The USS Gerald R Ford is at sea in the Atlantic [Opinion]

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is the first-in-class of the Navy’s newest generation of Ford-class aircraft carriers, according to America’s Navy, an official website of the United States government. It’s been nearly 40 years since the Navy has commissioned a new generation of aircraft carriers. With change comes history that has to be made. Ford has done just that.

Gerald R. Ford never sought the vice presidency, and he wasn’t elected our 38th President either. He held both posts with honesty and integrity after a distinguished career in the House of Representatives representing the state of Michigan.

Often glossed over or dismissed was Ford’s service in the United States Navy during World War II on the carrier Monterey. He was in a number of battles and during an attack is credited with saving a number of lives of fellow crewman.

He was very fond of his years of active duty and his reserve service with the Navy. While meeting with President Ford, in his Presidential Office in Rancho Mirage, you saw the seals of the President, Vice President, and the House of Representatives. Also proudly on display, under those seals, was a series of military decorations Ford had received.

The combat service he saw helped shape his service in the House, Vice Presidency, and as President & Commander in Chief. He knew combat at sea in the pacific theater as had John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon.

The USS Gerald R. Ford isn’t just any kind of aircraft carrier. It’s the first in its class of new carriers. The carrier’s motto “Integrity at The Helm” fits its namesake perfectly. These new carriers are also the world’s largest and fastest.

The new carrier cost almost $20 billion dollars to design & build. Like any new platform she had a number of glitches to work out in sea trials.

The USS Gerald R. Ford is 1100 feet long, has 25 decks, and is 250 tall. She has a crew of 4500 plus sailors and marines.

Thanks to a state-of-the-art propulsion system she won’t need “fuel” for another 25 years. She Has 75 aircraft aboard her decks and projects global sea power and safety around the globe.

Keeping the sea lanes open and free of piracy along with defending our nation is the Navy’s primary mission and the USS Gerald R. Ford gives our team a global edge over all those who mean us harm.

Adversaries, like China and Russia, can’t come close to matching the USS Gerald R. Ford. It boosts some of the Navy’s best pilots, crew, and is the most high-tech carrier afloat in the world.

Fantastic news for the USS Gerald R. Ford is that she has performed all combat tasking tests and drills and, as projected, she is on duty this year with her crew.

The USS Gerald R. Ford naming effort dates back many years. But prior to former President Ford’s passing, this great patriot, learned this new class of carrier would be named in his honor.

The keel of the Ford was laid on Nov. 14, 2009. Laying the keel is the formal recognition of the start of a ship’s construction. The ceremony was attended by Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilders and members of the United States Navy. In earlier times, keel laying was when the first placement of the central timber took place, but as steel ships replaced wooden ones, the central timber gave way to a steel beam.

Christening is a ceremonial ship launching where the vessel is transferred to the water. On Nov. 9, 2013, the Ford was christened by Susan Ford-Bales, the daughter of Gerald R. Ford.

“For the United States of America, I christen thee Gerald R. Ford,” Ford-Bales said, ending the ship’s final moments ashore, according to America’s Navy. A traditional shattering of a champagne bottle across the ship’s bow christened the ship.

USS Gerald R. Ford was commissioned July 22, 2017, by then-President Donald J. Trump. The commissioning ceremony marks the entry of a ship into active naval service. This was the day Ford took her place in the fleet alongside the other ships.

Gerald R. Fords patriotism, valor, fidelity, and service to our nation will long be remembered and a proud ship and crew will sail her in the preservation of peace around the globe.

The USS Gerald R. Ford also known as CVN 78 ‘s home port is Norfolk, Va. The USS Gerald R Ford is at sea in the Atlantic conducting carrier operations with six ships and a fast-attack submarine. The Ford battle group is conducting operations with NATO forces.


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