USS George Washington (CVN-73) is back at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., after passing Navy acceptance trails following its mid-life overhaul, USNI News has learned.
The carrier left HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding for sea trials following the completion of its almost six-year-long refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) that set the ship up for another 25 years of service. The multi-billion RCOHs are typically scheduled for four years.
“Getting our warship redelivered and back out to sea to take its place as the premier CVN in the world’s greatest Navy is a direct result of the tenacity and grit displayed by our warfighters,” Capt. Brent Gaut, Washington‘s commanding officer, said in an HII statement.
“To our incredible sailors, contractors and shipyard workers: I am proud of you, and I sincerely hope you feel an extreme sense of pride as well, especially in light of our once-in-a-lifetime achievement.”
HII has pinned the delays on a variety of factors, including financial uncertainty in the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, growth work as a result of the condition of the ship, cannibalization of GW parts for other carriers and workforce delays as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The carrier was forward-deployed to Japan from 2008 to 2015 before entering the availability on Aug. 4, 2017.
“Redelivering George Washington to the Navy is the end result of incredible teamwork between our shipbuilders, the CVN-73 crew, our government partners and all of our suppliers,” Todd West, Newport News’ head of in-service carrier programs, said in a statement.
The redelivery follows an exhaustive investigation into quality-of-life issues for ships in overhaul that revealed the carrier’s crew had some of the toughest living conditions in the Department of Defense. Nine sailors assigned to the carrier from 2017 to 2022 died by suicide, which led to the investigation.
Following the delivery, George Washington and its crew will now prepare to return to Japan and relieve USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), the current forward-deployed carrier.
USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) has been at Newport News in the midst of its own RCOH since May 2021.