Integrity at the Helm: USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)

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INTEGRITY AT THE HELM USS GERALD R. FORD (CVN 78)


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INTEGRITY AT THE HELM USS GERALD R. FORD (CVN 78)



WE PROUDLY SUPPORT THE MEN AND WOMEN SAFEGUARDING OUR FREEDOM. The Navy Exchange is extremely proud to celebrate the historic commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).









“I

n my life, I’ve received countless honors. But none was greater than the opportunity to wear the uniform of lieutenant commander in the United

States Navy. On an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific during World War II, I learned to respect, and to rely on, my comrades as if my life depended on them – because it often did. As a World War II veteran, I yield to no one in my admiration for the heroes of Omaha Beach and Iwo Jima. At the same time, I take enormous inspiration from their grandsons and granddaughters who are writing new chapters of heroism around the globe. Thus, it is a source of indescribable pride and humility to know that an aircraft carrier bearing my name may be permanently associated with the valor and patriotism of the men and women of the United States Navy.” – President Gerald R. Ford


Photo credit by Chris Oxley/Hill

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American Power Kato Engineering proudly supports the US Navy as an established manufacturing partner for surface ship alternators

The employees of Kato Engineering congratulate everyone involved in the design and construction of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). We are gratified by the opportunity to manufacture a key component of the EMALS system, continuing Kata’s history of supporting the US Navy.

The USS Gerald R. Ford is the latest addition to a long list of Navy ships with Kato power supply and energy storage equipment onboard. We’re honored to play a role supporting the people who are keeping our country strong.

katoengineering.com The US Navy did not select or approve this advertiser and does not endorse and is not responsible for the views or statements contained in this advertisement.


C O M M I S S I O N I N G

C O M M I T T EE

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Commissioning Committee Ship’s Sponsor

Susan Ford Bales Chairmen Gregory D. Willard • Douglas L. DeVos • Bryon M. Cavaney, Jr. Matrons of Honor Tyne M. Berlanga • Heather E. Devers Honorary Chairman Richard A. Ford (In Memoriam) Honorary Co-Chairpersons Hon. and Mrs. James A. Baker, III; Hon. and Mrs. James Cavanaugh; Hon. and Mrs. Dick Cheney Hon. and Mrs. William Coleman (In Memoriam); Hon. and Mrs. Alan Greenspan Hon. Carla Hills and Hon. Roderick Hills (In Memoriam); Mr. and Mrs. Bob Innamorati; Hon. and Mrs. Henry Kissinger Hon. and Mrs. John Knebel; Hon. and Mrs. Melvin Laird (In Memoriam); Hon. and Mrs. John O. Marsh Hon. and Mrs. David Mathews; Hon. and Mrs. Terrence O’Donnell; Hon. and Mrs. Paul O’Neill; Mr. and Mrs. Leon Parma Hon. and Mrs. Donald Rumsfeld; Lt Gen Brent Scowcroft, USAF (Ret.); Hon. and Mrs. William Usery (In Memoriam) Hon. and Mrs. John Warner; Mr. and Mrs. Sanford Weill; Hon. and Mrs. Donald Winter; Hon. and Mrs. Frank Zarb Mr. and Mrs. Michael Ford; Mr. and Mrs. John Ford; Mr. Steven Ford Commissioning Committee VADM David Architzel, USN (Ret.); Vaden and Susan Ford Bales; Allen Beermann; Tyne and Hector Berlanga; Dan Bitzer Randy Bumgardner; Joe and Donna Calvaruso; Red and Sheri Cavaney; CAPT William Crow, USN (Ret) Ann Cullen and Len Nurmi; Doug and Maria DeVos; Heather and Jeff Devers; Jennifer Dunn; Linda Ermen; Allen Fabijan Jim and Kathy Hackett; Larry Harlow; J. C. and Tammy Huizenga; Dennie Jagger; Ross Jobson; Bre Kingsbury; Stephen Kirkland CAPT Wayne Kruger, USN (Ret.); Gayle Lemieux; Victor Martinez, Hank and Liesel Meijer; FORCM James Monroe, USN (Ret.) Don and Angela Sheets; FLTCM Jon Thompson, USN (Ret.); Steve and Amy Van Andel; Greg and Annie Willard Michael Williams; MaryPat Woodard Maryellen Baldwin, President & CEO, Navy League of the United States, Hampton Roads Ship Sponsor’s Advisory Committee Bryan Moore; Dalton DeVos; David Willard; Eric Ochmanek; Geoff Hummel; George Gigicos; Gina McLanahan; Heather and Jeff Devers; Jennifer Dunn; John Willard; Leon Parma; Lucas Hicks; Matt Bales; Matt Mulherin; Matthew Innamorati; Mike Willard; Rob Hackett; Rolf Bartschi; Sammy Vreeland; Tyne and Hector Berlanga

USS GERALD R. FORD

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We salute you

The hard-working men and women of Milwaukee Valve salute the USS Gerald R. Ford and its crew.

