NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Norfolk-based USS George Washington aircraft carrier was officially redelivered to the U.S. Navy on Thursday, nearly six years after it began an overhaul at nearby Newport News Shipbuilding.
This nuclear-powered ship (CVN 73), successfully completed sea trials that began earlier this week, Huntington Ingalls Industries announced.
“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,” said Todd West, NNS vice president, in-service aircraft carrier programs.
“George Washington has gone through a transformation and now returns to the fleet as
a fully recapitalized ship, ready to support any mission and serve our nation for another
The Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) included upgrades to nearly ever part of the ship, Huntington Ingalls says, and defueling and refueling the two nuclear reactors onboard. It’s only performed once in the ship’s life (the USS George Washington first commissioned in July 1992).
“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
HII our warfighters,” said Capt. Brent Gaut, the ship’s commanding officer. “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-alifetime achievement. You all share an equal part in the legacy of getting our warship
back into Navy service at a pivotal moment in our great nation’s history. Our collective
intent is to show the world what we can do, and what we must do in support of America’s
strategic and operational objectives.”
This comes just a week after the Navy released two reports on their investigation into several suicides of sailors who were assigned to the ship and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center.
Commander of US Fleet Forces Admiral Daryl Caudle said the probe found no common threads but said the “the mental health capacity for George Washington was insufficient,” and “it was pointedly obvious that the Navy had failed the George Washington through a host of things that we put that ship into.”
Two weeks earlier, the Pentagon ordered the implementation of the Brandon Act, which was named for a Norfolk sailor who died by suicide five years ago. It was created to streamline mental health resources and prevent repercussions and harassment against service members who seek help for mental health.
This is a breaking article and will be updated.