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After 6 years of repairs, USS George Washington leaves shipyard, returns to sea

The departure comes following the deaths by suicide of four GW sailors, while the ship was in the midst of a long-term overhaul.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The Navy aircraft carrier USS George Washington is back at sea after spending six years at Newport News Shipbuilding.

The warship entered the yard for its mid-life complex overhaul and nuclear refueling in 2017.

The job was supposed to be completed in 2021.

According to the company's Facebook and Twitter posts, the GW departed for sea trials Monday. 

The posts go on to say, that after the trials, the George Washington "will rejoin the Navy as as one of the most modern and capable aircraft carriers in the fleet."

Sadly, the GW was in the news in April of last year and January of this year, when four members of the crew died by suicide.

Pentagon Press Secretary Brigadier General Pat Ryder said Tuesday that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is "very confident that Navy leadership are taking this issue very seriously, as are all the service leadership. This is something he talks about with them regularly."

As for the GW, following its delivery back to the Navy, it will return to Japan and relieve USS Ronald Reagan, which will return to the U.S.

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