The U.S. Navy commissioned its new, first-of-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
The $13 billion aircraft carrier pioneers new technologies for this class of 21st century aircraft carriers, including electromagnetic launch and arresting systems, increased electrical power, new nuclear reactors, electromagnetic weapons elevators, new radars, and a redesigned and relocated island, among other innovations.
Among those attending were President Donald Trump, who was received by Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, and USS Gerald R. Ford Commanding Officer Capt. Rick McCormack.
More than 10,000 attended the event.
“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 President Donald 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.”
“So skipper, as we marvel at the technology and the daunting numbers that measure this ship, never lose sight that in times of crisis, you will be the first to respond, and when called upon, you will deliver the final word in the bidding of our nation,” said Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley. “Whenever you sail, wherever you sail, you will be a symbol of Unites States resolve and you will be a symbol of the man whose name you bear.”
CVN 78 honors President Gerald R. Ford, who served in the U.S. Navy and in Congress before becoming the 38th president of the United States in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal. He served as president from 1974 to 1977. Ford was a lieutenant commander aboard the light carrier USS Monterey (CVL 26) during World War II.