Arabian Sea - April 2021: Sailors conduct a replenishment-at-sea with the fast-combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (Navy photo by MCS Seaman Trent P. Hawkins)
The Navy may keep the two oldest Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in service beyond their projected decommissioning dates. The U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) reported that the decision to keep the Nimitz and Dwight D. Eisenhower in operation would hinge upon several factors. Real-world conditions and the number of carriers in maintenance at certain times, for example, would play a role in determining when the two ships would be decommissioned beyond their 50-year projected service lives. Plans had called for Nimitz to be decommissioned sometime in fiscal year 2025, with Eisenhower ending its service two years later, USNI reported.
“Based on the number of planned carriers we may have in maintenance in certain years, it may make sense and maybe worth the return on investment of getting another year or more from the carriers that we have,” Vice Adm. Scott Conn, the deputy chief of naval operations for warfighting requirements and capabilities, told USNI during a media call.