Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division and the crew of the U.S. Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) relighted the ship’s hull lights during a brief ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 26.
With the flip of a switch, 244 lightbulbs on the port and starboard sides of the aircraft carrier’s island house sprang to life, illuminating the distinctive number “73.” It was the first time the hull numbers had been turned on since George Washington’s refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) began in 2017.
“We’re proud of the progress being made on George Washington,” said Todd West, CVN 73 program director for Newport News. “This is a significant milestone in the ship’s overhaul that brings us closer to delivering the ship to the fleet, where the hull lights will be one of the most recognizable and enduring symbols of our freedom for the next 25 years.”
Currently undergoing final outfitting and testing, the overhaul is more than 70% complete. In October, it was announced that the dry dock portion of the RCOH was completed.
USS George Washington arrived at Newport News in August 2017 and is the sixth Nimitz-class aircraft to undergo its RCOH—the mid-life refueling overhaul and maintenance availability that produces a recapitalized carrier capable of supporting current and future warfare doctrine.
Once George Washington’s RCOH is complete, the carrier will be equipped to operate in the U.S. Navy fleet for the second half of her 50-year expected service life.