USS John C. Stennis leaves Norfolk, heads to Newport News Shipbuilding for overhaul maintenance period


The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) gets underway from Naval Station Norfolk as it transits to Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) for Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) in Newport News, Virginia, May 6, 2021.The John C. Stennis is in Newport News Shipyard working alongside NNS, NAVSEA and contractors conducting RCOH as part of the mission to deliver the warship back in the fight, on time and on budget, to resume its duty of defending the United States. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Sarah Mead)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS John S. Stennis left Norfolk and transited to Newport News Shipbuilding Thursday for a nearly four-year Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) maintenance period.

The overhaul will make up about 35% of the ship’s total depot-level maintenance in the ship’s lifespan. Newport News Shipbuilding employees and contractors, as well as the ship’s crew, will help get the ship ready for the second half of its 50-year service period.

The Stennis will be dry-docked at the shipyard for 48 months.

“We cannot accomplish this mission without the partnership we’ve established over the last year with NNS,” said Capt. Cassidy Norman, commanding officer of the John C. Stennis. “RCOH is critical to the future operation of the ship and takes tremendous planning and teamwork to get to the finish line.”

RCOH requires years of continuous planning and assessments, disassembly and replacement of surfaces and structures, and replacement of, or repairs to, complex machinery and systems. Hin short, the ship is basically gutted, rebuilt, and modernized.
“For the last three years, we have planned each step of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis’ RCOH, including procuring long lead-time materials, conducting shipboard inspections and readying our facilities for this extensive engineering and construction project,” said Todd West, Newport News’ vice president, in-service aircraft carrier programs. “We look forward to continuing our work with the ship’s crew and our 579 vendors across 36 states that provide material and services which brings stability of this industrial base and is critical to our ability to continue to build and maintain the Navy fleet our Navy and nation needs.”

The Stennis is the seventh Nimitz-class aircraft carrier to undergo RCOH.

To read more about the process, click here.

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