Interesting news release from the US Navy this morning. Note the words regarding long-term strategic dispersal of aircraft and carriers.
The Navy announced today that the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) will be homeported at Naval Station Everett, Wash., upon completion of the ship’s docking planned incremental availability (DPIA) maintenance at Bremerton, Wash., in December 2011.
After a thorough analysis and review of related factors, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus decided to homeport Nimitz in Everett following the departure of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) in early fiscal 2012 for a four-year refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) in Hampton Roads, Va. Abraham Lincoln is presently deployed to in the Central Command area of responsibility.
Nimitz was homeported in San Diego from Nov. 13, 2001, to Dec. 6, 2010, when the ship administratively shifted homeport to Bremerton for the duration of its year-long maintenance period.
The Navy’s decision to homeport Nimitz in Everett ensures long-term strategic dispersal of aircraft carriers on the West Coast and yields estimated cost savings and avoidance totaling more than $100 million.
“Many factors were considered here, including the quality of life for our sailors and their families, and the considerable cost savings to the American taxpayers,” said Mabus. “Maintaining a carrier in Everett will ensure long-term strategic dispersal and operational readiness of our fleet which is critical to our national security.”
Nimitz crewmembers who opted not to move family members during the extended maintenance period in Bremerton will be afforded the opportunity to conduct permanent change of station moves for eligible family members from San Diego to Bremerton and, subsequently, to Everett after completion of the DPIA.
The first in its class of 10 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, Nimitz was commissioned May 3, 1975, and was homeported in Bremerton from 1987 to 1997. With a planned 50-year service life expectancy, Nimitz conducted a RCOH at Newport News, Va., from 1998 to 2001.