NAVSEA Wire Service 99-32 (December 20, 1999)

DEC20-04. NAVSEA Newport News completes first ever Nimitz-class refueling.
By NAVSEA Newport News

     The Supervisor of Shipbuilding at NAVSEA Newport News achieved a significant milestone on Dec. 1, 1999 in the complex refueling overhaul of USS Nimitz (CVN 68). The refueling of the ship's two nuclear reactors was successfully completed marking the first-ever refueling of a Nimitz class aircraft carrier. Capt. Steven F. Firks, Nimitz's commanding officer, and Capt. Jeffrey A. Brooks, commanding officer of NAVSEA Newport News, signed documents that day which confirmed completion of the refueling.

     "This represents a tremendous technological achievement as well as a great accomplishment for our crew and Newport News Shipbuilding," said Firks. "This accomplishment goes a long way toward preparing Nimitz for 25 more years of distinguished service."

     The ship arrived May 26, 1998 for the beginning of a 33-month refueling complex overhaul. Brooks and his staff oversee the $1.2 billion dollar contract performed by Newport News Shipbuilding.

     "Teamwork is a tradition for the supervisor's office," said Brooks. "We are proud to provide our Fleet customers with world class service. We are tracking to the next key event in the spring of 2000 when shore steam testing and propulsion plant testing will begin."

     This "first of the class" refueling complex overhaul includes work that will repair or modernize nearly all of the ship's systems and thereby recapitalize this major Fleet asset for an additional 25 years of service. The NAVSEA Newport News-USS Nimitz Team are blazing a path for all remaining Nimitz-class carriers to follow.