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    The USS Gerald R. Ford Has Begun Its First Deployment In October 2022, Marking The Beginning Of A New Era Of Naval Power

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    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) steams in the Atlantic Ocean, Oct. 27, 2019, for the first time since July 2018.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    The USS Gerald R. Ford, the U.S. Navy’s most advanced and largest aircraft carrier, has embarked on its much-anticipated first deployment.

    Representing a significant milestone in naval aviation and a testament to American maritime power.

    After years of delays, cost overruns, and rigorous testing, the first-in-class USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) set sail from Norfolk, Virginia, headed for the Atlantic Ocean to conduct a series of exercises and operations that will refine its capabilities and integrate new technologies.

    The ship’s departure marks the culmination of a long journey that began with its commissioning five years ago.

    General views of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) – b” by Thomas Dahlstrøm Nielsen is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

    Since then, the USS Gerald R. Ford has undergone explosive shock trials, including the detonation of 40,000-pound bombs near the carrier, and extensive maintenance to ensure its readiness for deployment.

    The carrier’s commanding officer, Capt. Paul Lanzilotta, underscored the significance of this deployment, stating, “we’re going to fly aircraft, we’re going to do air defense, we’re going to do long-range maritime strike,” with the objective of honing the Ford’s combat power.

    Among the Ford’s suite of new technologies are electromagnetic catapults for launching planes, advanced arresting gear for aircraft recovery, and advanced weapons elevators designed for rapid movement of ordnance.

    These advancements represent a leap in technology over the Navy’s 10 Nimitz-class carriers and are expected to boost the ship’s combat effectiveness significantly.

    Despite the optimism surrounding the deployment, the Ford has not been without its critics.

    From the corridors of Congress to the White House, the carrier has faced significant scrutiny.

    USS Gerald R. Ford pulls alongside USNS William McLean during a replenishment-at-sea..” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Former President Donald Trump, who commissioned the ship, expressed skepticism about its systems, stating, “It just doesn’t look right,” while Rep. Elaine Luria referred to the Ford as a “$13 billion nuclear-powered floating berthing barge.”

    An F/A-18F Super Hornet performs an arrested landing aboard USS Gerald R. Ford.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Nevertheless, the ship is ready to prove its critics wrong as it embarks on this deployment.

    Commissioning Ceremony of the USS Gerald R. Ford” by The White House is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

    This “short, service-retained deployment” will not only test the Ford’s capabilities but will also involve collaboration with allies and partners.

    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) pulls alongside USNS Patuxent (T-AO 201) during a replenishment-at-sea, May 15, 2020.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    According to Rear Adm. Gregory Huffman, commander of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, this deployment will “push the ball further down the field and demonstrate the advantage that Ford and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 bring to the future of naval aviation, to the region and to our allies and partners.”

    USS Gerald R. Ford conducts high-speed turns in the Atlantic Ocean, Oct. 29, 2019.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Approximately 9,000 personnel from nine countries, 20 ships, and 60 aircraft will participate in the deployment.

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