SAN DIEGO — The nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Carl Vinson returned to its home port of Naval Air Station North Island Wednesday after 17 months of retrofitting at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier was docked in Bremerton, Washington, while undergoing a complete system retrofit to accommodate F-35C Lightning II stealth fighters. Additional efforts while in Washington included upgrades to crew living spaces and maintenance on the ship's hull, rudders and shafts.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, access to NAS North Island to observe the Vinson's arrival this afternoon was being limited. The aircraft carrier’s arrival in San Diego is a homecoming for members of the crew whose families opted to remain in San Diego during the ship’s DPIA.
The USS Carl Vinson can carry more than 5,000 crew members and 65 fixed and rotary-wing aircraft; and has the speed, agility, and maneuverability to travel more than 5,000 nautical miles in less than seven days.
It was launched in 1980 and in 2009 became the flagship of Carrier Strike Group One, based out of San Diego. The supercarrier gained notoriety for transporting Osama bin Laden's body to be buried at sea in 2011.