Aug. 31 (UPI) -- The 18-month drydock period for maintenance and upgrade of the aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush ended on schedule over the weekend, the Navy announced.
The Norfolk, Va., Naval Shipyard "undocked" the 1,092 foot-long ship on Saturday after its most extensive maintenance period, a milestone in the ships' Drydocking Planned Incremental Availability schedule, the Navy said in a press release.
The 28-month maintenance is the first DPIA of its life cycle, and the first time the aircraft carrier was out of the water since 2006.
Construction of the USS George H.W. Bush, the Navy's 10th and final Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, began in 2002. The ship was commissioned in 2009.
"Now we focus on the pierside phase of the carrier's availability before returning it to the Fleet in 'like-new' condition ready to conduct its vital mission," Shipyard Commander Capt. Kai Torkelson said in a statement.
The shipyards' work was lauded for adherence to the schedule, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have been laser-focused throughout on getting Bush out of dock on time, and the folks that worked throughout the pandemic kept us on schedule," said Project Superintendent Jeff Burchett. "They stepped up their game, and it was incredible how they kept us going to make us successful."
For the final phase of the improvements, the ship will share a pier in Norfolk with the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, commissioned in 1998, which began its Extended Carrier Incremental Availability upgrade in July.