Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) welcomed USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) for a Planned Incremental Availability Jan. 11.

In addition to equipment maintenance, this overhaul will improve ship safety along with communications and combat system upgrades.
NNSY began long-range preparations for this availability more than three years ago, with increased detailed engineering planning starting in August 2023. Throughout this time, the project team has been engaging with Carrier Team One and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, a sister shipyard that also performs carrier maintenance.

“Carrier Team One and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard communication and visits have been vital learning points with several new modernization items and a focus on shipyard improvement and learning,” said Deputy Project Superintendent Robert Shubert.

Bush began its overhaul at Naval Station Norfolk several months ago using a process improvement to co-locate personnel and facilitate maintenance on the carrier. “For this first-time model, Ship’s Force led the charge to turn over spaces on the ship for NNSY mechanics, and the team was able to move engineering and team members into the second floor of W-130, the location of NNSY’s Off-Yard Carriers Group, during this period,” said Shubert.

Now with the carrier at NNSY, the project team plans to maintain the majority of its production mechanics for the complete availability. The team will also be using an Operations Control Center (OCC) co-located on the carrier pier so mechanics, supervisors and zone managers can elevate any challenges on the project. The OCC assists the team to arrive at quick solutions that help enable nonstop execution of work. This is the second carrier availability at NNSY to use the OCC concept, which previously benefitted USS Dwight D. Eisenhower’s (CVN 69) Planned Incremental Availability in 2022.

The project team has also been effectively coordinating with the Ship’s Commanding Officer, Captain David-Tavis Pollard. “Captain Pollard has established a team with the highest standards in ship cleanliness, communication and leadership,” said Shubert. “The relationships built with the backbone set by the ship has excelled the performance thus far. These standards will be invaluable for accountability in focus areas and problem solving throughout the availability.”

“We welcome USS George H.W. Bush to America’s Shipyard!” said Shipyard Commander Captain Jip Mosman. “It takes a lot of effective planning and partnership to ensure success on such a large project, and I appreciate all the efforts between our project team, Ship’s Force and various stakeholders to get us prepared for this Planned Incremental Availability. Thank you for pressing forward to keep ‘freedom at work!’”