The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) transits Puget Sound Aug. 11, 2017. John C. Stennis is underway for sea trials three days ahead of schedule during a planned incremental availability (PIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility. During PIA, the ship and shipyard team accomplished the largest work package ever for an aircraft carrier in a six-month availability. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dakota Rayburn) (Photo by MC3 Dakota Rayburn)
The morning sun breaks through the haze as USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) departs PSNS & IMF on the Waterfront for sea trials three days ahead of schedule. Safe travels, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). (PSNS & IMF photo by Thiep Van Nguyen II) (Photo by Thiep Van Nguyen II)
BREMERTON, Wash. —
Bringing to a close the largest work package ever for a six-month aircraft carrier maintenance period, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility certified the completion of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) planned incremental availability five days early.
The massive maintenance effort on Stennis, involving more than 2.8 million man-hours of work by PSNS & IMF employees, the Stennis crew, contractors and others, officially ended Saturday following the carrier's successful sea trials. The ship returned to Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton on Sunday.
Captain Howard Markle, PSNS & IMF commander, credited the project's success to the exceptional teaming and hard work between the Shipyard and Ship's Force, under the command of Capt. Gregory Huffman.
"Well done to our Stennis project team and everyone who was involved in this tremendous accomplishment," Markle said. "On-time completion of an aircraft carrier major maintenance availability is no small feat, and delivering early is nothing short of awe-inspiring. It took a sustained, unified effort from the Shipyard and the Stennis crew to make it happen. We're grateful to Captain Huffman and the Stennis team for the close cooperation we've enjoyed during the availability, and we're proud of our role in returning this great warship to our Fleet, ahead of schedule, ready to defend freedom and democracy around the world."
The project began in February with the project team facing an ambitious plan to overhaul and modernize the ship. The work package included items ranging from upgrades to the ship's navigation systems to refurbishing crew berthing spaces. By project's end, some of the more notable and challenging highlights the team had achieved included:
- Opening, cleaning and inspecting 104 tanks and vent spaces.
- Conducting major unplanned repairs to Stennis' collection, holding and transfer tanks, including 600 square feet of plating work.
- Installing a new incinerator, a feat never before completed during a six-month availability.
- Replacing the trough cover for one of the carrier's catapults - again, never before accomplished during a six-month availability.
Huffman lauded the PSNS & IMF team for its role in an early return to sea for Stennis, despite the complexity of the work.
"The success of our sea trials was a testament to the work our crew and the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance (Facility) team put into our availability," he said. "Our ship and crew are now ready to face their next mission, preparing for the certifications and training needed to prepare for operations around the world."