US Navy’s Aircraft Carrier USS George Washington Returns After 5-Year Overhaul

USS George Washington (CVN-73) has finally reached the Naval Station Norfolk, Va., after it cleared the Navy’s acceptance trails following the mid-life overhaul, the USNI News has been informed.

The carrier departed from HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding for sea trials after completing its nearly six-year-long refuelling and complicated overhaul (better known as RCOH) that set the vessel up for 25 years of service. The multi-billion RCOHs are scheduled for four years.

USS George Washington

Getting the warship redelivered and back out to the sea to take its place as the premier CVN in the world’s greatest Navy is a direct result of the grit and tenacity showcased by the warfighters, Capt. Brent Gaut, the commanding officer of Washington, declared in an HII statement.

To the incredible sailors, shipyard workers, and contractors, he said that he was proud of them and that he sincerely hoped that they feel a sense of pride, especially in the light of their once-in-a-lifetime achievement.

HII has said that the delays have happened due to several factors, including the financial uncertainty in the FY 2015 budget, growth work as a result of the condition of the vessel, cannibalization of the GW parts for other carriers as well as workforce delays owing to the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The carrier was forward-deployed from 2008–2015 to Japan before entering availability on 4 August 2017.

Redelivering George Washington to the Navy is the result of untiring teamwork between the shipbuilders, the CVN-73 crew, our governmental partners, and our suppliers, Todd West, the head of Newport News’ in-service carrier programs, mentioned in a statement.

The redelivery reportedly follows an exhaustive examination into the quality-of-life problems for vessels in the overhaul that revealed that the carrier’s crew members had some of the hardest living conditions in the Department of Defense.

From 2017–2022, nine sailors were assigned to the carrier. They died by suicide, which led to a stringent investigation.

After the delivery, George Washington, with its crew members, will now prepare to head back to Japan and relieve the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), the present forward-deployed carrier.

USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) has been in Newport News in the middle of its RCOH since 2021 (May).

References: Interesting Engineering, USNI,

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