Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) was returned to the water Nov. 3, nearly two years after entering the dry dock at Newport News Shipyard, Va.
The undocking of the ship is a significant milestone in the Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) process.
According to a 2002 study by the Research and Development National Defense Institute, “The midlife RCOH of a nuclear aircraft carrier may be the most challenging engineering and industrial task undertaken anywhere.”
Capt. Ronald Ravelo, Lincoln commanding officer, said:
Flood dry-dock and undock are called key events, but from the perspective of the crew, it is very significant in what it represents. It’s the moment we go from looking more like a building back to being a united states ship.
Up next for Lincoln is the transition from the “rip-out” phase to the “rebuilding” phase. In the coming months Lincoln Sailors will begin the internal rebuilding of the ship. During this process spaces will be painted, furniture will be installed, and compartment will receive finishing touches as the crew continues preparations to make Lincoln a warship that will be redelivered to the fleet.
The ship went from being tugged from Norfolk Naval Station, put into dry dock, to back in the water floating and this is the first time we have been so since the very first stages of RCOH.
Lincoln is currently undergoing RCOH at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.
Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz class to undergo an RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet and will continue to be a vital part of the nation’s defense.
Press release, Image: US Navy