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USS Dwight D. Eisenhower returns to sea for first time in more than a year

Petty Officer 2nd Class Taylor Miller unfurls the union jack on the jack staff of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in this undated Navy photo.

KALEB SARTEN/U.S. NAVY

By BROCK VERGAKIS | The Virginian Pilot | Published: March 30, 2019

NORFOLK, Va. (Tribune News Service) — The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has returned to sea for the first time in more than a year.

The Navy said the aircraft carrier sailed into the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday for sea trials after being sidelined for maintenance since August 2017. It also received a variety of upgrades at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth during what the Navy calls a planned incremental availability.

"We’ve been training for this for quite some time and invested a tremendous amount of sweat along the way," said Capt. Kyle Higgins, the Eisenhower's commanding officer in a statement. "The hard work every sailor put in over the past year and a half demonstrates we have the grit, knowledge and drive to get this fine warship back to sea where she belongs."

During sea trials, the Eisenhower will conduct high-speed turns, test its catapults and test its countermeasure systems, among other things. The Navy said the Eisenhower's crew will also be tested on damage control, deck seamanship and flight deck operations.

After sea trials, the Eisenhower will start training to prepare for its next deployment as part of Carrier Strike Group 10. Other ships in the strike group include guided-missile cruisers USS Monterey, USS San Jacinto and USS Vella Gulf; the ships and staff of Destroyer Squadron 26; and the squadrons and staff of Carrier Air Wing 3.

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