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USS John C. Stennis begins midlife refueling and overhaul

Work will extend life of carrier by 25 years
Stennis arrives in Newport News
Posted at 9:01 AM, Jun 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 09:39:07-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va.  — The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis is back at Newport News Shipbuilding for an extended overhaul that will extend the life of the carrier by 25 years.

Refueling and Complex Overhaul, known as RCOH, is done one time for each nuclear aircraft carrier, refueling the nuclear reactors on the ship and overhauling nearly every other system.

The Stennis has been preparing for the maintenance period since before a deployment that ended with the ship moving to Hampton Roads in 2019.

Tugs helped the carrier transit the harbor from Naval Station Norfolk to Newport News on May 6 for RCOH, a process that typically takes about four years to complete.

Captain Cassidy Norman, Commanding Officer of the Stennis, says for Sailors accustomed to being at sea, a lengthy shipyard period like this can be difficult.

To keep motivation high, the ship's leadership has implemented a modified workday encouraging Sailors to focus on professional development.

Some Sailors will also be temporarily assigned to other ships to maintain qualifications and experiences on key components of their jobs, a process that has already begun.

"We do have several Sailors who are out on other ships. We have about 85 Sailors total right now at other commands, and a large majority of those are out on ships such as the Ford and the Truman, and they are serving in roles that will help advance their careers," Captain Norman told News 3 anchor Todd Corillo.

In the months leading up to the move to Newport News, the Stennis crew and shipyard employees worked together to prepare the ship to remove equipment, tools, devices and just about anything not built into the ship and put it into storage.