USS George Washington to Return to Yokosuka

YOKOSUKA, Japan, April 19, 2011 — The for­ward-deployed air­craft car­ri­er USS George Wash­ing­ton will return here tomor­row, near­ly a month after it left its port fol­low­ing the earth­quake and tsuna­mi that struck north­ern Japan.

The nuclear-pow­ered air­craft car­ri­er was com­plet­ing rou­tine main­te­nance March 11 when the earth­quake and tsuna­mi struck north­ern Hon­shu. The ship depart­ed Fleet Activ­i­ties Yoko­su­ka on March 21 with 466 civil­ian con­trac­tors and ship­yard work­ers embarked, who con­tin­ued to con­duct sched­uled main­te­nance while the ship oper­at­ed in waters near the Japan­ese islands of Shikoku and Kyushu. 

USS George Wash­ing­ton depart­ed Yoko­su­ka to ensure that the ship could main­tain readi­ness, and work­ers could con­tin­ue work required to sup­port the U.S.-Japan alliance, offi­cials said. 

The car­ri­er made two vis­its to Sase­bo while it was away from Yoko­su­ka to exchange ship­yard per­son­nel and take on equip­ment to sup­port the rou­tine main­te­nance. Through­out this time, offi­cials said, the Navy has main­tained a strong desire and every inten­tion to return to George Wash­ing­ton to its home­port at Yokosuka. 

While George Wash­ing­ton was at sea con­tin­u­ing its rou­tine main­te­nance, more than 20 U.S. 7th Fleet ships, includ­ing the USS Ronald Rea­gan car­ri­er strike group, sup­port­ed dis­as­ter relief oper­a­tions off the coast of north­ern Honshu. 

Upon return­ing to Yoko­su­ka, George Wash­ing­ton will con­tin­ue its main­te­nance while main­tain­ing a height­ened state of readi­ness to return to sea if nec­es­sary, offi­cials said. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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