Milwaukee Valve products have been installed on U.S. Navy warships for more than 50 years – and every platform of U.S. warship and submarine today. From concept and engineering to design and manufacture, our valves utilize the best technologies available to meet the Navy’s stringent requirements. And our legacy as a trusted shipbuilding partner reflects how proud we are to salute, support and protect our warfighters at sea.

www.MilwaukeeValve.com The U.S. Navy did not select or approve this advertiser, and does not endorse and is not responsible for the views or statements contained in this advertisement. © 2016, Milwaukee Valve Company


B OA R D

O F

D I R E CTO R S

Navy League of the United States Hampton Roads Council EXECUTIVE BOARD AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chairman of the Board CAPT Bill Crow, USN (RET) President and CEO Maryellen Baldwin Executive Board CAPT Christopher “Kit” Chope, USN (RET) – Vice President At Large MajGen Jon A. Gallinetti, USMC (RET) – Immediate Past President CAPT Robert N. Geis, USN (RET) – Vice President At Large Mrs. Julie A. Gifford – Vice President of Membership Mr. John Griffing – Vice President of Development VADM James D. McArthur, Jr., USN (RET) – Vice President of Military Affairs FORCM James “Jim” Monroe, USN (RET) – Treasurer CDR Mark E. Newcomb, JACG, USN (RET) – Judge Advocate FLTCM Jon Thompson, USN (RET) – Secretary

Board of Directors HON David H. Adams VADM David Architzel, USN (RET) CDR Charles S. Arrants, USN (RET) RADM Charles J. Beers, USN (RET) CAPT Robert E. Clark, USN (RET) Mr. Joseph Gianascoli ADM William “Bill” E. Gortney, USN (RET) CAPT Ronald Hoppock, USN (RET) CAPT Cameron Ingram, USN (RET) RADM Jack Kavanaugh, SC, USN (RET) Mr. Kevin F. King CAPT Louis P. Lalli, USN (RET) Mrs. Elizabeth Mayo Mrs. Christina Murray CAPT Michael O’Hearn, USN (RET) LtCol John A. Panneton, USMC (RET) CMDCM Len Santivasci, USN (RET) CAPT Louis J. Schager, Jr., USN (RET)

USS GERALD R. FORD

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SERVICE. LOYALTY. COURAGE. HONOR.

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Contents 19 COMMISSIONING COMMITTEE

77 EAGLE SCOUTS CARRY ON FORD’S LEGACY By Ben Pycraft

21 NAVY LEAGUE BOARD OF DIRECTORS 79 COMMISSIONING SPONSORS

INTERVIEWS

96 “WHERE ARE THE CARRIERS?”

48 SUSAN FORD BALES, SHIP’S SPONSOR

By Norman Friedman

62 GREGORY D. WILLARD, COMMISSIONING CO-CHAIRMAN

114 USS GERALD R. FORD AND TOMORROW’S AIRCRAFT CARRIERS

84 MATT MULHERIN, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, HUNTINGTON INGALLS INDUSTRIES AND PRESIDENT, NEWPORT NEWS SHIPBUILDING

By Norman Friedman

126 DESIGNING AND BUILDING AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER By Edward Lundquist

110 COMMISSIONING CO-CHAIRMAN DOUGLAS L. DEVOS AND PRESIDENT GERALD FORD’S CLOSE PERSONAL FRIEND RICHARD M. “RICH” DEVOS, SR.

136 FORD’S CREW REPRESENTS ALL OF THE NAVY, AND ALL OF THE NATION By Edward Lundquist

134 BYRON M. “RED” CAVANEY, JR., COMMISSIONING CO-CHAIRMAN

BIOS 28 PRESIDENT GERALD R. FORD 57 CAPT. RICHARD C. MCCORMACK, COMMANDING OFFICER 59 CAPT. BRENT C. GAUT, EXECUTIVE OFFICER 61 MASTER CHIEF LAURA NUNLEY, COMMAND MASTER CHIEF 67 THE SHIP’S CREST 68 COMMUNICATION, COMMISSIONINGS, COMMITMENT The Navy League Supports the Sea Services By Edward Lundquist


Velan congratulates all the hardworking men and women who helped build the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).

As a major supplier of valves to Northrop Grumman Newport News and the U.S. Navy for over 60 years, we are proud to design, qualify, and manufacture valves for the lead ship in the Ford class fleet of the United States Navy supercarriers. www.velan.com

Quality that lasts.


Contents 157 CVN 78 DEPARTMENTS By USS Gerald R. Ford Public Affairs

164 THE CARRIER AIR WING: TODAY AND TOMORROW By Eric Tegler

174 CARRIERS IN WAR AND PEACE By Dwight Jon Zimmerman

197 THE JEEP CARRIERS By Dwight Jon Zimmerman

202 AIRCRAFT CARRIER EVOLUTION By Norman Friedman

215 THE PADDLE WHEEL AIRCRAFT CARRIERS By Dwight Jon Zimmerman

218 SCOUT, STRIKE, FIGHT The Birth and Evolution of the Carrier Air Wing By Jan Tegler

234 THE POSTWAR CARRIER REVOLUTION By Norman Friedman

247 THE SEA CONTROL SHIP By John D. Gresham

252 UNDERWAY ON NUCLEAR POWER By Norman Friedman

264 CARRIERS AROUND THE WORLD By Norman Friedman

278 USS GERALD R. FORD PLANKOWNERS


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The manufacturer of Metalphoto® (Horizons Imaging Systems Group) congratulates the men and women of the US Navy on the launch of the USS Gerald R. Ford CVN 78. We look forward to continuing to provide the US Armed Forces with the highest quality material for all their asset identification needs, as we have for the past 65 years.

