WASHINGTON -- The Navy has directed the temporary return of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower(CVN 69) from her current overseas deployment, allowing the ship to return home for two months before sending it back to the Middle East region.
The unusual move is being made to accommodate delays due to emergent repair work on USS Nimitz (CVN 68). The Everett, Wash.-based carrier was expected to deploy to the region to relieve Eisenhower early next year. Nimitz is now expected to deploy once repair work is complete.
Bringing Eisenhower back home to its homeport in Norfolk, Va. in December will permit the Navy to resurface the ship's flight deck and make it available to return and remain in the Middle East region for several more months. This decision also provides the ship's crew a welcome holiday respite from what will become nearly 10 months on station.
"Our Navy is in high demand operating forward all over the world," said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert. "And our Sailors, civilians and their families are doing a great job meeting that demand. Expanded maintenance work on USS Nimitz was unpredictable and has required us to establish a carrier schedule that satisfies our commitments overseas and most importantly is mindful of the stress on our Navy family. This is the right thing to do."
The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, currently deployed to the region, will continue providing carrier presence in the CENTCOM Area of Responsibility. Stennis departed its homeport of Bremerton in August.