Sailors aboard USS George Washington conduct a barricade drill in Yokosuka, May 8. (U.S. Navy/MCSN Bryan Mai)

YOKOSUKA, Japan - The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) completed its selected restricted availability (SRA) period and pre-patrol preparations, May 15.

Prior to departing Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, for its 2015 patrol, George Washington underwent a six-month SRA period and completed dock trials, fast cruise, and four days of sea trials.

"Because of the cyclic nature of repairs on a forward-deployed aircraft carrier, we work on a 12-month cycle where we have an SRA every year while maintaining the ability to respond to any emergency or crisis like we did during the natural disaster in Fukushima in 2011," said Lt. Cmdr. Jeremy Smith, George Washington's maintenance manager. "In a broad spectrum, my job is to monitor the progress of the completion of jobs through a timeline and ensure everyone is at least 10 percent ahead of schedule."

According to Smith, George Washington's crew completed 18,476 jobs, also known as Component Unit (CU) phases, equating to 210,000 man-hours during its SRA period.

George Washington's crew certification was assessed by the Afloat Training Group who reported 153 fewer discrepancies than last year. The crew also completed all level-of-knowledge examination requirements on schedule.

"George Washington continues to lead the fleet in training readiness," said Lt. Cmdr. Nicholas Long, George Washington's training officer. "There is a reason why we are consecutive Battle "E" winners for 2013 and 2014. I continue to be impressed with the pride and professionalism of the crew. Keep up the hard work GW and we will continue to reap the rewards and benefits awarded to our ship."

According to Long, George Washington used the crawl-walk-run approach for training exercises starting with fundamentals and increasing complexity over time.

Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Roy Wiley, George Washington's Safety department leading chief petty officer, helps oversee all major evolutions conducted.

"As the safety chief, I see a profound respect for safety when I walk around the ship," said Wiley. "The entire crew worked hard and resulted in an SRA period free of large mishaps and work stoppages. It's great to see the crew get the job done with safety first in mind."

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.