USS George Washington returns to Yokosuka

Capt. David Lausman, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) addresses the crew during an all-hands call on the flight deck. George Washington departed Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka on March 21, 2011 in response to the complex nature of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan. The forward-deployed aircraft carrier is scheduled to remain in the waters off Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Cheng S. Yang/Released)

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) — Aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) returned to the ship’s forward operating port at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka after almost exactly one month at sea, April 20.

“Even after being at sea all this time, we are still ahead of our maintenance schedule and it’s because of you,” said the carrier’s Commanding Officer Capt. David Lausman during an all-hands call on the ship’s flight deck the afternoon prior to the ship’s return to Yokosuka. “The Sailors aboard this ship, our hard working crew, you are our real secret weapon.”

Under normal circumstances, it would take nearly three weeks to get George Washington ready for sea while in the middle of a routine maintenance period.

Following the Japan earthquake, the crew got the ship underway in of just six days.

“That is your legacy… this is your ship, you did this, you deserve all the credit,” added Lausman.

Continuing maintenance at sea was an unscheduled hurdle for the ship, but was ably overcome with the help of 466 shipyard workers from Puget Sound and Norfolk Naval Shipyard and 116 Japanese contractors from Ship’s Repair Facility Yokosuka.

“Our continued work at sea allowed us to complete more than 1,000 jobs on the ship plus 500 to 600 jobs in the plant,” said Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Pomeroy, maintenance manager, George Washington. “We still have work to do, but couldn’t have gotten this far without their full support.”