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INTEGRITY AT THE HELM USS GERALD R. FORD (CVN 78)

Published by Faircount Media Group 4915 W. Cypress St. Tampa, FL 33607 Tel: 813.639.1900 www.defensemedianetwork.com www.faircount.com EDITORIA L Editor in Chief: Chuck Oldham Managing Editor: Ana E. Lopez Editor: Rhonda Carpenter Contributing Writers: Norman Friedman, John D. Gresham, Edward H. Lundquist, Ben Pycraft, Eric Tegler, Jan Tegler, Dwight Jon Zimmerman DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Art Director: Robin K. McDowall Designer: Daniel Mrgan Ad Traffic Manager: Rebecca Laborde ADVERTISING Ad Sales Manager: Steve Chidel Account Executives: Benjamin Baugh Chris Day, Art Dubuc, Joe Gonzalez Andrew Moss, Troy Koontz OPER ATIONS AND ADMINISTR ATION Chief Operating Officer: Lawrence Roberts VP, Business Development: Robin Jobson Business Development: Damion Harte Financial Controller: Robert John Thorne Chief Information Officer: John Madden Business Analytics Manager: Colin Davidson FAIRCOUNT MEDIA GROUP Publisher, North America: Ross Jobson Copyright Faircount LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction of editorial content in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Faircount LLC and the Navy League of the United States, Hampton Roads, do not assume responsibility for the advertisements, nor any representation made therein, nor for the quality or deliverability of the products themselves. Reproduction of the articles and photographs, in whole or in part, contained herein is prohibited without written permission of the publisher, with the exception of reprinting for news media use. Permission to use various images and content in this publication was obtained from the U.S. Department of Defense and its agencies, and in no way is used to imply an endorsement by any U.S. Department of Defense entity for any claims or representations therein. None of the advertising herein implies U.S. government, U.S. Department of Defense, or U.S. Navy endorsement of any private entity or enterprise. This is not a publication of the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Navy, or the U.S. government.


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President Gerald R. Ford

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

(July 14, 1913 – Dec. 26, 2006)

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According to an ancient tradition, God preserves humanity despite its many transgressions because at any one period there exist ten just individuals who, without being aware of their role, redeem mankind. Gerald Ford was such a man. Propelled into the presidency by a sequence of unpredictable events, he had an impact so profound it’s rightly to be considered providential.

– Secretary of State Henry Kissinger EARLY YEARS Gerald R. Ford, 38th President of the United States, was born Leslie Lynch King, Jr., the son of Leslie Lynch King and Dorothy Ayer Gardner King, on July 14, 1913, in Omaha, Nebraska. His parents separated two weeks after his birth, and his mother moved with him to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to live with her parents. On Feb. 1, 1916, approximately two years after her divorce, Dorothy King married Gerald R. Ford, a Grand Rapids businessman. The Fords immediately began calling her son Jerry Ford, and in 1935, his name was officially changed to Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. The future president grew up in a close-knit family that included three younger brothers – Thomas, Richard, and James. Mr. Ford attended South High School in Grand Rapids, where he excelled scholastically and athletically. He was named to the honor society and both the “All-City” and “AllState” football teams. To earn spending money he worked for the family paint business and at a local restaurant. He was also active in Scouting, and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in November 1927 – the only American president to do so.

COLLEGE YEARS From 1931 to 1935, Mr. Ford attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he majored in economics and political science, and graduated with a B.A. degree in June 1935. At a time of national economic hardship, he financed his education with part-time jobs, a small scholarship from his high school, and modest family assistance.

Gerald R. Ford’s high school graduation portrait.

OUTSTANDING ATHLETE An extremely gifted athlete, Mr. Ford was a three-year letterman and played on Michigan’s national championship football teams in 1932 and 1933. He was voted the Wolverines’ most USS GERALD R. FORD

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Gerald R. Ford on the football field at the University of Michigan (1933).

valuable player. On Jan. 1, 1935, he played in the annual East-West College All-Star Game in San Francisco. That August, he played at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears in the Chicago Tribune College All-Star Football Game, and his performance led to offers from the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. In tribute to one of its greatest student-athletes, Michigan subsequently retired Mr. Ford’s jersey number – 48. In addition, he was named to Sports Illustrated’s Silver Anniversary All-America Football Team, received the National Football Foundation’s Gold Medal – its highest honor – and in 2006, was recognized by the NCAA as one of the 100 most influential student-athletes of the last century. In 2003, the NCAA created the NCAA President Gerald R. Ford Award, which is presented annually to an individual who has provided significant leadership as an advocate for intercollegiate athletics on a continuous basis over the course of their career. In 2005, the Gerald R. Ford Legends of Center Award was created to honor and promote President Ford’s athletic and public service ideals. The award is presented annually to an outstanding former collegiate or professional football center who has also made significant contributions to his community through philanthropic or business endeavors.

