Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Nuclear refueling is latest budget crisis cut

Feb. 8, 2013 - 02:53PM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 8, 2013 - 02:53PM  |  
Sailors aboard the carrier Abraham Lincoln muck out a catapult trough on Jan. 28 to ready the ship for a major overhaul -- now postponed by the Navy because of a lack of Congressional funding.
Sailors aboard the carrier Abraham Lincoln muck out a catapult trough on Jan. 28 to ready the ship for a major overhaul -- now postponed by the Navy because of a lack of Congressional funding. (MC3 Jeremiah Mills / Navy)
  • Filed Under

The refueling overhaul of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln has been postponed by the Navy — another manifestation of Congress's inability to pass a 2013 defense funding bill.

The ship was scheduled to move in mid-February from Virginia's Norfolk naval base to Newport News Shipbuilding to begin a $3.3 billion, three-and-a-half-year overhaul. The work, called a refueling complex overhaul (RCOH), is a major mid-life job that renews the ship to serve another 20-25 years.

The Navy needs $1.5 billion to cover the work through the end of September, which is the end of fiscal 2013. While Congress granted $96 million in October to cover expenses for the first half of the fiscal year, that money runs out after March, and the Navy doesn't want to make the move to Newport News without knowing whether it has the money to continue the work in the spring.

For now, the Lincoln will remain pierside at the naval base until Congress sorts out the funding picture.

Any significant delay in beginning the Lincoln's RCOH will ripple through years of carrier scheduling. A carrier undergoing RCOH typically spends about 18 months in drydock at Newport News. As soon as Lincoln completes her drydock period, the dock is scheduled to receive the carrier Enterprise to defuel its reactors and prepare her for eventual dismantling. By the time that job is complete, the George Washington, the next carrier to undergo the refueling overhaul, is scheduled to arrive.

Across those three jobs, the dock is scheduled to have a carrier in it into early 2018 for all except a handful of weeks.

Any delay, the Navy noted in a statement, will also have an impact on carrier maintenance and operational availability, and increase the Lincoln's RCOH costs.

Congress can address the Lincoln's funding shortfall by taking special action to address the cost differences or, the Navy noted in a statement, by passing a 2013 defense spending bill.

"The fiscal uncertainty created by not having an appropriations bill — and the measures we are forced to take as a result — place significant stress on an already strained force and undermines the stability of a fragile industrial base," the Navy said in a statement announcing the ROCH delay.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Navy Times

This Week's Navy Times

Uniform overhaul
Warm-up suit, parka and lightweight NWUs are in the works

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook