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USS Harry S. Truman leaves Norfolk Naval Shipyard, rejoins the fleet

The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) in the Mediterranean Sea, April 7, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Maxwell Higgins)

The USS Harry S. Truman rejoined the U.S. Second Fleet after a year-long maintenance cycle at Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

Looming roughly 20 stories above the water, the floating city was pulled up the Elizabeth River on Sunday morning to Naval Station Norfolk.

The aircraft carrier entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard on Dec. 7, 2022, for a “planned incremental availability” two months after returning from a nine-month deployment in response to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

The maintenance cycle saw modernization efforts, structural repair and preservation work to the weapons elevators, the flight deck and hangar bay, the main mast and exterior of the ship, as well as general repairs to the hull, mechanical and electrical infrastructure.

The availability also focused an enhancing gyms, barber shops, laundry areas, and entertainment spaces to improve the crew’s quality of life. In addition to the routine repairs, about 20% of the crew’s berthings and heads were completely overhauled from the floor to the ceiling.

“Recognizing the physical and mental well-being of Sailors as crucial factors in personal and professional growth, the ship’s force and shipyard personnel worked diligently to create an environment that demonstrates to Sailors that they are our priority,” said Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Callaghan, public affairs officer for the Truman.

The ship also has been outfitted with Wi-Fi capabilities, which is becoming more common on Navy vessels. East Coast-based carriers USS Gerald R. Ford, USS George Washington, and USS John C. Stennis offer Wi-Fi to sailors in some eating areas while at sea.

On average, Nimitz-class aircraft carriers have 16 scheduled shipyard visits throughout their 50-year life cycle. This included 12 planned incremental availabilities, three dry-docking planned incremental availabilities, and one refueling complex overhaul.

As it rejoins the fleet, the Truman is entering a training cycle. It will conduct multiple underways over the coming months to prepare for its next deployment.


© 2023 The Virginian-Pilot

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