Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY), one of the four public US Navy shipyards has undocked USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) as part of its drydocking planned incremental availability (DPIA).
As an elaborate overhaul procedure, DPIA is the most extensive maintenance period in the carrier’s history and one of NNSY’s most complex CVN CNO availabilities ever. This drydocking period also marked the first time Bush had not been waterborne since 2006.
USS George H.W. Bush arrived in Norfolk in February 2019 and was undocked on August 29, after spending the past 18 months on blocks. The whole procedure is expected to take 28 months to complete.
What is more, this is the first time in NNSY history two aircraft carriers will be sharing a pier. Bush is now neighbors with USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75), currently undergoing an extended carrier incremental availability which began in July this year.
“Congratulations and well done to project superintendent Jeff Burchett and ship’s commanding officer CAPT Robert ‘Aggs’ Aguilar, and to every member of the project team and ship’s force for getting us to this significant milestone,” said shipyard commander Captain Kai Torkelson. “Now we focus on the pierside phase of the carrier’s availability before returning it to the fleet in ‘like-new’ condition ready to conduct its vital mission.”
Now that the carrier is pierside and the team turns to testing work and restoration of habitability, Burchett looks forward to the availability’s final phase and getting the crew back onboard. “I know how important undocking is to this availability,” he said. “What’s even more important is returning the ship back to the fleet to conduct its mission.”
USS George H.W. Bush is the tenth and youngest Nimitz-class aircraft carrier having entered service in January 2009.