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US Navy - Aircraft Carrier

CVN 73 - USS George Washington

 

 cvn-73 uss george washington insignia crest patch badge

cvn-73 uss george washington nimitz class aircraft carrier us navy

 

Type, class: Aircraft Carrier - CVN; Nimitz class

Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia, USA

   

STATUS:

Awarded: December 27, 1982

Laid down: August 25, 1986

Launched: July 21, 1990

Commissioned: July 4, 1992

IN SERVICE

   

Homeport: NS Norfolk, Virginia

Namesake: George Washington (1732-1799), 1st President of the USA

Ships Motto: SPIRIT OF FREEDOM

Technical Data: see: INFO > Nimitz class Aircraft Carrier - CVN

 

Deployments / Carrier Air Wings embarked:
May 1994 - November 1994 with Carrier Air Wing 7 (CVW-7) - Mediterranean Sea
January 1996 - July 1996 with Carrier Air Wing 7 (CVW-7) - Mediterranean Sea
October 1997 - April 1998
with Carrier Air Wing 1 (CVW-1) - Mediterranean Sea, Gulf
June 2000 - December 2000
with Carrier Air Wing 17 (CVW-17) - Mediterranean Sea, Gulf
June 2002 - December 2002
with Carrier Air Wing 17 (CVW-17) - Mediterranean Sea, Arabian Sea
January 2004 - July 2004
with Carrier Air Wing 7 (CVW-7) - Mediterranean Sea, Gulf
April 2006 - May 2006 June 2000
with Carrier Air Wing 17 (CVW-17) - Caribbean Sea
April 2008 - May 2008
with Carrier Air Wing 17 (CVW-17) - Norfolk to San Diego via Cape Horn
 
August 2008 - August 2015
permanently forward deployed to Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan
with Carrier Air Wing 5 (CVW-5) assigned
 
September 2015 - December 2015
with Carrier Air Wing 2 (CVW-2) - San Diego to Norfolk via Cape Horn
fall 2016 - ??
Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Shipbuilding
   

 

ship images


cvn-73 uss george washington f-35c lightning ii vfa-101 grim reapers flight tests
F-35C Lightning II's of VFA-101 during flight tests aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) - August 2016


F-35C Lightning II's of VX-23 during flight tests aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) - August 2016

cvn-73 uss george washington f-35c lightning ii vfa-101 vx-23
F-35C Lightning II's of VFA-101 and VX-23 during flight tests aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) - August 2016

uss george washington cvn-73
F-35C Lightning II's of VFA-101 and VX-23 during flight tests aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) - August 2016

vfa-101 grim reapers cvn-73 uss george washington
F-35C Lightning II of VFA-101 during flight tests aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) - August 2016


April 2016

cvn-73 uss george washington norfolk virginia
Norfolk, Virginia - December 2015

cvn-73 uss george washington exercise unitas 2015
with CVW-2 embarked - exercise UNITAS 2015 - November 2015

cvn-73 uss george washington carrier air wing cvw-2 exercise unitas 2015
with CVW-2 embarked - exercise UNITAS 2015 - November 2015


with CVW-2 embarked - exercise UNITAS 2015 - November 2015

cvn-73 uss george washington strait of magellan
with CVW-2 embarked - Strait of Magellan - November 2015


with CVW-2 embarked - Strait of Magellan - November 2015


with CVW-2 embarked - Strait of Magellan - November 2015


with CVW-2 embarked - Strait of Magellan - November 2015


with CVW-2 embarked - exercise UNITAS 2015 - October 2015


with CVW-2 embarked - exercise UNITAS 2015 - October 2015

cvn-73 uss george washington valparaiso chile
Valparaiso, Chile - October 2015


October 2015


Coronado, California - September 2015

cvn-73 uss george washington san diego california
San Diego, California - August 2015

uss george washington cvn-73 carrier air wing cvw-5
with CVW-5 embarked - August 2015


