The USS George Washington, CVN-73, is currently sitting on the list to be sent in for refueling, go to the reserve fleet (mothballed), or be retired (meaning eventually sold for scrap). Launched in 1990, the George Washington has reached the 25 year mark for a carrier and that’s usually when they get sent to dry dock for renovation, upgrades to the ship and refueling of the reactor. This is a standard practice for ships of this class and marks the halfway point in their career/life span. However, due to budgetary issues, the George may not be returned to active duty.
As one of the Asian based carriers, CVN-73 is to be replaced by the Ronald Reagan, CVN-76 when or if it ever gets granted its maintenance cycle. In February of 2014, Congress requested additional funding for the George’s refueling but, if this whole sequestration issue isn’t repealed in 2016, George Washington, CVN-73, will be retired.
While the issue of the military budget and the Ronald Reagan has come up lets look a little deeper. Previously, the topic of the LCS or Littoral Class Ship was discussed and that boondoggle is hemorrhaging tax payer money and bleeding the DOD budget like a severed femoral artery. Now onto CVN-76, the Ronald Reagan. Ron was one of the US Navy’s first ships to respond to the Fukushima reactor issue. I know, nice way to mention a total cluster that resulted in massive radiation being spilled and still spilling by calling that whole event an issue.
CVN-76 was irradiated by that event and all its surface areas are contaminated. The sailors weren’t told about this and those on deck brought radioactive material in the form of rain from the massive plume that blew out of Fukushima into the ship thereby contaminating the interior. Think I’m kidding about all that?
Google USS Ronald Reagan, radiation, sailors exposed, Irradiated, etc., and see what happens.
Go ahead, I’ll wait.
In case you haven’t been following along, we have a carrier, a force projection vessel, being scheduled for renovation and refueling this coming year, 2015. We have another carrier vessel scheduled to replace it that is contaminated with radiation. And we have a total white elephant of a program, the LCS, that is still having money being thrown at it even though it doesn’t work. But wait, the LCS did just get a new set of water jets at an incredible cost to you the taxpayer so all is not lost with that program yet (note the sarcasm).
Here’s my theory, stop funding the LCS. Send the Ronald Reagan into a secure area where NEST and DOE can decontaminate it. Get the George Washington renovated and refueled using the budget from the LCS program and the United States will still retain the capability to deploy a carrier group.
Hold on, that makes too much sense and as I’m not part of the beltway bandits, what could I possibly know?