Aircraft Carrier Gerald Ford Commissioning Set for July 22

Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) sailors man the rails as the ship returns to Norfolk after conducting builder’s sea trials, April 14, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo/Mass Communication 3rd Class Matthew R. Fairchild)
Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) sailors man the rails as the ship returns to Norfolk after conducting builder’s sea trials, April 14, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo/Mass Communication 3rd Class Matthew R. Fairchild)

The aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford will be commissioned Saturday, July 22, at Naval Station Norfolk, according to the Navy.

With the commissioning, it will become the USS Gerald R. Ford. The $12.9 billion warship, the first of a new generation of aircraft carriers, was built at Newport News Shipbuilding.

It was delivered to the Navy on May 31 after successfully completing two rounds of sea trials.

Tickets are required to attend the 10 a.m. commissioning ceremony. For more information about tickets, other commissioning-related events that weekend and the ship itself, visit the Ford commissioning website.

The Ford's addition brings the Navy up to 11 aircraft carriers, which hasn't been the case since the former USS Enterprise was removed from active service in December 2012. President Donald Trump has said he wants the Navy to eventually have a dozen aircraft carriers.

Work remains to be done before the Ford can deploy overseas. It will go through a shakedown phase during several at-sea tests. The ship will remain underway for longer periods to allow the crew to train and operate the ship's systems.

It is expected to be operational in 2020, according to Naval Sea Systems Command.

Work is under way on the next two Ford-class carriers at the Newport News shipyard, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries and the sole builder of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy.

The future USS John F. Kennedy is under construction, while advance work has started for the future USS Enterprise.

This article is written by Hugh Lessig from Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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