Aug. 14 (UPI) — The USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier is underway for sea trials sooner than expected following a 6-month overhaul and upgrade at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash.
The ship has departed three days ahead of schedule despite the Stennis having a much larger overhaul then is normal for a carrier refit.
“Overall, the work package was 140 percent above the normal amount for a CVN-class carrier availability,” Cmdr. Ken Holland, John C. Stennis’ chief engineer and availability coordinator, said in a press release.
“But with shipyard and ship’s force coming together, we were able to overcome obstacles as a team and work together every day to complete the task we needed to, becoming more efficient and ultimately resulting in us arriving at this point ahead of schedule.”
The John C. Stennis Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is the flagship of Carrier Strike Group Three including its carrier air wing of up to 70 aircraft and the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Mobile Bay.
The sea trials are a normal testing route for the ship’s systems and weapons prior to the carrier’s operational deployment. The Stennis is part of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet.
Carrier Strike Group Three will begin its operations in the Pacific during a time of heightened tensions with North Korea over their ballistic missile and nuclear capabilities, amid threats of military action from both North Korea and the United States.