USS George H. W. Bush completed sea trials this week, in the latest step in a major reshuffling of Norfolk-based carriers.
The successful sea trials tested the maintenance and modernization work completed last week at Norfolk Naval Shipyard.
That work, which began in 2019, got the Bush out of water for the first time since 2006. It included a complete shaft and propeller overhaul, refurbishing the rudders as well as upgrades to electronic and combat systems and catapults.
Meanwhile, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, after two back-to-back deployments in a single year, is now in Norfolk Naval Shipyard for a tune-up.
The USS Harry S. Truman has completed key certifications and qualifications for systems and crew — a milestone as it prepares for deployment, Capt. Kavon Hakimzadeh said last week, as he turned over command of the carrier to Capt. Gavin Duff.
Now, the crew’s focus will turn toward operating with other ships in the strike group, Duff said.
Earlier this summer, the Navy’s newest carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford, went into Newport News Shipbuilding for six months of maintenance and modernization work.
Also this summer, USS John C. Stennis went into the Newport News yard for its overhaul and refueling — a multiyear process that starts when a carrier is 25 years old and doubles its service life in what’s pretty much a complete rebuild of systems inside the hull.
About 90% of the overhaul and refueling of USS George Washington is complete, and it should be out of the Newport News shipyard by mid-2022.
The Bush’s multiday sea trials mark a first step toward eventual deployment.
During the trial, the crew and staff from Norfolk Naval Shipyard worked side by side to test the ship’s equipment and systems while underway.
The work at the shipyard included the first organic cold spray repairs at any Navy shipyards — a process that uses compressed and heated gas to spray metal fast enough to bond with a base material
In addition, laser scanning sped the work of installing projecting gun platforms to the hull, and the shipyard developed a new way to use electric winches to move material while the Bush was in dry dock.
“Getting our mighty warship back to sea has been our top priority,” said Capt. Robert Aguilar, the Bush’s commanding officer.
“The teamwork between NNSY and our crew was essential to completing our first underway in 28 months,” he added.
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