U.S. carrier Nimitz begins Planned Incremental Availability

USS Nimitz (CVN 68) began its six-month Planned Incremental Availability May 10 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility. (Photo: NAVSEA)

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility officially kicked off a six-month Planned Incremental Availability on USS Nimitz (CVN 68) on May 10, 2021.

According to Steven Pugh, Fiscal Year 2021 Nimitz PIA deputy project superintendent, Code 312, Carrier Operations Department, the team will perform a laser alignment on catapults three and four and will perform the critical path task of cleaning and inspecting approximately 60,000 tubes on the main engines and turbine generators’ condensers, in addition to doing the work normally accomplished during a PIA.

The project is currently expected to take about 330,000 man-days of work, divvyed up among PSNS & IMF workers, private sector mechanics and ship’s force, according to Pugh.

Project leaders recognize and appreciate the contributions contractors and ship’s force make toward getting the ship back to the fleet on time or early.

“It is an honour to work with Team, which will be comprised of ship’s force, private sector maintenance and our incredible shipyard workers,” said Brian Fazio, Fiscal Year 2021 Nimitz PIA project superintendent, Code 312. “I would like to personally thank the USS Nimitz Commanding Officer Capt. Max Clark for trusting each of us with the privilege of maintaining and modernizing USS Nimitz.”

The values the project team embraces will help ensure a successful availability, like the variety of previous availabilities PSNS & IMF have completed on CVN 68 since the ship has been stationed on the West Coast at either San Diego; Everett, Washington; or Bremerton.

“Safety is our number one value, and teamwork is our tradition,” said Fazio.

Pugh said the Nimitz project team has been in close contact with project teams from recent USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) availabilities to ensure condenser cleaning lessons learned are incorporated into the upcoming work. Staying focused and working well as a combined team should lead to success.

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard

“Team Nimitz will remained focused on professionalism in everything we do on this project, from how we conduct meetings and how we communicate among ourselves, to how we address the quarter-deck,” Pugh said.

The success of the project will also rely on the strong relationship between the ship’s force and PSNS & IMF. In the lead up to the project, both organizations have committed to pushing hard to get the project+ on time or early.

“The commanding officer of Nimitz offered a simple charge to the entire team – don’t put off to tomorrow what can be accomplished today,” said Cmdr. Jonathan Gandy, military deputy project superintendent, Code 368. “Team Nimitz is committed to active decision making and problem-solving.”

Check out Naval Library App to find out the specifications of Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.

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