The U.S. Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) departed Dry Dock 6 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF) in Bremerton, WA on April 6, after spending 14 months undergoing a Docking Planned Incremental Availability period (DPIA).
According to a Navy statement, the current COVID-19 pandemic outbreak is posing a unique challenge for everyone involved in getting Carl Vinson back to the operational fleet.
“As we all watch the news and see the ways COVID-19 is challenging our nation and our Navy, we remain committed to delivering ships to support the warfighters’ needs,” said Capt. Dianna Wolfson, commander, PSNS & IMF. “The current pandemic has certainly challenged us, but we pulled together as a team, alongside the ship’s force and all of our other partners to get this aircraft carrier back in the water.”
According to Mike Irby, the project superintendent, the reduction of the workforce due to COVID-19 precautions did not dampen his team’s efforts.
“Despite the challenges, the shipyard and the project team maintained their focus and successfully prioritized undocking the ship,” said Irby.
The Carl Vinson project team got a head start on the DPIA by ensuring certain work was done in San Diego before the ship came to Bremerton in January 2019. The team conducted multiple ship visits and assessments to fully scope the work required before the ship arrived, and leveraged lessons learned and improvements that were implemented during the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) DPIA at PSNS & IMF from March 2018 to June 2019.
Some of the work completed included:
• Upgrades to the electrical system.
• Maintenance on rudders, shafts and tanks.
• Upgrades to crew living spaces.
• Work to preserve the ship’s hull.
• Upgrades to Carl Vinson’s combat systems.
According to Irby, the shafts, rudders and bearings had significant material deficiencies that delayed the undocking, while both rudders, rudder bores and struts also required extensive repairs. Due to the massive amount of growth work, the availability is currently projected to finish three weeks late.