The US Navy’s Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Dwight D Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) has entered planned incremental availability (PIA) works at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) in Portsmouth, Virginia. 

The six-month-long PIA is led by the ship's force work production teams comprising the vessel crew, who will be working in collaboration with personnel from NNSY and outside contractors.

The upgrade is being carried out to enhance living standards, improve mission readiness and ensure the vessel's projected 50-year service-life. 

Ike ship maintenance manager lieutenant commander Julian Wilson said: "PIA gives us the opportunity to complete major ship alterations and improvements, as well as improve habitability for the crew, that cannot be normally completed in our short pier-side availabilities at Norfolk."

Wilson added that around 350 personnel have been assigned to Ike’s team to help upgrade a wide range of items throughout the ship. 

"PIA gives us the opportunity to complete major ship alterations and improvements."

Enhancements will include items such as decking systems, lagging, doors, paint, cableway, fuels, valve barge, ventilation, tanks, electrical matting and light industrial facility (LIFAC) and berthing area replacements. 

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Ike assistant maintenance manager Ensign Frank Garcia said: "Ike and the NNSY team are working hard to reach our on-time delivery date in support of the optimised fleet response plan.

"Our goal is for Ike to be at a high level of readiness once we complete our availability, and the PIA is a necessary investment into Ike's future that will pay dividends once we return to sea."

The carrier is slated to complete its availability at NNSY in the spring of next year.

Image: Operations specialist Adam Kozachyn removes bolts from a rack as part of berthing works on the USS Dwight D Eisenhower. Photo: courtesy of US Navy by mass communication specialist Marques M Franklin.