with CVW-5 embarked - August 2015


with CVW-5 embarked - August 2015


with CVW-5 embarked - July 2015


with CVW-5 embarked - November 2014


with CVW-5 embarked - October 2014


with CVW-5 embarked - October 2014


with CVW-5 embarked - September 2014


with CVW-5 embarked - September 2014

cvn-73 uss george washington cvw-5
with CVW-5 embarked - September 2014


with CVW-5 embarked - September 2014


with CVW-5 embarked - August 2014

cvn-73 uss george washington sasebo japan
Sasebo, Japan - August 2014

cvn-73 uss george washington busan korea
Busan, Republic of Korea - July 2014

cvn-73 uss george washington singapore
Singapore - June 2016


with CVW-5 embarked - June 2014


Yokosuka, Japan - December 2013

uss george washington cvn-73 yokosuka japan
Yokosuka, Japan - December 2013


with CVW-5 embarked - November 2013


with CVW-5 embarked - November 2013


with CVW-5 embarked - November 2013

cvn-73 uss george washington hong kong
with CVW-5 embarked - Hong Kong - November 2013


with CVW-5 embarked - October 2013


with CVW-5 embarked - October 2013


with CVW-5 embarked - October 2013


with CVW-5 embarked - October 2013


with CVW-5 embarked - September 2013


Yokosuka, Japan - August 2013


Yokosuka, Japan - August 2013


with CVW-5 embarked - July 2013


Yokosuka, Japan - November 2012


Tokyo Bay, Japan - November 2012

uss george washington cvn-73 port klang malaysia
Port Klang, Malaysia - October 2012


with CVW-5 embarked - September 2012


July 2012


July 2012

cvn-73 uss george washington forward deployed yokosuka japan
Yokosuka, Japan - July 2012


Yokosuka, Japan - July 2012


with CVW-5 embarked - June 2012


with CVW-5 embarked - June 2012


Yokosuka, Japan - November 2011


with CVW-5 embarked - October 2011

uss george washington cvn-73 busan korea cvw-5
Busan, Republic of Korea - October 2011


Busan, Republic of Korea - October 2011


Yokosuka, Japan - August 2011


with CVW-5 embarked - June 2011


Yokosuka, Japan - May 2011


Yokosuka, Japan - March 2011


December 2010


with CVW-5 embarked - December 2010


Yokosuka, Japan - November 2010

cvn-73 uss george washington manila philippines
Manila, Philippines - September 2010


Manila, Philippines - September 2010


Manila, Philippines - September 2010


Manila, Philippines - September 2010


with CVW-5 embarked - July 2010


Busan, Republic of Korea - July 2010


Busan, Republic of Korea - July 2010


Busan, Republic of Korea - July 2010


Busan, Republic of Korea - July 2010


Busan, Republic of Korea - July 2010


with CVW-5 embarked - July 2010


with CVW-5 embarked - July 2010


with CVW-5 embarked - July 2010


with CVW-5 embarked - July 2010


with CVW-5 embarked - July 2010


with CVW-5 embarked - November 2009


with CVW-5 embarked - November 2009


with CVW-5 embarked - November 2009


with CVW-5 embarked - November 2009


with CVW-5 embarked - November 2009


with CVW-5 embarked - November 2009


September 2009


Manila, Philippines - August 2009


Manila, Philippines - August 2009


with CVW-5 embarked - Yokosuka, Japan - June 2009


with CVW-5 embarked - Yokosuka, Japan - June 2009


with CVW-5 embarked - November 2009


Yokosuka, Japan - September 2008

cvn-73 uss george washington carrier air wing cvw-17
with CVW-17 embarked - July 2006


with CVW-17 embarked - May 2006

uss george washington cvn-73 cvw-17 2006
with CVW-17 embarked - May 2006


with CVW-17 embarked - April 2006

cvn-73 uss george washington carrier air wing cvw-7
with CVW-7 embarked - June 2004


