While in dry dock, the carrier will receive upgrades and renovations to a variety of systems, including steering components, combat systems equipment, aircraft elevator doors and berthing areas.
Nimitz will also receive hull preservation work, with a fresh coat of paint and a new stern dock — the aft end of the ship where smaller vessels can be tied up.
The ship will be in dry dock for more than 280 days, followed by a five-month-long period of completing crew and carrier qualifications.
Shipyard crews have been closely coordinating with the carrier to determine what maintenance needs will be addressed during the availability, said shipyard spokesman J.C. Mathews.
The maintenance period is scheduled to run through June 2019, according to the Navy's fiscal year 2019 budget.
The nearly 43-year-old carrier is the oldest active service carrier in the fleet. This maintenance cycle is intended to keep the ship combat-ready until the end of the average 50-year operational lifespan for aircraft carriers, which Nimitz is eight years away from.
"It’s our time to do the work to ensure that Nimitz stays lethal and relevant on the world stage till the end of its life," Nimitz commanding officer Capt. Kevin Lenox said. "I want Sailors to keep rocking it on Nimitz till 2025 and beyond if that’s what the country needs this ship to do."
After Nimitz leaves the shipyard's dry dock, the USS Carl Vinson will return to Bremerton for the first time in more than a decade to receive dry dock maintenance. Vinson's maintenance availability is scheduled to run from March 2019 through July 2020.