The George Washington returns to Japan in 2024, Reagan heads home

by Tommy Grant

The aircraft carrier George Washington is slated to return to Yokosuka, Japan, as the Navy’s only forward-deployed carrier in 2024 — replacing fellow carrier Ronald Reagan.

Yokosuka previously hosted the George Washington from 2008 to 2015. The carrier then started its mid-life refueling and complex overhaul maintenance, known as an RCOH, in 2017 in Virginia.

The maintenance was originally scheduled to conclude in 2021 under a four-year timeline, but delays meant it didn’t wrap up until May 2023.

Unplanned growth in work, labor inefficiencies and the COVID-19 pandemic were all factors that slowed the progress of maintenance, Navy officials previously told Navy Times’ sister publication, Defense News.

The RCOHs are completed at the 25-year mark in a carrier’s service life and are designed to refuel the nuclear power reactor and address other major maintenance issues and upgrades.

The Reagan, which joined U.S. 7th Fleet in 2015, will head to Bremerton, Washington, for maintenance work, according to U.S. Pacific Fleet.

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