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US Navy USS George Washington aircraft carrier achieves significant milestone in her refueling complex overhaul


On May 26, 2020, the U.S. Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (GW) (CVN 73) achieved another significant milestone in her refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) period, as the Sailors of GW, also known as the ship’s force, reached the 75 percent completion point of the ship’s force work package (SFWP).
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US Navy USS George Washington aircraft carrier achieves significant milestone in her refueling complex overhaul 925 001 U.S. Navy USS George Washington aircraft carrier (Picture source Wikimedia)


U.S. Navy aircraft carrier George Washington entered dry dock 11 at Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) on Aug. 4, 2017 to start her RCOH, the sixth Nimitz-class carrier to undergo this major mid-life milestone. In the 34 months since, her Sailors have contributed more than 1.3 million work-hours out of the 2,306,996 planned work-hours in the completion of over 196,000 out of 261,340 individual tasks assigned to the ship’s force.

“Reaching the fourth quarter of the ship’s force work package is an important milestone and a testament to the years of hard work by George Washington Sailors and our partners across the shipyard,” said Capt. Kenneth Strong, George Washington’s commanding officer. “While the team has achieved many great milestones in the last few years, we are excited about finishing the maintenance period and taking our ship back to sea where she belongs.”

The next major milestone on the horizon for George Washington and her crew is crew move aboard (CMA), scheduled for late summer of this year. CMA is a major step in bringing George Washington’s Sailors back to their home aboard the ship and is further demonstration of the ship coming back to life and being ready to provide meals, lodging, and quality of life services for George Washington Sailors for decades to come.

Following the completion of CMA, the ship will focus on completing rehabilitation work throughout the ship and implementing a variety of system upgrades, including the installation of an entirely new computer network, with an eye on returning to the fleet as one of the most capable and advanced capital warships in the world.

George Washington’s RCOH is a multi-year project performed only once during a carrier’s 50-year service life that includes refueling the ship’s two nuclear reactors, as well as significant repairs, upgrades, and modernization. The upgrades and modernization performed during RCOH will take the ship through the second half of her service.

The USS George Washington (CVN-73) is a United States Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the sixth carrier in the Nimitz class and the fourth US Navy ship named after George Washington, the first president of the United States. 

The USS George Washington aircraft carrier can accommodate approximately 90 aircraft and has a flight deck 4.5 acres (18,000 m2) in size, using four elevators that are 3,880 square feet (360 m2) each to move planes between the flight deck and the hangar bay. With a combat load, GW displaces almost 97,000 long tons (99,000 t) and can accommodate 6,250 crew members. The armament of the aircraft carrier includes 2 × Mk 57 Mod3 Sea Sparrow, 2 × RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile and 3 × Phalanx CIWS.