The aircraft carrier served the Navy from 1957 to 1993, when it entered Puget Sound Naval Shipyard’s Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility alongside Highway 304.
The Navy announced a deal Dec. 22 to pay International Shipbreaking a penny and the value of the ship’s scrap metal to take it away. It must make a five-month, 16,000-mile trip around South America because it can’t fit through the Panama Canal. Crosby Tugs of Golden Meadow, La., has been contracted to tow it.
USS Constellation made the same trip from August to January.
Ranger’s departure will leave just two carriers in the Bremerton mothball fleet — USS Independence and USS Kitty Hawk. Independence will follow the other two to Texas later this year, Johnson said.
The Navy is holding Kitty Hawk in reserve until USS Gerald R. Ford becomes active. Ford is scheduled to join the fleet in March 2016, with its first deployment in 2019.
Six tugs nudge the GERALD R FORD toward the fitting out berth at Newport News Shipbuilding.