USS Washington escapes the axe for now

Pentagon Drops Plan to Mothball USS George Washington Aircraft Carrier

The military had proposed an early retirement of the USS George Washington, reducing the U.S. carrier fleet to 10, as part of plan to deal with cost cuts imposed by Congress. That touched a nerve among a bipartisan group of lawmakers, who called on Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a letter last week to block the move and preserve what they argued is a potent symbol of American power.

The Washington is due for mid-life refuel and refit in 2016, but it had been proposed to skip that but possibly operate the ship until the fuel gave out. That would have been somewhere between 2016 and 2021.

The Navy is required by law to operate 11 carriers. They currently have 10, with a special provision for the recently-retired USS Enterprise (CVN 65) to count toward the total by keeping her commissioned. At this point she could not be re-activated even in the event of two simultaneous World Wars.

Yet she counts as one of the 11. This is also known as bullshit.

In other news, those who criticize the Navy for not having any battleships are overlooking the USS Constitution.

PHILIPPINE SEA (Nov. 15, 2013) The aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) receives a pallet from an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the Island Knights of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 during a vertical replenishment with the Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10) in support of Operation Damayan.  The George Washington Carrier Strike Group supports the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade to assist the Philippine government in response to the aftermath of the super typhoon Haiyan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian H. Abel/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA (Nov. 15, 2013) The aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) receives a pallet from an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the Island Knights of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 during a vertical replenishment with the Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10) in support of Operation Damayan. The George Washington Carrier Strike Group supports the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade to assist the Philippine government in response to the aftermath of the super typhoon Haiyan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian H. Abel/Released)

Comments

  1. That is kind of weird because the Washington was only commissioned in 1992. There are 5 other Nimitz class carriers that are much older. The Nimitz itself was commissioned in 1975. The only thing that stands out is that Washington is next on the list for a refit. But I would hope we’d get more than 22 years out of a super carrier.

    1. Yeah, the proposal is/was totally based on saving the $$$ from skipping the re-fuel+refit. Nimitz has already undergone the process, so even though she’s older she’s got more life left in her at this point.

      Sort of like looking at an older tank hull that’s been upgraded to SEP vs. a more recent built that’s still A1. Retire the A1 and keep the older SEP. Not *quite* the same, as the tanks are virtually new machines after the rebuild, but very similar.

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