Aircraft carrier Nimitz returns to sea after maintenance stint

by Vern Evans

The aircraft carrier Nimitz left Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Washington, on Wednesday and has returned to sea after months of maintenance.

Nimitz began a “planned incremental availability” period in January, and underwent repairs and updates to aircraft elevators, sleeping quarters and defense systems, involving more than two million man-hours of work, according to the Navy.

“Both the civilian contractors and the Nimitz crew worked tirelessly to ensure Nimitz is at peak condition,” the ship’s commanding officer, Capt. Douglas Graber, said in a statement. “Thanks to their dedication, we’re prepared to get out to sea and maintain a strong, professional presence wherever our nation requires us to be.”

Before entering the shipyard, Nimitz deployed to the Asia-Pacific, including the South China Sea, for a seven-month cruise.

Nimitz was commissioned 49 years ago and completed an historically long 340-day deployment from April 2020 to February 2021.

The ship is expected to be decommissioned in fiscal year 2026.

Riley Ceder is an editorial fellow at Military Times, where he covers breaking news, criminal justice and human interest stories. He previously worked as an investigative practicum student at The Washington Post, where he contributed to the ongoing Abused by the Badge investigation.

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