After careful assessments of USS Carl Vinson’s operational readiness, including the remaining useful life of the nuclear fuel, the Navy is recommending to Department of Defense officials that the ship’s refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) commence in the fall of 2005, one year later than originally planned.
The recommendation to reschedule Vinson’s RCOH was driven by many factors including a sound technical and business case analysis that considered the ship’s overall material condition, current operational capability and operational needs.
Under the new fleet response plan (FRP), planners and operators are challenging all assumptions. Reevaluating maintenance schedules can provide the Navy with a more flexible and efficient way to maintain, make ready and make available fleet assets. This decision will also allow USS Carl Vinson to remain available for operations until the fall of 2005, and enhances the Navy’s flexible defense posture to provide the President with more options to carry out the Global War Against Terrorism.
Due to the rescheduling of Vinson’s RCOH to fiscal 2006 at Northrop Grumman Newport News (NGNN), the Navy is planning to move the fiscal 2005 drydock planned incremental availability (DPIA) for USS George Washington from Norfolk Naval Shipyard to NGNN. Further plans are in process to provide Norfolk Naval Shipyard a submarine depot modernization period in fiscal 2005, and additional fiscal 2005 overhaul work on USS John F. Kennedy to maintain their workload balance.
The Navy and NGNN continue to plan for Vinson’s RCOH and will continue the fourth year of advance planning and procurement in Fiscal 2004. The Navy and NGNN are working closely to ensure that anticipated construction and maintenance work are completed on schedule and within manpower resources. In reaching this recommendation the Navy consulted with NGNN throughout this process. Over the out years this action will serve to enhance the loading and balance of work at NGNN.
This recommendation is the first of many future actions to meet the fleet’s new operational and readiness requirements while balancing the workload across the public-private industrial base with sound business analysis.