On June 15, Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC)
employees Charles Pierce and Jimmy Shoulars painted
the carrier designation "77" onto the island of the nation's newest aircraft carrier, George H. W. Bush (CVN 77), in preparation for its crane lift onto the carrier's flight deck July 8.
Pierce and Shoulars have both worked at the company's Newport
News sector for 34 years and said they were proud to paint the numbers
for what will be the tenth and final ship of the Nimitz-class.
Northrop Grumman Newport News is building the George H. W. Bush using
modular construction, a process where smaller sections of the
ship are welded together to form units called "super lifts." These
super lifts are pre-outfitted and then lifted into the construction dry
dock with the sector's massive 900-ton gantry crane. The island is the
162nd and final super lift in the ship's construction schedule and will
weigh approximately 700 tons when it's lifted onto the flight deck next
The George H. W. Bush's keel was laid Sept. 6, 2003. The christening will occur in October 2006 with delivery to the U.S. Navy in late 2008.