with CVW-7 embarked - June 2004


with CVW-7 embarked - June 2004


with CVW-7 embarked - April 2004


October 2003


Portsmouth, Virginia - August 2003

cvn-73 uss george washington norfolk virginia
Norfolk, Virginia - February 2003


with CVW-17 embarked - November 2002


with CVW-17 embarked - September 2002


with CVW-17 embarked - September 2002


with CVW-17 embarked - August 2002


with CVW-17 embarked - November 2001

cvn-73 uss george washington dubrovnik croatia
with CVW-17 embarked - off Dubrovnik, Croatia - October 2000


with CVW-17 embarked - September 2000

cvn-73 uss george washington carrier air wing cvw-1
with CVW-1 embarked - February 1998

uss george washington cvn-73 cvw-1
with CVW-1 embarked - January 1998


with CVW-1 embarked - January 1998


with CVW-1 embarked - December 1997


with CVW-1 embarked - December 1997


with CVW-1 embarked - November 1997


with CVW-1 embarked - November 1997


with CVW-1 embarked - November 1997


with CVW-7 embarked - July 1996


with CVW-7 embarked - March 1996


with CVW-7 embarked - February 1996


with CVW-7 embarked - February 1996


with CVW-7 embarked - February 1996

cvn-73 uss george washington adriatic sea
Adriatic Sea - January 1996

cvn-73 uss george washington commissioning ceremony july 4, 1992
commissioning ceremony - July 4, 1992

uss george washington cvn-73 commissioning newport news virginia
commissioning ceremony - July 4, 1992

cvn-73 uss george washington trials 1992
trials - June 1992

cvn-73 uss george washington construction newport news shipbuilding virginia
outfitting at Newport News shipbuilding - June 1991

uss george washington cvn-73 outfitting newport news
outfitting at Newport News shipbuilding - September 1990
 

 

George Washington

george washington 1st president of the usa  george washington
 

 

George Washington (February 22, 1732 - December 14, 1799):

Born in 1732 into a Virginia planter family, he learned the morals, manners, and body of knowledge requisite for an 18th century gentleman.


Although Washington only made one trip out to sea in his entire life (a voyage to Barbados with his half-brother, Lawrence), he instinctively saw a potential gold mine of commerce and supply, witnessing first-hand the value of Caribbean ports, by which good from Europe found their way to the New World. He also fully understood the strategic significance of the new nation’s waterways because he saw from whence came the resources to wage a rebellion. These were two factors that would later become key points to victory in the Revolutionary War when Washington fully procured a navy.

In 1775, the Continental Congress was divided on the decision to create a navy. It was thought to be preposterous that any navy the Continental Army could muster would ever rival the British navy’s powerful fleet. But without a navy, the colonies on the East Coast had little defense against the British ships that raided their trading posts and harbors at will.

Thus, in September of 1775, the first ships to be considered a part of the United States Navy were privateers, manned by fisherman. These fishermen, however, were not fighting men, and they were largely ineffective as a front line of defense. But Washington was desperate for gunpowder and lead at this time, and he knew that there had to be a way to use the privateers to his advantage. Thomas Jefferson once said of Washington that his strongest character trait might have been prudence “never acting until every consideration was maturely weighed and, once decided, going through with his purpose whatever obstacles opposed him.”

After much consideration, he decided if the privateers could not be used as fighting men, they would become plunderers, stealing supplies and munitions from the British and giving them to the colonists. He commissioned 11 schooners, starting with the 70-ton Hannah, whose sole purpose was to raid enemy vessels and acquire whatever supplies they could. This was extremely successful, with “Washington’s Fleet,” capturing up to 55 enemy ships.

This success was enough to persuade Congress that if their navy were properly financed and outfitted with the right people, they could stand a chance of defeating the British. In October 1775, Congress appointed a Naval Committee and gave its members $500,000 to immediately purchase and arm four ships and begin construction on 13 frigates, the largest type of American warship to see action in the Revolutionary War.

