USS George H.W. Bush strike group sailors and their families finally said goodbye on Saturday after an extended maintenance period caused a monthlong postponement of its deployment to the Mediterranean and Middle East.
The Norfolk-based carrier’s delay highlights the Navy’s continuing struggle to maintain readiness more than two years since the introduction of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan, which is meant to get the fleet back on track after years of high demand.
Since introducing OFRP in 2014, the Navy has been working to integrate its carrier force into the plan that realigns the fleet’s maintenance, training and deployment cycles into 36-month rotations.
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