The U.S. Navy’s oldest aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz (CVN-68), has returned to Sinclair Inlet in Bremerton, Wash., after a month in the Pacific Ocean to train sailors.
Nimitz departed on Jan. 10 to conduct flight operations with a crew of 3,000 sailors who were mostly new to the ship, according to a report from the Kitsap Sun.
Sailors trained in all aspects of operating an aircraft carrier at sea, and the activities are in preparation for the next deployment, according to the report, which cited Nimitz commanding officer Capt. Max Clark.
Nimitz, now 45 years old and approaching the end of its service life, went through a major restoration in 2018 that involved restoring propellers and rudders, preserving the hull, and adding new combat systems. Training missions kicked off in 2019 and continued with this latest outing.
The Nimitz is the lead ship in her class of supercarriers. She was commissioned in 1975. The successor to the Nimitz class is the Ford class, with the lead ship in that class — the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) — having just been commission in 2017.
Despite her age, the Nimitz may be nowhere near retiring. Reports have indicated that the Navy may try to extend the Nimitz beyond its projected service life of 50 years.