By the War’s end, more than 50 ships, from whalers to supply ships, had been converted for the colonies’ cause. The young U.S. Navy reached its pinnacle in 1779 with John Paul Jones at the helm of Bonhomme Richard. Although his ship sustained mortal damage from an internal explosion at the British Serapis, Jones bravely boarded the enemy vessel and fought the crew hand-to-hand. In order to accomplish the boarding, the disabled Bonhomme had to move in close to Serpis and the two vessels became entangled.

Throughout the night, the two crews waged a bloody and fiery war, with Jones finally forcing Capt. Richard Pearson to surrender. Two days later, Jones took Serapis’ helm, as Bonhomme slipped beneath the waves, committed to the sea forever. Jones victory was a shot in the arm for the navy, but in 1781, all 13 frigates originally constructed six years before had been destroyed or captured.

Washington took his retirement on December 23, 1783, as the Navy he initiated was flailing. Still, he had an avid interest in the sea and saw the trading across the Atlantic and into the Mediterranean Sea as the future of American commerce. He sought to capitalize on this vision by institution a policy of neutrality with the warring countries of France and Britain prior to his retirement.

Unfortunately, neither country in conflict paid this any mind, and America saw its merchant ships falling victim to plunderers and pirates from the Barbary States in North Africa.

When he rejoined public life and was elected as the nation’s first president on February 4, 1789, Washington ultimately avoided war by paying $1 million ransom for 115 Sailors held hostage in North Africa. This event gave Congress the proof needed to realize a strong maritime presence was necessary if America was to prosper from international trade. Washington’s efforts culminated in the Naval Construction Act of 1794, which set in motion the groundwork for the most powerful Navy in the world today.

Washington gave his farewell address on September 19, 1796, and returned to his Mount Vernon home upon the inauguration of John Adams on March 4, 1797. Washington died at his home on December 14, 1799 of a throat infection, leaving behind the most recognizable name and legacy in American history.

 

The fourth George Washington (CVN-73) was laid down on 25 August 1986, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va.; launched on 21 July 1990; sponsored by Mrs. Barbara Bush, wife of President George H.W. Bush; and commissioned on 4 July 1992 at Norfolk, Va., Capt. Robert M. Nutwell in command.

President William J. and First Lady Hilary R. Clinton led an entourage of the nation’s leaders on board George Washington on 5 June 1994, during the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of D-Day. George Washington sailed off the coast of Portsmouth, England, and then crossed the English Channel toward the invasion beaches of Omaha and Utah, France.

Intelligence analysts meanwhile identified the (apparent) preparations of five Iraqi divisions to invade Kuwait, and on 6 October 1994, the U.S. launched Operation Vigilant Warrior to protect the Kuwaitis. The following day President Clinton dispatched George Washington from the Adriatic, the ship reaching the Red Sea on 10 October. In addition, amphibious assault ship Tripoli (LPH-10) and 2,000 Marines of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed to the Northern Arabian Gulf. These resolute moves convinced Saddam Hussein to withdraw his mobile troops from the Kuwaiti borders.

On 3 September 1996, George Washington became the first carrier to undergo more frequent maintenance periods under the Planned Incremental Maintenance Availability program. The plan aimed to save money by performing maintenance on a more regular basis, thus allowing carriers to return to the Fleet following shorter but more intensive overhaul periods. In November 1996, the Improved Fresnel Lens Optical Landing System completed shore-based technical evaluation at NAS Patuxent River, Md. The system was subsequently installed on board George Washington, and on 1 March 1997, the operational testing and evaluation of the system began when a Boeing F/A-18 Hornet from NAWC (AD) Patuxent River trapped on board George Washington.

