By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ridge Leoni USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Public Affairs
IKE, the second Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, is currently docked at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) for scheduled maintenance and modernization.
IKE's Commanding Officer, Capt. Marcus Hitchcock, shared the history of IKE's official start in the United Stated Navy while addressing the crew and NNSY workers in the ship's hangar bay.
"Today we are celebrating IKE's commissioning which happened on this day in 1977," said Hitchcock. "IKE was commissioned on Pier 12 at Norfolk Naval Station, by the Honorable Harold Brown, then Secretary of Defense, and Mamie Eisenhower, the ship's sponsor and wife of President Eisenhower was in attendance."
While celebrating the anniversary of IKE's commissioning, Hitchcock and the crew took the opportunity to celebrate the beginning of PIA.
"I know we are going to do the best we can during this project," said Hitchcock. "Our shared values during PIA are teamwork, energy, dedication, respect and most importantly integrity; this is how we will get through this project smoothly and on time."
Chrystal Brady, NNSY's Project Superintendent for IKE's PIA, also spoke of the significance of the team concept during the availability.
"We have all pulled together very well so far in the set up of PIA," said Brady. "This will be the largest PIA ever done in a six-month availability and calls for teamwork and diligence to make the due date in April."
On July 28 of this year, IKE returned home to Norfolk Naval Station wrapping up the second of two nearly back-to-back deployments within a seventeen-month period. Hitchcock stated that IKE has earned this overhaul period.