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“Long before he arrived in Washington, Gerald Ford’s word was good. During the three decades of public service that followed his arrival in our nation’s capital, time and again he would step forward and keep his promise even when the dark clouds of political crisis gathered over America. After a deluded gunman assassinated President Kennedy, our nation turned to Gerald Ford and a select handful of others to make sense of that madness. And the conspiracy theorists can say what they will, but the Warren Commission report will always have the final definitive say on this tragic matter. Why? Because Jerry Ford put his name on it and Jerry Ford’s word was always good. A decade later, when scandal forced a Vice President from office, President Nixon turned to the minority leader in the House to stabilize his administration because of Jerry Ford’s sterling reputation for integrity within the Congress. To political ally and adversary alike, Jerry Ford’s word was always good. And, of course, when the lie that was Watergate was finally laid bare, once again we entrusted our future and our hopes to this good man. The very sight of Chief Justice Burger administering the oath of office to our 38th President instantly restored the honor of the Oval Office and helped America begin to turn the page on one of our saddest chapters.” – President George H.W. Bush


P R ES I D EN T

“Jerry and I frequently agreed that one of the greatest blessings that we had after we left the White House during the last quarter-century was the intense personal friendship that bound us together … During our closely contested political campaign, as Don [Rumsfeld] just reminded me, we habitually referred to each other as ‘‘my distinguished opponent.’’ And, for my own benefit, while I was president, I kept him fully informed about everything that I did in the domestic or international arena. In fact, he was given a thorough briefing almost every month from the head of my White House staff or my National Security Adviser. And Jerry never came to the Washington area without being invited to have lunch with me at the White House. We always cherished those memories of now perhaps a long-lost bipartisan interrelationship … As president, I relished his sound advice. And he often, although, I must say, reluctantly, departed from the prevailing opinion of his political party to give me support on some of my most difficult challenges … We enjoyed each other’s private company. And he and I commented often that, when we were traveling somewhere in an automobile or airplane, we hated to reach our destination, because we enjoyed the private times that we had together. … One of my proudest moments was at the commemoration of the 200th birthday of the White House, when two noted historians both declared that the FordCarter friendship was the most intensely personal between any two presidents in history. …”

NATIONAL ARCHIVES

– President Jimmy Carter

WILLIS WARD The University of Michigan’s 1934 football season was not as strong as the previous two years. The Michigan Wolverines faced Georgia Tech in 1934, and Georgia Tech being from the South, and the year being 1934, Georgia Tech refused to take the field unless Michigan benched its star half-back Willis Ward. Why? Simply because Willis Ward was black. Unconscionable today, but the time was 1934, and Georgia Tech was set in its ways. Unfortunately, Michigan acquiesced and benched Ward. As the captain of the team, and close friend and roommate with Ward for away games, Ford was outraged. He decided to quit the team and stand up for his friend. Only after an emotional personal appeal from Willis Ward that he suit up and play for Ward and for the team did Ford take the field that Saturday. Michigan won the game (their only win that season!). The moral courage exhibited by team captain Ford that weekend was an early indicator as to how

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A game of basketball in the forward elevator well of USS Monterey (CVL 26) in 1944. The jumper on the left is future President Gerald R. Ford.

he would respond 40 years later when faced with an unprecedented challenge confronting the American people.

YALE LAW SCHOOL Mr. Ford chose the legal profession over a professional football career. To help pay for law school, he initially took a dual position as assistant varsity football coach and boxing coach at Yale University, where he coached future U.S. Senators Robert Taft, Jr., and William Proxmire. He enrolled in Yale Law School while also continuing his coaching responsibilities. Among an extraordinary group of law school classmates were future Supreme Court Justices Potter Stewart and Byron White, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Sargent Shriver, Pennsylvania Governors William Scranton and Raymond Shafer, U.S. Senator Peter Dominick, and author William Lord. Gerald Ford earned his LL.B. degree from Yale in 1941, and graduated in the top 25 percent of his class. After returning to Michigan and passing the bar exam, Mr. Ford and a University of Michigan fraternity brother, Philip A. Buchen (later to serve as President Ford’s White House Counsel), established a law partnership in Grand Rapids. Mr. Ford also became active in a local group of reform-minded Republicans who called themselves the Home Front. When the United States entered World War II. Mr. Ford promptly joined the U.S. Naval Reserve, where he received a commission as an ensign in April 1942 and subsequently was appointed lieutenant commander. Following an orientation program at Annapolis, he became an instructor at a pre-flight school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In spring 1943, he began service on the aircraft carrier USS Monterey. Initially assigned as a gunnery division officer, then assistant navigator, he took part in major operations in the South Pacific, including the battles for Truk, Saipan, Guam, Formosa, Marianas, and the Philippines. During a vicious typhoon in the Philippine Sea in USS GERALD R. FORD

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STANDING READY TO SERVE AND PROTECT OUR NATION AND OUR FREEDOM.

T H A N K YO U, U S S G E R A L D R . F O R D ( C V N 7 8 ) .

Use of U.S. DoD visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

Photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Congratulations and Best Wishes to the United States Navy on the Commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). L3 is proud of our long-standing relationship with the nation’s shipbuilders and the U.S. Navy, and we are honored to provide our systems and expertise to this highly capable addition to the fleet. We wish the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and its crew great success in the many years ahead. To learn more, please visit L3T.com/B2P.

