PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) departed its homeport of Naval Station Norfolk transiting the Elizabeth River to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) in Portsmouth, Virginia for a six-month Planned Incremental Availability (PIA), August 5.
"The Ike crew has worked hard over the past two years and it is time to focus on maintenance, repairs and updates to enable future operational capability," said Capt. Paul C. Spedero Jr., Ike's commanding officer.
"Maintenance and modernization are as important as other mission areas, as it ensures the service life of the aircraft carrier. In order for us to meet the needs of our country, we must be able to maintain our warships at the highest level of material condition so that we can remain mission ready."
Ike will celebrate 40-years of service this October and will go through a number of restorations and repairs. This restoration will be conducted by 12 Force Work Production teams consisting of ship's company who will be working in tandem with experienced workers from NNSY. The goal is to improve living standards and increase mission readiness, in order to fulfill Ike's 50-year projected service life.
"Just about every segment and function of the ship will be affected in some way during the PIA," said Ensign Frank Garcia, Ike's assistant maintenance manager. "These repairs consist of ship alterations and ship changes ranging from electrical distribution to berthing rehabilitation. PIA is expected to consist of about 419,419 man-days worth of work equivalent to 3,355,352 contractor and ship's force man hours."
Ike's PIA falls under the maintenance phase of the Navy's Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP). OFRP is an operational readiness process designed to balance forward presence requirements with maintenance in a way that ensures forces are ready to deploy on schedule with the right capabilities and trained to a single, high-end standard. As the first carrier to operationalize OFRP, Ike has successfully completed the basic, integrated and sustainment phases, and is now executing the maintenance phase. This key maintenance period helps keep ships such as Ike at a high-level of mission readiness.
"When we arrive at the shipyard many of our roles and duties will change as we transition from an operational to maintenance environment," said Garcia. "The integration and execution of our routine work and maintenance will prove to be a challenge in the upcoming months but with our crew coming together as a team, staying engaged, and looking out for one another, we will be poised and ready to finish this availability successfully."
The Ike is scheduled to complete its PIA period in spring 2018.
For more news from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn69/.