PORTSMOUTH, Va.,- Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) completed the first planned incremental availability (PIA) on USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Dec. 6, returning the aircraft carrier to the fleet two days early and under budget.
The primary purpose of PIA is to maintain the 50-year projected service life of an aircraft carrier by taking the ship off-line for an extended period to accomplish deep maintenance and modernization that would be impractical during a normal in-port period.
"The combined shipyard and ship's force team proved success demands effective planning, workforce training and qualification, and honest, open communication between all stakeholders," said NNSY commander Capt. Mark Bridenstine.
The project began in late July and included more than 230,000 man-days of productive work, the majority of which focused on propulsion plant modernization and repair.
Other maintenance performed on the ship included repairs to the catapult and auxiliary system, upgrades to weapon systems and damage control lockers, crew space overhaul, regular improvements to computer software for combat systems, improving classified and unclassified networks, as well as improving the automated data processing system.
The on-time completion of the PIA allows this Nimitz-class carrier to enter its training and qualification cycle in preparation for a 2013 deployment.
"The leadership and work ethic of the ship's maintenance team - the chief engineer, reactor officer, ship's maintenance manager, and zone managers were key to ensuring that we stayed on track despite the amount of new work that was discovered," said Capt. Brian E. Luther, Bush's commanding officer."I'm extremely proud of my crew and I appreciate the NNSY team for working so hard to ensure we departed the shipyard on time."
NNSY, a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command, is the oldest industrial facility belonging to the U.S. Navy, and specializes in repairing, overhauling and modernizing ships and submarines.