By Rear Adm. Tom Moore
Program Executive Officer, Aircraft Carriers
On Thursday, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) returned to the fleet to her homeport of Norfolk, Va., following her nearly four year refueling and complex overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding and a very successful sea trial.
As program executive officer for aircraft carriers, I had the privilege of leading the Navy-industry team that successfully prepared CVN 71 for 23 additional years of service to her country.
Nimitz class aircraft carriers are designed for a 50-year service life, and the maintenance and modernization work completed during the refueling and complex overhaul is a key part in making this happen. Not only is the ship’s propulsion plant refueled, but every system aboard the ship is inspected, repaired, replaced or modernized. Each refueling and complex overhaul returns an aircraft carrier as fully capable as the newest ship in the fleet, and CVN 71 is no exception. Modifications incorporated during the refueling and complex overhaul will allow CVN 71 to operate the new F-35C Joint Strike Fighter and will provide increased ship self defense. More than 24 million man-hours of work were conducted onboard the ship.
Aboard ship I had the chance to not only evaluate the ship’s new systems, but to meet with the young men and women of her crew. A vital part of refueling and complex overhaul is updating the ship’s crew accommodations to match the standards of new construction ships, and CVN 71 more than meets this standard from rehabilitated galleys, new ship’s store and vending machines, beautiful new ship’s chapel and library, to enhanced network connectivity. The crew was excited to prove, after four years in the shipyard, that USS Theodore Roosevelt remains America’s “Big Stick.”
What do you think? Let us know by commenting below.