PORTSMOUTH, Virginia - USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77)
arrived at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) June 16 for an extended Planned Incremental
Maintenance on Bush is scheduled to last eight months and one week,
which is longer than the normal six-month PIA, largely due to critical path
work on the Vacuum Collection Holding Tanks (VCHT).
"Our ship has accomplished some great things these past
two years, and this crew has done some truly impressive work,” said Capt.
Andrew Loiselle, commanding officer of Bush. “From the ship’s perspective, we
are all looking for a win out of this project, and I know the shipyard is as
well. This maintenance period will be critical to the future readiness of our
ship and will be essential to accomplishing the Navy’s mission.”
In addition to the VCHT upgrades, the work package includes
installing two new sponsons, which are platforms extending from the hull of the
ship to house the carrier’s Close-In Weapons System (CIWS).
The sponsons will be fabricated by a contractor and then
installed using a floating crane. Bush will be pierside, and the sponsons will
be installed while the ship is in the water, something that has never been done
before, according to Jeff Burchett, Deputy Project Superintendent.
Bush is scheduled to complete its availability at NNSY March
8, 2016. NNSY completed the first PIA on Bush in Dec. 2012, returning the
aircraft carrier to the Fleet two days early and under budget.
NNSY in Portsmouth, Va., is one of the largest shipyards in
the world specializing in repairing, overhauling and modernizing ships and
submarines. It's the oldest and largest industrial facility that belongs to the
U.S. Navy. Under NAVSEA's “One Shipyard” concept, the naval shipyards level the
workload and mobilize the work force across the yards to best ready the Fleet
and stabilize a vital industrial base for our nation’s defense.