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ATLANTIC OCEAN (July 28, 2017) An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 approaches USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) for an arrested landing. The aircraft carrier was underway conducting test and evaluation operations.(U.S. Navy photo by Erik Hildebrandt/Released)

USS Gerald R. Ford Ends First Year of Service With a Long List of Accomplishments

By Rear Admiral Roy Kelley
Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

The first chapter of the book on USS Gerald R. Ford has now been written; a story of hard work, dedication, pride and an effort to strive for excellence. What began on a drawing board as “science fiction” quickly turned into “science fact” because of visionary engineers, skilled craftsmen and a crew of the world’s greatest Sailors.

On Sunday, July 15, CVN-78 was towed up the James River to Newport News Shipyard, officially ending her first year of naval service. Ford will now undergo a maintenance period to correct any issues that were identified during CVN-78’s post-delivery shakedown and modernize the systems of the world’s already most technologically advanced aircraft carrier. When the ship emerges from this necessary maintenance period, she will be an even greater asset to our Navy and our nation; especially as we once again enter another era of great power competition on the world’s oceans.

NORFOLK (July 15, 2018) The Navy's newest aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), arrives at Newport News Shipbuilding to begin a post-shakedown availability (PSA) period. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries by John Whale/Released)
NORFOLK (July 15, 2018) The Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), arrives at Newport News Shipbuilding to begin a post-shakedown availability (PSA) period. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries by John Whale/Released)

 

Since commissioning one year ago this month, the accomplishments of the ship and her crew are many; nearly 750 aircraft launched and recovered, fixed-wing aircraft/helicopter integration and compatibility testing, air traffic control center certification, JP-5 fuel system certification, underway replenishment capability demonstration, Dual Band Radar testing, and propulsion plant operations. No nation on earth can match the capability of USS Gerald R. Ford; a class of ship which will lead our Navy well into the 21st century.

Lastly, I would like to congratulate Ford’s commanding officer, Capt. Richard “Reddog” McCormack, who will soon be departing the ship after an extremely successful tour. Under his outstanding leadership, Ford spent 81 days at sea during eight independent steaming events. I’m confident the ship’s namesake, a former University of Michigan football player, would take great pride in knowing the flawless job done by Reddog to advance the Wolverines down the field.

From the designers to the builders to the Captain and crew – job well done!

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 29, 2017) An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the "Salty Dogs" of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 performs a touch-and-go landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). Ford was underway conducting testing and evaluation operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ruben Reed/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 29, 2017) An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the “Salty Dogs” of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 performs a touch-and-go landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). Ford was underway conducting testing and evaluation operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ruben Reed/Released)

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