HII Completes Dry Dock Work on George Washington

The final piece of the new main mast of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington is installed at Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding in March. With the dry dock portion of its refueling and complex overhaul complete, the ship is now in an outfitting berth, scheduled for delivery to the fleet in late 2021. Huntington Ingalls Industries/Matt Hildreth

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division has completed the dry dock portion of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington’s refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH). 

Following the recent flooding of more than 100 million gallons of water into the dry dock, George Washington was successfully moved to an outfitting berth, where it will begin final outfitting and testing. The overhaul is more than two-thirds complete and on track to be finished in late 2021. 

“Getting George Washington out of the dry dock and back into the water is an important milestone in the overhaul process for shipbuilders, Sailors and our government partners,” said Chris Miner, Newport News’ vice president of in-service aircraft carrier programs. 

“Over the next 24 months, we will focus on readying the ship for the next 25 years of its operational life. Once our work is complete, George Washington will leave Newport News Shipbuilding as the world’s most technologically advanced Nimitz-class warship.” 

During the dry dock phase of the RCOH, George Washington underwent significant upgrades and extensive repair work both inside and outside the ship. In addition to defueling and refueling its nuclear power plant, Newport News shipbuilders have re-preserved about 600 tanks and replaced thousands of valves, pumps and piping components. 

On the outside, they performed major structural updates to the island, mast and antenna tower; upgraded all aircraft launch and recovery equipment; painted the ship’s hull, including sea chests and freeboard; updated the propeller shafts; and installed refurbished propellers. 

During the next phase of the complex engineering and construction project, shipbuilders will finish the overhaul and installation of the ship’s major components and test its electronics, combat and propulsion systems before the carrier is redelivered to the Navy. This period also will be dedicated to improving the ship’s living areas, including crew living spaces, galleys and mess decks. 

“Taking the ship successfully out of the dry dock and over to our waterside pier marks a significant moment in the ship’s history and in our RCOH period,” said Capt. Kenneth A. Strong, the carrier’s commanding officer. 

“With the ship back in the water, we can turn our attention to our next major milestones and finishing our maintenance period to return this vital national asset back to the fleet.” 

USS George Washington arrived at Newport News in August 2017 and is the sixth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier to undergo its RCOH midlife refueling overhaul and maintenance availability.