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L3T.com


P R ES I D EN T

“President Ford is remembered for the cheerful, unassuming spirit he brought to the nation’s highest office, at a time when a dose of the normal and the modest went a long way. Scandal, bitter conflict, needless drama and posturing – all of these were at their worst in Washington. And here, almost by chance, was perhaps the one man best suited to put it all behind us. Gerald Ford accomplished that by being more than a nice guy, though he surely was that. He saw America through its travails – through the end of the war in Vietnam as well – by wisdom and by strength of character. When Americans can look at the Oval Office and see our country’s finest qualities at work, that’s always worth a lot. In the 895 days of the Ford presidency, it mattered more than anything. No one who saw it up close can ever doubt the difference that one good man can make.”

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Gerald R. Ford, as an officer in the U.S. Navy in 1945.

– Vice President Dick Cheney

December 1944, he came within inches of being swept overboard. Severely damaged by the storm and a resulting fire, the ship had to be taken out of service. Lt. Cmdr. Ford was honorably released from active duty in February 1946, having been awarded an Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one silver star and four bronze stars, a Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two bronze stars, an American Campaign Medal, and a World War II Victory Medal.

CONGRESS Following the war, his passion for public service remained. As one journalist emphasized, “(H)e came from a generation accustomed to difficult missions, shaped by the sacrifices and the deprivations of the Great Depression, a generation that gave up its innocence and youth to then win a great war and save the world. And when that generation came home from war, they were mature beyond their years and eager to make the world they had saved a better place. They re-enlisted as citizens and set out to serve their country in new ways, with political differences but always with the common goal of doing what’s best for the nation and all the people.” Returning home to Grand Rapids, Mr. Ford became a partner in the prestigious law firm of Butterfield, Keeney and Amberg. A self-proclaimed “compulsive joiner,” he was already well known throughout the community. He rejected his previous support for isolationism and USS GERALD R. FORD

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adopted, instead, an outlook more in keeping with America’s new-found responsibilities on the global stage. In 1948, with the encouragement of his hometown political hero, Sen. Arthur Vandenberg, and reinforced by his stepfather, who was county Republican chairman, Mr. Ford decided to challenge isolationist Congressman Bartel Jonkman in the Republican primary. Against all odds, the upstart Gerald Ford defeated Jonkman. In the subsequent general election that fall, he received 61 percent of the vote. At the age of 35, Gerald Ford was on his way to Washington for the first of 13 terms in the House of Representatives. A seat in Congress wasn’t the only thing he won in autumn 1948. On Oct. 15, at the height of the fall campaign, Mr. Ford married Elizabeth Ann Bloomer Warren. For more than 58 years, their partnership flourished, enriched immeasurably by their four children, Michael, John, Steven, and Susan, and by their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Ford served in the House of Representatives from Jan. 3, 1949 to Dec. 6, 1973, being reelected 12 times, each time with more than 60 percent of the vote. The new Congressman quickly established a reputation for personal integrity, hard work, and the ability to deal effectively with both Republicans and Democrats – qualities that would define his entire political career. He once described himself as “a moderate in domestic affairs, an internationalist in foreign affairs, and a conservative in fiscal policy.” He became a member of the House Appropriations Committee in 1951 and rose to prominence on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, becoming its ranking minority member in 1961. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman invited him to the White House for a personal tour to examine the dilapidated and dangerous conditions of the White House. Mr. Ford subsequently was instrumental in securing necessary congressional funding to rebuild and modernize the White House during the Truman presidency. As his reputation as a legislator grew, Gerald Ford was called upon, among other assignments, to serve on the first NASA Oversight Committee and on the CIA and Intelligence Oversight Committees. He declined offers in the 1950s to run for both the Senate and the Michigan Governorship. His political ambition was specific – to become Speaker of the House. In 1960, he was mentioned as a possible vice presidential running mate for Richard Nixon. In 1963 a group of younger, more progressive House Republicans – the “Young Turks” – rebelled against their party’s leadership, and Mr. Ford defeated Charles Hoeven of Iowa for chairman of the House Republican Conference, the No. 3 leadership position in the party. In 1963, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, President Lyndon Johnson appointed Gerald Ford to the Warren Commission that investigated the crime. Mr. Ford was the last living member of the Warren Commission. President George H.W. Bush assessed Ford’s central role on the Warren Commission: “The Warren Commission report will always have the final definitive say on this tragic matter. Why? Because Jerry Ford put his name on it and Jerry Ford’s word was always good.” The battle for the 1964 Republican presidential nomination was drawn on sharp ideological lines between Liberal Nelson Rockefeller and conservative Barry Goldwater. However, Mr. Ford

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“Gerald Ford brought to the political arena no demons, no hidden agenda, no hit list or acts of vengeance. He knew who he was and he didn’t require consultants or gurus to change him. Moreover, the country knew who he was and despite occasional differences, large and small, it never lost its affection for the man from Michigan, the football player, the lawyer and the veteran, the Congressman and suburban husband, the champion of Main Street values who brought all of those qualities to the White House. Once there, he stayed true to form, never believing that he was suddenly wiser and infallible because he drank his morning coffee from a cup with a Presidential seal. He didn’t seek the office. And yet, as he told his friend, the late, great journalist Hugh Sidey, he was not frightened of the task before him. … My colleague Bob Schieffer called him the nicest man he ever met in politics. To that I would only add the most underestimated. In many ways I believe football was a metaphor for his life in politics and after. He played in the middle of the line. He was a center, a position that seldom receives much praise. But he had his hands on the ball for every play and no play could start without him. And when the game was over and others received the credit, he didn’t whine or whimper.” – Tom Brokaw

