USS George H.W. Bush dry-docks for 2.5-year overhaul

The US Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) has arrived at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) where it will spend the next 28 months, undergoing planned maintenance.

USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Photo: US Navy

The 103,000 ton, 1,092-foot aircraft carrier completed the dry docking procedure on February 21.

The dry-docking planned incremental availability (DPIA), as the maintenance is referred to, marks the first time George H.W. Bush has not been waterborne since 2006.

Requiring an estimated 1.3 million man-days, it will be the most extensive maintenance period for the ship yet and one of the most complex CVN chief of naval operations availabilities in recent NNSY history.

The shipyard workforce will be providing approximately 775,000 man-days, with ship’s force, alteration installation teams and contractor work comprising the rest.

George H.W. Bush Project Superintendent Jeff Burchett worked to incorporate corporate lessons learned after visiting Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to see USS Nimitz (CVN 68) undergo similar work during its availability.

“There are a lot of first-time jobs all around, given this is the first time Bush has sat on keel blocks since being built,” said Burchett. “With the size of this work package, it will take a total team effort by Norfolk Naval Shipyard.”

As the first carrier docking at NNSY in several years, George H.W. Bush will be on blocks for the majority of its availability. Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) helped get the dry dock ready for NNSY, with recent dock flooding and saltwater system upgrades to accommodate the ship.