The United States Central Command launched Operation Desert Thunder I, a large-scale deployment to the Middle East to pressure the Iraqis and to bolster the UN’s negotiating position that included the planned continual availability of two aircraft carriers, on 18 January 1998. On this date U.S. aircraft carriers George Washington and Nimitz (CVN-68) and British aircraft carrier Invincible (R.05) operated in the region. A total of more than 50 additional allied ships and submarines, including amphibious assault ship Guam (LPH-9), deployed to the region during this period. British aircraft carrier Illustrious (R.06) turned-over with Invincible in the Arabian Gulf while operating with aircraft carriers George Washington and Independence (CV-62) on 3 March 1998. Aircraft carrier John C. Stennis (CVN-74) relieved George Washington in the Arabian Gulf on 12 March. A resurgence of tensions later in the year led to additional deployments as part of Operation Desert Thunder II. When George Washington returned from the six-month deployment to the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf and disembarked the 26 Marines of her security detachment on 3 April, she ended an era of a Marine Corps security presence on board carriers.

Gulf Air Flight 072, an Airbus A320 en route from Cairo, Egypt, to Manama, Bahrain, crashed in the Arabian Gulf on 23 August 2000. George Washington operated in the region and launched two Sikorsky SH-60F Seahawks from Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (HS) 15 that helped direct rescuers to the scene of the crash. All 143 people on board Gulf Air Flight 072 perished in the crash.

Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four airliners, crashing two of the jets into the twin World Trade Center towers in New York City, and one about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Pa., on 11 September 2001. The terrorists also flew American Flight 77, a Boeing B-757, into the Pentagon. The impact of the plane thrust it into the reinforced building and severely damaged the newly opened Navy Command Center. The attack at the Pentagon killed 189 people: all 64 on board American 77 including Naval Reservist and pilot Capt. Charles F. Burlingame III; and injured 125 including 33 sailors and nine Navy civilians. The strikes killed an estimated 2,977 people on 9/11. The Department of Defense declared Force Protection Condition Delta - the highest alert. George Washington sailed from Norfolk to protect New York City. The carrier responded to tasking from NORAD, and supported Military Sealift Command-operated hospital ship Comfort (T-AH-20) during the relief efforts. Aircraft carriers John F. Kennedy (CV-67) and John C. Stennis positioned themselves to defend the East and West Coasts, respectively, while across the globe many aircraft ashore sortied. Coast Guardsmen began to escort Navy ships during their departures or arrivals at ports.

The following year, George Washington deployed to the Mediterranean and the Arabian Gulf (20 July-20 December 2002). Three days after she sailed, Kauffman (FFG-59) also deployed and subsequently rendezvoused with the carrier. Venom 502 and Venom 510, two SH-60Bs of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light (HSL) 48 Detachment 7, embarked on board the guided missile frigate, the Seahawks conducting multiple maritime interception operations (MIO) during the voyage, including one that involved 60 flight hours tracking a merchant vessel, leading to the capture of 15 suspected al-Qaeda terrorists by Italian authorities.

United States Special Forces fought al-Qaeda extremists and Taliban militants defending a compound in Afghanistan on 27 July 2002. The heavily armed and well-entrenched defenders fought with determination, but two Grumman F-14B Tomcats of Fighter Squadron (VF) 103, and four F/A-18C Hornets of Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFAs) 81 and 83, all deployed with CVW-17 on board George Washington, flew close air support runs firing 20 millimeter guns and dropping 500-pound bombs, destroying the compound and defeating the enemy. During that deployment, aircraft flew 925 sorties and completed 4,378.7 flight hours from George Washington supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

While an SH-60B from HSL-43 Detachment 1, flying from guided missile cruiser Mobile Bay (CG-53), hovered over a Syrian vessel to observe a health inspection, its rotors accidentally cut into the ship’s mast and the Seahawk crashed, about 80 miles west of Bushehr, Iran, on 6 September 2002. Fifty-year-old Larry Greene, a civilian cameraman with KCBS-TV, died. Greene flew with the Navy crew while covering a feature commemorating the al-Qaeda onslaught on 9/11, and was survived by his wife and two sons. The four crewmembers all sustained minor injuries. A helicopter flew one of the sailors to George Washington for medical treatment. Australian helicopter frigate Arunta (FFH.151), Cmdr. R. J. Griggs, RAN, in command, assisted Mobile Bay. Arunta’s medical officer provided triage advice and helped in prioritizing the other three patients prior to their evacuation for further care ashore.

