Aircraft carrier Gerald Ford commissioning set for July

The future USS Gerald R. Ford gets underway on its own power for the first time in Newport News, Va., April 8, 2017. The aircraft carrier completed sea trials on Friday, April 14, and should be delivered to the Navy this spring.


By HUGH LESSIG | The Daily Press (Tribune News Service) | Published: June 21, 2017

Note: This article has been corrected.

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 bit.ly/2rO7U6A

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.

©2017 the Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
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Correction: An earlier version of this story was unclear on the date of the commissioning ceremony. It will be Saturday, July 22.

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