USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Wraps 15-Month Repair Period, Five U.S. Aircraft Carriers Underway

The second oldest carrier in the Navy wrapped sea trials after completing more than a year of repairs at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, USNI News has learned. USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) left the shipyard for the Atlantic on Dec. 1 for four days of sea trials after 15 months in the yard. “Sea trials is […]

Sailors aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) depart Norfolk Naval Shipyard on Dec. 1, 2022. US Navy Photo

The second oldest carrier in the Navy wrapped sea trials after completing more than a year of repairs at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, USNI News has learned.

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) left the shipyard for the Atlantic on Dec. 1 for four days of sea trials after 15 months in the yard.

“Sea trials is an at-sea testing phase designed to evaluate IKE’s capabilities in surface and flight deck operations, seamanship, and damage control readiness. It’s kinda like taking your car out for a spin after it’s been in the shop,” reads a tweet from the ship’s official account.
IKE executed many evolutions including testing AFFF sprinklers, running counter-measure wash-down system, conducting high-speed turns, running aircraft elevators, testing radars and launching small boats.”

The 45-year-old carrier completed back-to-back deployments on July 18, 2021. The first deployment kept the carrier at sea for seven months without a port call during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The carrier then pulled into Naval Station Norfolk on Aug. 25, 2021, according to a release from the Navy.

“The Mighty IKE crew has been preparing for sea trials since we entered the PIA at NNSY,” said Capt. Paul F. Campagna in a statement posted on Twitter. “They have shown extreme professionalism and ownership of their ship, and they are ready to take IKE out to do what we do best — launch and recover aircraft.”

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) transits the Strait of Gibraltar on July, 7, 2021. US Navy Photo

According to a separate statement on Twitter, “IKE executed many evolutions including testing AFFF sprinklers, running counter-measure wash-down system, conducting high-speed turns, running aircraft elevators, testing radars and launching small boats.”

The last maintenance period for the carrier before the double-pump deployment tripled in length from six months to a year and a half.

Over the weekend, including Ike’s sea trials, six U.S. carriers were underway.

As of Monday, five U.S. aircraft carriers were underway across the world following the deployment of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group from California on Saturday, according to Monday’s edition of the USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker.

Along with USS Nimitz (CVN-68), which left California on Dec. 3, aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-77) and USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) are deployed and underway in the Philippine Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, respectively.

In addition to the strike groups deployed for national tasking, USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) departed its berth in Naval Air Station North Island for a sustainment exercise on Saturday, while USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) left for its own sustainment exercise on Nov. 29.

“Since returning from deployment in August, the ships and squadrons of CSG-3 have trained continuously to ensure that they are ready to answer the call if needed. SUSTEX takes that training to the next level, emphasizing the integration and teamwork that gives us a competitive advantage in all warfighting domains against any potential adversary,” said Carrier Strike Group 3 commander Rear Adm. Kevin Lenox in a Monday statement.