signatures and funds were raised in an attempt to have her preserved in California as a museum ship, the decision was final.
While the USS Ranger is to be scrapped, her memory certainly will not fade. People will remember her service to our country, her nearly four decades of time on the high seas, and her role in the filming of Top Gun.
Metal taken from the ship will be used in a variety of capacities, so who knows? Maybe the Ranger will live on in the new buildings, cars, and even newer Navy vessels that will be built from her remains. Perhaps a future carrier will be made from some of the steel that Top Gun was filmed on.
The USS Ranger arrived at the Port of Brownsville on Sunday – traveling all the way from Washington state – to be scrapped. Her history includes: Vietnam, the Middle East, & "Top Gun". Veterans from across the country travelled to South Padre Island to honor her on her final voyage. Guest host @txreen
[via The Monitor]