had previously endorsed Michigan’s favorite son, Gov. George Romney, and thus did not become embroiled in the resulting schism in the party. In the wake of Goldwater’s lopsided defeat at the hands of Johnson, Gerald Ford was chosen by the Young Turks to challenge Charles Halleck for the position of minority leader of the House. With the help of then- Congressmen Donald Rumsfeld and Bob Dole, Mr. Ford narrowly upset Halleck. He assumed his new position early in 1965 and held it for eight years. As minority leader, his national stature rose quickly. As part of his efforts to rebuild the Republican Party, he typically made more than 200 speeches a year across the country. Under Mr. Ford’s leadership, the House Republicans steadily gained members, but never a majority. In both the 1968 and 1972 elections, Mr. Ford was a supporter of Richard Nixon, who had been a friend for many years. In 1968, Gerald Ford was again mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate. Not even the Nixon landslide of 1972 could give Republicans a majority in the House, thereby leaving Mr. Ford unable to reach his ultimate political goal – to be Speaker of the House of Representatives.

VICE PRESIDENT When Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned in October 1973, President Nixon was authorized by the 25th Amendment to appoint, subject to congressional confirmation, a replacement. He needed someone who could work with Congress, survive close scrutiny of his political career and private life, and be confirmed quickly. Heeding an immediate and strong bipartisan consensus, he chose Gerald R. Ford. Following one of the most thorough background investigations in the history of the FBI,


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President Gerald R. Ford is sworn in by Chief Justice Warren Burger.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Mr. Ford was confirmed by a vote of 92 to 3 in the Senate and 387 to 35 in the House of Representatives and sworn in as vice president on Dec. 6, 1973.

PRESIDENT The specter of the Watergate scandal, the break-in at Democratic headquarters during the 1972 campaign, and the ensuing coverup by Nixon administration officials hung over Mr. Ford’s ninemonth tenure as vice president. When it became apparent that evidence, public opinion, and the mood in Congress were all pointing toward impeachment, Richard Nixon became the only president to resign. On Aug. 9, 1974, Gerald Ford assumed the presidency amidst the gravest constitutional crisis since the Civil

War. Few presidents confronted so daunting a challenge. Not only did the new president face widespread public disillusionment in the wake of the Watergate scandals and the Vietnam War, he had to grapple with a devastating economic recession, a burgeoning energy crisis, and mounting tensions around the globe. The president who never sought the presidency resolved that his time in office, however long or short, would be a time of healing and energizing the country to move forward in a positive way. But it was President Ford’s confidence in his fellow citizens, and his devotion to our constitutional heritage, that helped him shoulder so effectively the burdens of the Oval Office. He immediately set about USS GERALD R. FORD

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TO PRESIDENT FORD’S FAMILY AND ALL WHO SERVE ABOARD USS GERALD R. FORD (CVN 78).


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restoring confidence in the presidency and healing the wounds of the nation. In his first speech as president – Lincolnesque in tone and Ford-like in its personal modesty – he said: “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works; our great republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule. But there is a higher power, by whatever name we honor Him, who ordains not only righteousness but love, not only justice but mercy. As we bind up the internal wounds of Watergate, more painful and more poisonous than those of foreign wars, let us restore the golden rule to our political process, and let brotherly love purge our hearts of suspicion and of hate. With all the strength and all of the good sense I have gained from life … I now solemnly reaffirm my promise I made to you last December 6: to uphold the Constitution, to do what is right as God gives me to see the right, and to do the very best I can for America. God helping me, I will not let you down.”

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President Gerald R. Ford appearing at the House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on pardoning former President Richard Nixon.

PARDON AND AMNESTY Shortly after becoming president, he announced amnesty terms for Vietnam-era draft evaders and pardoned his predecessor. Both acts were highly controversial at the time, but President Ford courageously put America’s best interests ahead of his own political popularity. The pardon of Richard Nixon was an act as personally courageous as it was politically detrimental. However, Mr. Ford strongly believed that protracted criminal proceedings would keep the country mired in Watergate and prevent the new administration and the American people from addressing other critical issues. Accordingly, he decided to grant the pardon prior to the filing of any formal criminal charges against the former president. Many in Washington and around the country were in an uproar, USS GERALD R. FORD

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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS PHOTO BY THOMAS J. HALLORAN

President Gerald R. Ford (center right) with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (center left) and others including Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (right) at the White House.

and Gerald Ford’s political honeymoon was over; his approval rating plummeted immediately with an estimated 60 percent of the American public disagreeing with the pardon. However, history has been much more generous regarding the pardon than were President Ford’s contemporaries. This historical reexamination of the pardon culminated in the May 2001 presentation of the Profile in Courage Award to President Ford by the John F. Kennedy Foundation. As Sen. Edward Kennedy explained in presenting the award: “At a time of national turmoil, America was fortunate that it was Gerald Ford who took the helm of the storm-tossed ship of state. Unlike many of us at the time, President Ford recognized that the nation had to move forward, and could not do so if there was a continuing effort to prosecute former President Nixon. So President Ford made a courageous decision – one that historians now say cost him his office – and he pardoned Richard Nixon. I was one of those who spoke out against his action then. But time has a way of clarifying past events, and now we see that President Ford was right. His courage and dedication to our country made it possible for us to begin the process of healing and put the tragedy of Watergate behind us.” President Ford’s Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, was equally direct in concluding that Gerald Ford “saved the country. In fact, he saved it in such a matter of fact way that he isn’t given credit for it.” Four decades later, the conclusion of historians across the spectrum is that President Ford’s decision to pardon Mr. Nixon was one of the most courageous acts in this history of the presidency.

