The USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) arrived at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) on July 7 for an extended carrier incremental availability maintenance period.

The Truman arrived following a seven month-long deployment and will undergo maintenance work alongside the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), which is itself undergoing a longer term drydocking planned incremental availability.

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) arrives at Norfolk Naval Shipyard July 7, 2020 for an Extended Carrier Incremental Availability following a seven-month deployment. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

The Navy compared the work for the Bush as a marathon versus Truman’s work as a sprint, expected to consist of 208,000 workdays of maintenance planned to be finished within months. The Bush is set to undock later this summer before finishing the final leg of its availability.

The Navy underscored this will be the first time two carriers are sharing one pier at the shipyard.

The service explained NNSY and the Truman project team have been working through resource issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whereas project teams usually look at similar past availabilities for lessons learned, with Truman “we are actually developing lessons learned from a situation that has never been seen before. The project team has been extremely flexible and resilient. We have seen numerous changes over a very short period of time and everyone has worked diligently and steadfast to ensure that NNSY supports Truman and the Fleet, especially taking into account that Truman just returned from a deployment of seven months,” Deputy Project Superintendent Lt. Nic Twisselman said in a statement.

The Navy said it will also use the Surge Maintenance (SurgeMain) mobilization program to help work on the Truman.

In June, the Navy announced it was mobilizing 1,629 reservists to support carrier and submarine maintenance at the four public shipyards starting in July to help reduce maintenance backlogs caused by the pandemic (Defense Daily, June 12).

NNSY is specifically gaining 140 reserve sailors in July and eventually plans to gain over 480 reservists to support various NNSY work through September 2021.

“Many of our people have prior experience at the shipyard where they’re being sent, right down to the specific shop where they will be working alongside the shipyard’s organic civilian workforce,” Capt. Michael P. MacLellan, SurgeMain’s national director, said in a statement.

Beyond CVN-75, NNSY plans to complete the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Wyoming’s (SSBN-742) engineering refueling overhaul, undocking the USS San Francisco (SSN-711) before it undergoes conversion into a moored training ship, and undock CVN-77.

Before coming in for maintenance, in May the Truman underwent command and control exercises with the new USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) during its post-delivery test and trial period (Defense Daily, June 5).

Last November, the Navy finished emergent maintenance for an electrical issue on the Truman that brought it in to port in August 2019 (Defense Daily, Nov. 13, 2019).

Earlier in 2019, the Navy planned to retire the Truman as part of the fiscal year 2020 presidential budget request by canceling its scheduled mid-life refueling and complex overhaul to redirect funds to future technologies (Defense Daily, March 26, 2019).

However, the administration later bent to strong congressional pressure and announced the carrier would not be retired early (Defense Daily, April 30).