USS Gerald R. Ford embarks on first deployment
On 4 October, the first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford departed Naval Station Norfolk on its first deployment to conduct operations and training in the Atlantic.
The Ford-class carrier sits at the centre of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG), which includes Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, USS Normandy, Rampage, Thomas Hudner and McFaul; replenishment oiler USNS Joshua Humpreys; dry cargo ship USNS Robert E. Peary; and US Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton.
The ship was planned to sail on 3 October but was postponed owing to inclement weather.
The deployment will involve some 9,000 personnel, 20 ships and 60 aircraft.
The Ford-class carriers are to displace around 100,000t full load, measure 332.8m in length, have a beam of 40.8m, and a draft of 7.8m.
The mammoth carriers are powered by two nuclear reactors producing a maximum speed of over 30kts.
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