Stennis headed to Norfolk for upgrades, part of three-carrier location swap

By Allen Cone
Stennis headed to Norfolk for upgrades, part of three-carrier location swap
An MH-60S Sea Hawk flies alongside the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis in the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday. The carrier is scheduled to arrive in Norfolk, Va., on Thursday for upgrades. Photo by Mass Communication Spec. Seaman Jarrod A. Schad/U.S. Navy

May 14 (UPI) -- The USS John Stennis is scheduled to arrive in Norfolk, Va., on Thursday after deployment in Asia and as part of a three-ship fleet swap.

The Stennis, which had been based in the Pacific Seventh Fleet, will pull into Naval Station Norfolk for the start of preparations for a scheduled four-year mid-life refueling complex overhaul, U.S. Fleet Forces Command announced Monday.


The aircraft carrier last was in Norfolk, which is the Third Fleet, more than 21 years ago -- before many of the nearly 4,500 sailor aboard were born, Navy Times reported.

The Stennis, commanded by Capt. Randy Peck, departed from Bremerton, Wash., ending its deployment.

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USS Carl Vinson earlier arrived in Bremerton for a scheduled planned incremental maintenance availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

The Navy sent the USS Abraham Lincoln to the Pacific Fleet from Norfolk. The Lincoln had previously been a Pacific Fleet ship but was on the East Coast following its own upgrades that ended two years ago.

No other ships from the Stennis Carrier Strike Group will be based in Norfolk. The Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyers USS Stockdale, USS Spruance and USS Chung-Hoon already detached from the strike group to return to their homeports in Hawaii and San Diego.

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The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay is escorting Stennis to Norfolk but will return to San Diego.

Most of the Stennis' embarked air wing also is returning to the West Coast.

The John C. Stennis carrier joined the Abraham Lincoln group on April 22 in the Mediterranean Sea, working with regional allies and partners at sea, as part of the Fifth Fleet. In all, the ship will have been in three fleets in the past year.

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The Stennis entered the Persian Gulf just before last Christmas, the first time a nuclear-powered carrier had passed through the Strait of Hormuz since USS Theodore Roosevelt left the region in March 2018.

Early this year, the Stennis participated in the Cobra Gold exercise in Thailand and operated off the coast of Vietnam during President Donald Trump's summit with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un in Hanoi on Feb. 20 and 21.

San Diego became Stennis' home port in early 1998, less than three years after it was commissioned.

Ten Nimitz-class, nuclear carriers are in the naval fleet.

The USS Harry S. Truman and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower departed within hours of each other from Norfolk earlier last month.


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