July 8 (UPI) -- The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman arrived at Norfolk, Va., Naval Shipyard, the Navy reported on Wednesday, for maintenance after seven months at sea.
The ship was deployed to the Middle East until April, and then undertook a two-month sustainment cruise off the East Coast to reduce concerns related to the COVID-19 virus.
"We made a decision, the [Secretary of Defense] made a decision and the Navy made a decision to keep the Harry S. Truman at sea so that we had at least two carriers at sea at a moment's notice," Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said in April. "That was a conscious, deliberative, operational decision in order to make sure that we had carrier strike group capability at sea."
In Norfolk, the vessel will undergo an Extended Carrier Incremental Availability, a planned execution of depot-level maintenance, alterations and modifications to update and improve the ship's military and technical capabilities.
The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush is undergoing similar maintenance, meaning that for the first time in Norfolk, two aircraft carriers are berthed and receiving upgrades in the same pier.
Work on the USS Truman is expected to last several months.
The shipyard itself only returned to full operations in June, after civilian workforce members were temporarily furloughed because of the pandemic.
Its upcoming projects include an engineering refueling overhaul of the ballistic missile submarine USS Wyoming and the conversion of the submarine USS San Francisco to a Moored Training Ship, a Navy designation for decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines serving as training vessels.