US Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) reached the end of one journey and began a new one on November 5.
For the first time in over a year the American flag was raised on the ship’s mast. Stennis was ready to return to sea, the last phase of her docking planned incremental availability (DPIA) period. After a successful six-day sea trial, the ship returned to homeport in Bremerton, Washington November 10 fully certified as a Naval operational asset.
The aircraft carrier had been stationed at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton for the past 16 months, where it received upgrades to its firefighting, navigation, weapons and combat systems. Major evolutions during DPIA ranged from the removal and maintenance of Stennis’ rudder and propellers during dry dock to the implementation of the Consolidated Afloat Network Enterprise Services (CANES) system. In total, the project comprised over 92,000 man hours.
In addition to renovations, Stennis organized and applied command-wide training, general knowledge tests and drills for the crew in order to meet fast cruise and underway deadlines. It was all part of certifying the ship’s crew for their long-awaited sea trials.
During sea trials, Stennis tested its equipment and emergency protocols, performing high-power turns, running damage control drills and acclimating new crew members to life at sea.
Lt. Cmdr. Todd Nelson, from Bremerton, Washington, said:
Sea trials is the culmination of DPIA.
It is the capstone that will test all the work performed on the ship, from main engine work to steam valves and catapults, to ensure everything is fully operational.
Stennis will continue looking ahead as it tackles future developments in the upcoming months. These evolutions include certifying the carrier’s flight deck so that it can support Carrier Air Wing 9 and other West Coast squadrons, as well as coordinated training with the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group in group sails off the West Coast. Before deployment, Stennis must also carry out an extended training period called “workups” and complete a thorough ship inspection and survey evaluation.
Press release, Image: US Navy