Navy: Half the carrier fleet is tied up in maintenance

By Megan Eckstein for USNI News

Nov 04, 2015

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The Navy has run its 10 aircraft carriers hard since USS Enterprise (CVN-65) decommissioned in December 2012 and is now paying the resulting maintenance bill, with half the fleet tied up in repairs and the other five trying to keep up with combatant commanders’ needs.

During a House Armed Services Committee hearing on aircraft carrier presence, Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers Rear Adm. Tom Moore said that five of the 10 carriers are unavailable for tasking due to maintenance work.

“I think what we’ve seen here recently, as a result of being down to 10 carriers and having to run carriers at a pace faster than they were designed for – for instance, Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) just finished a 24-month availability, which was only scheduled for 14 months – we’ve got to get our arms around that," Moore said. "I’ve certainly spend a lot of time looking at Eisenhower to figure out where we can do better going into maintenance periods.”

Read more about the Navy's new deployment schedule, the "Optimized Fleet Response Plan".