Marine One, carrying US President Donald Trump, landed aboard Ford on 22 July for the commissioning ceremony of the latest US aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R Ford (CVN-78), at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.
The President was joined at the ceremony by Defense Secretary Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis, Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson.
Over 10,000 friends and family members attended the commissioning, observing from the festivities from Ford’s hangar bay, the pier and USS Dwight D Eisenhower (CVN 69) berthed alongside.
Ford is the lead ship of the new Ford-class aircraft carriers and the first new US aircraft carrier design in 40 years, beginning the phased replacement of the 10 Nimitz-class carriers. She is also the first without steam catapults and without urinals. Ford is a gender-neutral ship reflecting the fact that twenty percent of the US Navy’s sailors are female. The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) replaces the traditional steam-powered catapults.
“Wherever this vessel cuts through the horizon, our allies will rest easy and our enemies will shake with fear because everyone will know that America is coming and America is coming strong,” said Trump. “Our true strength is our people. Our greatest weapon is all of you. Our nation endures because we have citizens who love America and who are willing to fight for America.”