The aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt left the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington state on Friday after 18 months of maintenance and is slated to return to San Diego this week.

The TR wrapped up its so-called “docking planned incremental availability” recently after entering the yard in September 2021, following back-to-back deployments that kept the carrier at sea for most of 2020 and roughly half of 2021.

More than 2,700 sailors left Washington with the carrier, which will conduct “at-sea certifications of upgraded and replaced systems” on its way to California, ship spokesman Cmdr. Ben Anderson told the Kitsap (Wash.) Sun. The carrier’s crew expects to deploy sometime in 2024, he said, although the Navy doesn’t provide details on upcoming carrier operations.

During the maintenance, the 36-year-old ship saw its combat systems modernized and its flight deck retrofitted to accommodate the F-35C Lightning fighter jet, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and the CMV-22B Osprey aircraft.

The carrier also leaves the yard ready to accommodate future air systems like the MQ-25 Stingray refueling drone.

Sailor living quarters and bathrooms received “a full restoration,” according to the Navy, and TR is now sporting a new Mark 38 Mod III machine gun system, along with upgrades to the electronic warfare suite, fire control system and self-defense arrays, among other work.

Roughly 3,000 sailors and their families relocated from San Diego to Bremerton, Washington, during the maintenance.

“I’m so grateful for the unrelenting work our crew and our shipyard teammates put into this milestone,” TR’s commanding officer, Capt. Brian Schrum, said in a statement.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at

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