NEW ADMINISTRATION Within the month, President Ford nominated Rockefeller for vice president. On Dec. 19, 1974, Congress confirmed Rockefeller, and the country once more had a full complement

of leaders. Mr. Ford confronted a divisive war in Southeast Asia, rising inflation at home, and a desperate need to restore the credibility of the presidency. He also found himself dealing with a Congress increasingly assertive of its rights and powers. The Ford philosophy was best summarized by one of his favorite speech lines: “A government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.” In domestic policy, President Ford pioneered economic deregulation, formulated tax and spending cuts, and decontrolled energy prices to stimulate production. Through such steps, he successfully contained both inflation and unemployment, while at the same time reducing the size and role of a federal government whose growth to many observers seemed inexorable. Thus, President Ford foreshadowed subsequent efforts by his successors to continue these policies to make government smaller, smarter, and more supportive of private initiatives. He championed policies and legislation that brought about changes that today we take for granted, including individual retirement accounts (IRAs), automated teller machines (ATMs), Title IX regulations for women’s high school and college athletics, and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. The heavily Democratic Congress often disagreed with President Ford, which led to numerous confrontations and his frequent use of the veto to restrain runaway government spending. Presidential historian Richard Norton Smith described the essence of Gerald Ford’s leadership and strength of character: “President Ford never confused compromise with surrender, or moderation with weakness. While he had adversaries, he never had an enemy.” Columnist Mort Kondracke noted, “Gerald Ford represented the best in American politics … and [a style] that I’m afraid we are never going to see again.” Through tough negotiations and principled compromise and despite large Democratic majorities in Congress, landmark legislation was enacted to promote energy USS GERALD R. FORD

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decontrol, implement sweeping tax cuts, deregulate the railroad and securities industries, and reform antitrust laws.

OUTSTANDING CABINET AND WHITE HOUSE STAFF One of President Ford’s greatest strengths as a leader was his self-confidence and sense of security around others. According to columnist David Broder, President Ford “had one of the most competent staffs any of us have seen.” The advisers he appointed included a large number of extremely bright, capable people who would go on after the Ford administration to render further outstanding service to the American people. George H.W. Bush was his CIA Director; his White House chief of staff was Dick Cheney; his Secretary of State was Henry Kissinger; his chief economic advisor was Alan Greenspan; Donald Rumsfeld was his Secretary of Defense; his Attorney General was Edward Levi; his Secretary of Housing and Urban Development was Carla Hills; Brent Scowcroft was his National Security Advisor, William Simon was Treasury Secretary, and David Mathews was Secretary of HEW; his Under Secretary of Commerce was James Baker; his Secretary of Transportation was William Coleman; Frank Zarb was Administrator of the Federal Energy Administration; his OMB Director and Deputy Director were James Lynn and Paul O’Neill; and his White House staff included Robert Gates, James Cannon, John Marsh, Lawrence Eagleberger, Winston Lord, William Seidman, and Max Friedersdorf. And among his many appointees, none brought greater pride to President Ford than his appointment of John Paul Stevens to

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President Gerald R. Ford surrounded by members of the 94th Congress, including Majority Leader Tip O’Neill, after delivering the State of the Union address.

the United States Supreme Court. The list of President Ford’s outstanding advisers who continued with distinguished public service careers goes on and on.

FOREIGN POLICY In foreign policy, Mr. Ford was resolute and visionary. He continued the policy of détente with the Soviet Union and developed an aggressive “shuttle diplomacy” in the Middle East. U.S.Soviet relations were marked by ongoing arms negotiations, the Helsinki agreements on human rights principles and East European national boundaries, trade negotiations, and the symbolic Apollo-Soyuz joint manned space flight. One of President Ford’s boldest, and at the time most controversial, foreign policy initiatives occurred in southern Africa. For many years, U.S. policy was to support the government of South Africa, which for decades had practiced apartheid. In 1976, President Ford decided that a change in U.S. policy was long overdue, despite political considerations that strongly suggested otherwise. Secretary of State Kissinger went to Zambia and announced President Ford’s decision that the longstanding U.S. support of South Africa, with its unconscionable policies of apartheid, was over. Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations William Scranton characterized this decision by President Ford as “one of the finest achievements” of twentieth century U.S. foreign policy. President Ford forcefully pushed for conclusion of the Helsinki agreements. His tireless efforts in negotiating those USS GERALD R. FORD

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“This president’s hardest decision was also among his first. And in September 1974, Gerald Ford was almost alone in understanding that there can be no healing without pardon. The consensus holds that this decision cost him an election. That is very likely so. The criticism was fierce. But President Ford had larger concerns at heart. And it is far from the worst fate that a man should be remembered for his capacity to forgive. In politics it can take a generation or more for a matter to settle, for tempers to cool. The distance of time has clarified many things about President Gerald Ford. And now death has done its part to reveal this man and the president for what he was. He was not just a cheerful and pleasant man – although these virtues are rare enough at the commanding heights. He was not just a nice guy, the next-door neighbor whose luck landed him in the White House. It was this man, Gerald R. Ford, who led our republic safely through a crisis that could have turned to catastrophe. We will never know what further unravelings, what greater malevolence might have come in that time of furies turned loose and hearts turned cold. But we do know this: America was spared the worst. And this was the doing of an American president.” – Vice President Dick Cheney

