YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — After four months in port, the USS Kitty Hawk left Yokosuka on Friday for five days of sea trials.

The sea trial will test recent improvements made to the aircraft carrier and prepare the crew for a longer deployment, according to a Kitty Hawk press release.

All shipboard systems, emergency response procedures, fuel handling and flight deck equipment will be inspected and evaluated during the sea trials, according to the release.

Dredging to make way for new carrier OK’dYOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The City of Yokosuka blessed a dredging project last month that will clear the way — or at least move 600,000 cubic meters of the sea floor — for the USS George Washington to arrive in August 2008.

The George Washington, to be the first nuclear-powered ship ported in Japan, is to replace the USS Kitty Hawk at Yokosuka Naval Base.

The new aircraft carrier requires a 50-foot water depth to make its way from its planned home at Berth 12 out to Tokyo Bay, said Lt. Cmdr. Brian Nottingham, Facilities Management Officer at Naval Facilities Engineering Command Far East.

Japan’s Defense Facilities Administration Agency will complete the job. A Yokohama Defense Facilities Bureau spokesman confirmed that the project will cost about $23 million. Dredged dirt will be dumped in the ocean 100 kilometers off the Boso peninsula in Chiba Prefecture, he said.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up