Home Americas US carrier Carl Vinson departs overhaul yard with F-35C capability

US carrier Carl Vinson departs overhaul yard with F-35C capability

USS Carl Vinson with F-35C capability
Sailors man the rails as USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) departs Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton. Photo: US Navy

US Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) departed Bremerton, Washington, to start sea trials as the final phase in completing a 17-month docking planned incremental availability (DPIA)

CVN 70 got underway from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility on August 23.

The DPIA included a complete restoration and system retrofit to accommodate F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter mission capabilities, as well as upgrades to combat systems, electrical systems, and crew living spaces, and maintenance on the ship’s hull, rudders, and shafts.

“I am proud of all of the hard work and dedication shown by the entire crew throughout the DPIA – and particularly with the added challenges we faced during this pandemic,” said Capt. Matthew Paradise, Vinson’s commanding officer and a native of Tacoma, Washington. “Also, a huge thank you to our family and friends; because our success was, in large part, due to their unwavering support. We just couldn’t have done this without them.”

Upon completion of sea trials and underway training, Vinson will shift its homeport from Bremerton to San Diego. Once home, the carrier will embark the navy’s first F-35C squadron, the VFA-147, for a 2021 deployment.

Carl Vinson’s homeport shift was part of an elaborate navy undertaking from 2018, when the service announced that three aircraft carriers would be changing homeports. USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was to shift its homeport from Norfolk, Va., to San Diego, rejoin the US Pacific Fleet, while Carl Vinson and USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) switched homeports for maintenance procedures.