The US Navy’s tenth and final Nimitz-class supercarrier USS George H W Bush (CVN 77) has successfully completed the 2015 planned incremental availability (PIA) period at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia.

A series of repair and modification works were performed on the vessel after arriving at the shipyard on 16 June 2015. It was installed with two new weapons systems, an improved plumbing system with refurbished anchor chains, and an overall general maintenance.

USS George H W Bush left the shipyard after 13 months to begin sea trials on 23 July. During the trials, the carrier’s crew, equipment, flight deck readiness, deck seamanship, and damage control readiness will be assessed.

"USS George H W Bush left the shipyard after 13 months to begin sea trials on 23 July."

The deck department's leading chief petty officer and senior chief boatswain mate Luke Doddy said: "It has been exciting to transition from a shipyard environment to an operational environment.

"Now many of the sailors on board, even experienced ones, are seeing what it is like on a real warship. They have finally been able to get out there to see what we do as a Navy."

The US aircraft carrier will now undergo training cycles and qualifications.

Commissioned in January 2009, the 317m vessel can operate at a speed in excess of 30k and is equipped three Raytheon GMLS Mk29 eight-cell launchers for Nato Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missiles. It can accommodate more than 6,000 personnel.

Image: USS George H W Bush (CVN 77) leaving Norfolk Naval Shipyard for sea trials. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Shayne Hensley/Released.