USS George HW Bush heads into shipyard for more than two years of updates

The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush transits the Atlantic Ocean while performing flight operations in support of Chesapeake 2018.


By COURTNEY MABEUS | The Virginian-Pilot | Published: February 24, 2019

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (Tribune News Service) — The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush will spend much of the next 28 months in dry dock at the Navy's public shipyard for a scheduled overhaul.

The 103,000-ton carrier arrived at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth Thursday, the Navy said in a news release. It will require an estimated 1.3 million man days of work and will comprise the most extensive maintenance period in the ship's life so far.

The Bush joined the fleet in January 2009 and is the last of the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. Planning for Bush's maintenance took 18 months and much of its project team will be working on a carrier in dry dock for the first time. The work will incorporate state-of-the-art technologies including additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, the use of exoskeleton suits and training models using virtual reality, the Navy said.

“This is a great chance for teaching and mentoring people in new positions how to execute and perform to their top potential," project superintendent Jeff Burchett said.

The Bush returned from a seven-month deployment in August 2017.

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