Navy’s Next Carrier Shuffle Slated
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy has announced plans for its next shuffle of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers (CVNs), a quadrennial event governed by the Refueling and Comprehensive Overhaul (RCOH) schedule of the Nimitz-class and, in this case, also including another shift of homeport for maintenance.
In an Aug. 2 release, a spokesman for the commander, Naval Air Forces, announced “that three Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) will conduct homeport shifts.
“USS Abraham Lincoln, currently located in Norfolk, Virginia, will rejoin the Pacific Fleet, making San Diego [Coronado, California] its homeport,” the release said. “Abraham Lincoln, commissioned in 1989, previously served in the Pacific Fleet from 1990-2011 before moving to Norfolk for midlife refueling.”
USS George Washington (CVN 73) currently is going through its mid-life RCOH at Newport News Shipbuilding, which typically takes up four years and extends the life of a carrier up to 50 years. The RCOH of the Nimitz class is more than halfway completed. The fleet includes 10 Nimitz-class CVNs.
The announcement also said that John C. Stennis [CVN 74], commissioned in 1995 and currently homeported in Bremerton, Washington, will change homeport to Norfolk in advance of its RCOH.
The Navy also announced that USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) will conduct a homeport change from Coronado to Bremerton “in advance of its docking-planned incremental availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.”