The US Navy's Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) has set sail to undergo sea trials as part of its planned incremental availability (PIA).
The trial period marks the final step of the vessel’s PIA and has been designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the ship's new, repaired and upgraded systems.
USS John C. Stennis initially commenced its PIA at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in February.
USS John C. Stennis commanding officer captain Gregory Huffman said: “With the extraordinary support of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, USS John C. Stennis has not only returned to sea to complete the most ambitious six-month carrier availability ever attempted, but has done so three days ahead of schedule.”
The PIA is intended to upgrade and refurbish the aircraft carrier, thereby enhancing the vessel’s operational systems and quality of life for crew members.
The scheduled maintenance and upgrades involved a wide range of items, including the vessel’s navigation systems and the redevelopment of the crew berthing spaces.
John C. Stennis chief engineer and PIA coordinator commander Ken Holland said: "Overall, the work package was 140% above the normal amount for a CVN-class carrier availability."
USS John C. Stennis has been designed to conduct a range of operations, including sustained air operations, maritime interdiction, counter-piracy operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Image: Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier CVN 74 and employees at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility reattach an anchor to the ship's port anchor chain. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy by mass communication specialist 2nd class Nick A. Grim / Released.