(ABC 10- San Diego) – The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt will change its home port from San Diego to Bremerton, Washington, ahead of scheduled maintenance slated for next summer, the Navy announced Wednesday.
The ship, which is currently deployed in the Western Pacific, will enter Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for scheduled maintenance known as docking planned incremental availability, or DPIA.
Lt. Travis Callaghan said the maintenance required to maintain the Nimitz-class carrier’s service life is more involved than what can be done pier- side in San Diego. DPIA involves putting the ship in drydock and will require facilities, equipment and personnel available in Bremerton, Callaghan said.
The carrier recently resumed its scheduled deployment in the Indo- Pacific after spending months docked in Guam due to the widespread COVID-19 outbreak aboard the ship.
The ship originally departed San Diego on Jan. 17 for a deployment, but was diverted to Guam on March 27 when the outbreak took hold, ultimately infecting more than 1,100 sailors, and killing one, Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Charles Thacker, 41.
Navy officials said the carrier now operates with a new COVID-19 standard operating procedure, which modifies how crew members move through the ship, expands meal hours and establishes new social distancing procedures.