Thirty-three-year-old Lt. Cmdr. Robert E. Clukey of VFA-34, deployed on board George Washington, crashed in a Hornet during a nighttime practice bombing run over the Aegean Sea, 85 miles north of Bari, Italy, on 3 November 2002. Aircraft from the carrier and guided missile cruiser Normandy (CG-60) searched into the next day but failed to locate either Clukey, who had flown more than 20 combat missions over Southern Iraq and Afghanistan, or his plane.

Early the following year, 25-foot fishing boat Little Spray caught fire and sank approximately 60 miles east of St. Augustine, Fla., on 2 February 2003. The Coast Guard notified George Washington, which carried out flight operations nearby, and she launched two helicopters from Reserve Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 75, temporarily embarked on board from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. The helos rescued four of the five people from the boat, and a private boat, Whiskey Man, also responded to the Coast Guard’s call and retrieved the fifth person. One of the people died, but the carrier’s medical team treated the four survivors for mild hypothermia and second degree burns, and a Grumman C-2A Greyhound of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 flew the four injured people to medical facilities at Jacksonville for further treatment. Investigators did not determine the cause of the fire.

Jihadis (Muslim volunteers) increased their infiltration into Iraq during the winter and spring of 2004, primarily moving along a route that ran across the Syrian mountains and down the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers into Fallujah and Ramadi west of Baghdad. Navy and Marine aircraft struck these jihadis and insurgents during Operation Vigilant Resolve. On 9 April 2004, the Coalition suspended Vigilant Resolve to allow negotiations, but Fallujah remained an extremist stronghold and the fighting continued. George Washington, with CVW-7 embarked, operated in the area and on 28 April she launched F-14Bs of VFs 11 and 143 and F/A-18Cs of VFAs 131 and 136 that dropped 13 GBU-12 guided bomb units on jihadis and insurgents locked in fierce battle with Marines of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, enabling the leathernecks to hold their positions. Aircraft flew more than 7,000 sorties from George Washington during this deployment, 1,500 of them against the enemy during the fighting in Iraq.

Twenty-one-year-old AN David M. Wilson of Red Oak, Texas, assigned to the ships Air Department, died from severe head injuries he incurred while operating a tow tractor in the hangar bay, while the ship trained off North Carolina at approximately 0400 on 21 November 2003. Wilson had enlisted in the Navy in June 2001, and served on board George Washington since October of that year. He was survived by his wife.

On 2 December 2005, the Navy announced that George Washington would relieve Kitty Hawk (CV-63) in 2008 as the forward deployed aircraft carrier at FSA Yokosuka, Japan. George Washington, with CVW-17 embarked, therefore sailed from Norfolk on 7 April 2008. On 22 May, however, a fire erupted on board George Washington while she accomplished a replenishment with guided missile frigate Crommelin (FFG-37) in the Pacific. The ships conducted emergency breakaways and sailors fought the blaze for 12 hours, 38 George Washington crewmembers receiving treatment for their injuries. The fire apparently resulted from the ignition of improperly stowed refrigerant compressor oil, and delayed George Washington from relieving Kitty Hawk. George Washington completed repairs, turned-over with Kitty Hawk at NAS North Island, Calif., in August, and reached Yokosuka on 25 September.

Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda cut a wide swath of destruction across the Central Philippines, killing at least 6,268 people (6-9 November 2013). Multiple U.S. aircraft and ships, including George Washington, with CVW-5 embarked, guided missile cruisers Antietam (CG-54) and Cowpens (CG-63), littoral combat ship Freedom (LCS-1), guided missile destroyers Lassen (DDG-82) and Mustin (DDG-89), submarine tender Emory S. Land (AS-39), and Military Sealift Command-manned oceanographic survey ship Bowditch (T-AGS-62) and auxiliary dry cargo ship Charles Drew (T-AKE-10), steamed to the Philippines during Operation Damayan: humanitarian assistance to the victims of the disaster. George Washington received her orders while visiting Hong Kong on 12 November, but returned to sea and reached the Philippines two days later.

