PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- After four months at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY), Sailors from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) are headed back out to sea after successfully completing a short-term upgrade and maintenance period, Dec. 1.
The ship's planned incremental availability (PIA) is key in keeping the ship in top shape for its upcoming work-ups, combat deployment, and 50-year lifecycle.
"I really think the George H.W. Bush Sailors and NNSY shipyard workers worked together as a team to get the ship where it needs to be," said Hull Maintenance Technician Fireman Todd Young, a member of the ship's lagging team. "It's really important we take the ship's maintenance period seriously because we need to be ready for every task the nation gives us."
Over the course of the PIA the ship completed approximately 30,400 individual line items that included 90 modifications, such as upgrading the ship's Combat Systems computer software, improving classified and non-classified networks and the Automated Data Processing system that brings the ship up-to-date for the upcoming deployment.
"A major upgrade the ship was able to do was making all ventilation local just by using a push button," said Senior Chief Hull Maintenance Technician Christopher Bartley. "Another task we were able to accomplish was making all the damage control plotting electronic. Everything marked gets sent straight to damage control central making plotting more time efficient."
The crew achieved a major accomplishment in completing the PIA in such a short period of time, a testament to the crew and training teams' ability to stay flexible and ready to respond at all times.
"The leadership and work ethic of the ship's maintenance team - the chief engineer, reactor officer, ship's maintenance manager, and zone managers were key to ensuring that we stayed on track despite the amount of new work that was discovered. I'm extremely proud of my crew and I appreciate the NNSY team for working so hard to ensure we departed the shipyard on time," said Commanding Officer, Capt. Brian E. Luther. "I'm looking forward to taking this crew and this ship back out to sea. The crew is ready to excel again during the upcoming work-ups and 2013 deployment."
George H.W. Bush is entering its training and qualification cycle in preparation for a 2013 deployment.
For more news from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn77/.