Cowpens’ embarked SH-60B, from HSL-49 Detachment 6, supported an MH-60R Seahawk flying from Freedom, and delivered relief supplies to people from a position 16 nautical miles off shore, beginning on 16 November 2013. The following day, two Bell Boeing MV-22 Ospreys of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 and an Osprey of VMM-265, landed on board George Washington for their first operations from the carrier. The unique aircraft refueled and then continued their mission of mercy, delivering supplies to the victims of the tragedy. That same day, George Washington deployed a medical team ashore in the Guinan area of eastern Samar. American and Filipino servicemembers and civil aid workers unloaded ten pallets (five of medical and five of hygienic supplies) at Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport at Tacloban, Leyte. The victims, as well as the aid workers, desperately needed the supplies, especially hand sanitizer, baby wash, band-aids, and disinfectant. “The first time I saw the impact of the typhoon, I was shocked,” Lt.( j.g.) Christine Mayfield of HSL-49 recalled, “It feels great to be out there and helping people.”


In January 2014, it was announced that George Washington would be replaced by Ronald Reagan at Yokosuka when the ship's Refuelling and Complex Overhaul is due.

As part of the Navy's FY 2015 budget, Pentagon officials hinted at the possibility of taking George Washington out of service due to budget reductions. The ship is due for her mid-life refueling and overhaul in 2016, which will take three years and cost over $3 billion. The decision to replace George Washington with the newer Ronald Reagan in her area of operations near Japan means decommissioning the ship would not affect American carrier presence in the region. The Congressional Budget Office has found that the elimination of the carrier and the air wing would save $7 billion from 2016 to 2021. They also found that the cost of decommissioning would be $2 billion, but spread out through 2021. After 2021, George Washington would return to service and remain operational until its planned out of service date in 2042. Nimitz is the oldest ship in the class and would be expected to be decommissioned early instead of George Washington. However, Nimitz has undergone a mid-life refuelling and is not due for decommission until the mid 2020s, whereas George Washington has yet to undergo this procedure, providing an opportunity to remove the ship from service before the planned expenditure.

In February 2014, under pressure from Congress, the Obama administration was reported to have decided to request additional funds from Congress for the refueling. However, if sequestration is not repealed by 2016, the Pentagon may not be able to find funding to keep George Washington operating and it may have to be retired.

In the draft of the Navy's unfunded priorities list for FY 2015, a $796 million line item was included for the Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) of USS George Washington. Before it was approved by the Pentagon and sent to Congress, it was vetted by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and signed by Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert, after which the line item was removed. In a 31 March 2014 letter to Congress, Admiral Greenert said that the decision to remove the RCOH line item from the unfunded priorities list was made to align with budget decisions over the next several years. The list was for the FY 2015, so a decision to refuel or inactivate the carrier has to be made during FY 2016 budget planning with the fiscal outlook at that time and the possibility of sequestration funding levels. The removal of the line item removes funding for advanced procurement of materials for the overhaul; another line item had funding to remove the fuel from the ship, but not to overhaul or refuel it.

By July 2014, the Navy had decided it would find the $7 billion in funds needed to keep George Washington in service. This was followed by three congressional marks to fund the Refueling and Complex Overhaul if the Navy would not provide funding in the FY 2015 budget. As of July 2014, the Navy was still awaiting the fate of sequestration and the moving of funds to refueling the ship puts pressure on other programs. The Navy's FY 2016 budget funds nuclear refueling and overhaul of George Washington.

George Washington departed Japan in May 2015 to participate in Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015 with Australia and New Zealand. She arrived at Naval Air Station North Island on 10 August. In San Diego, George Washington conducted a 10-day turn over period with Ronald Reagan before leaving the Southern California operating area for Naval Station Norfolk, where the ship is expected to begin mid-life RCOH at Newport News Shipbuilding, Huntington Ingalls Industries in fall 2016.
 

patches


cvn-73 uss george washington patch insignia crest us navy
    

 

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