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President Gerald R. Ford meeting with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at the White House.

agreements, though politically controversial at the time, are now seen with the benefit of history as the first step toward democratization of Eastern Europe and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. Years later Colin Powell declared Gerald Ford’s leadership and personal participation in the Helsinki agreements as “a bold, brave, visionary act” and “one of President Ford’s greatest moments.” “Historians will debate for a long time over which president contributed most to victory in the Cold War,” said Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in summarizing President Ford’s profound impact. “Few will dispute that the Cold War could not have been won had not Gerald Ford emerged at a tragic period to restore equilibrium to America and confidence in its international role.” President Ford’s personal diplomacy also included trips to Japan – the first by an American president – and China; a 10-day European tour; and establishment of the annual international economic meeting of leaders (today known as the G-8 summits). In addition, as America’s Bicentennial president, Gerald Ford received numerous foreign heads of state in the nation’s capital. Henry Kissinger noted the depth and breadth of President Ford’s achievements in foreign policy. “President Ford established the

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS PHOTO BY MARION S. TRIKOSKO

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closest relationship of any American President, in any period, with European leaders, and he did this by his special qualities – openness, intelligence, directness,” Kissinger said. “And what is even more remarkable is that they have remained friends of his even after he left government … Abroad, his reputation was enormous.” With the fall of South Vietnam in 1975 as background, Congress and President Ford repeatedly clashed over presidential powers, oversight of the CIA and covert operations, military aid appropriations, and the stationing of military personnel. On May 14, 1975, just days after Saigon fell, President Ford ordered U.S. forces to retake the SS Mayaguez, an American merchant ship seized by Cambodian gunboats in international waters two days earlier. The vessel was recovered, and all 39 crewmembers were saved. Unfortunately, 41 brave Americans lost their lives in the preparation and execution of the rescue. The president himself did not escape the tumult of those times. On two separate trips to California in September 1975, Gerald Ford was the target of assassination attempts. The next year he fought off a strong challenge from Ronald Reagan to secure the Republican nomination for president, and a chance to have his leadership confirmed by the voters. He chose Sen. Robert Dole of Kansas as his running mate. The Ford-Dole team succeeded in narrowing Democrat Jimmy Carter’s large lead in the polls, only to fall short in one of the closest presidential elections in U.S. history.

THE PRESIDENCY OF GERALD FORD The presidency of Gerald Ford is defined by his personal integrity and unbending adherence to the truth. Ever the Eagle Scout – literally and metaphorically – in reflecting on his life, President Ford consistently referred to the straightforward standards of conduct taught by his parents: “Work hard, tell the truth, and come to dinner on time.” Openness was, and is, a core Ford family value. He brought to the political arena “no demons, no hidden agenda, no hit list or acts of vengeance. He knew who he was and he didn’t require consultants or gurus to change him.” Equally honest and open was Betty Ford, who as First Lady developed a reputation for candor and lack of pretense. President Ford strongly supported his wife in her battles with breast cancer, alcoholism, and addiction to prescription medicines, and he warmly endorsed her frank talk about these and other issues. In 2003 Vice President Dick Cheney observed, “President Ford restored trust and confidence in the presidency and the White House simply by the sheer force of his character.” Thus, by the time of the nation’s Bicentennial, the American people had a renewed pride in their free institutions, and in themselves. Presidential biographer Richard Reeves acknowledged that his earlier assessment of the 38th President had been unduly harsh. A quarter century later, Reeves took a very different tack: “We judge presidents by the one or two big things that they do,” he wrote. “Nobody remembers that Lincoln balanced the budget, and nobody cares. In the end, President Ford did the indispensable thing he had to do, which was hold the country together.” With the passage of time and the perspective

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of a broader historical context, the presidency of Gerald Ford has been understood and acknowledged with much greater clarity and appreciation. Columnist David Broder was unequivocal: “In an odd, inexplicable way, the truth has begun to dawn on people – that he was the kind of president Americans wanted – and didn’t know they had.” Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill concluded, “God has been good to America, especially during difficult times. At the time of the Civil War, he gave us Abraham Lincoln. And at the time of Watergate, he gave us Gerald Ford – the right man at the right time who was able to put the nation back together.” Former Sen. Tom Daschle observed, “As our president, Gerald Ford did more than wake us from our long national nightmare; he made it possible for us to dream again.” As President Jimmy Carter graciously acknowledged on Jan. 20, 1977, with his first words as president, the man from Grand Rapids had indeed healed the land.

PRIVATE CITIZEN Upon returning to private life, President and Mrs. Ford moved to California, where they built a home in Rancho Mirage. President Ford’s memoir A Time to Heal was published in 1979. He remained an active participant in the political process. He spoke out on important political issues and wrote numerous op-ed columns and other articles dealing with issues ranging from support for stem cell research and affirmative action, to urging a censure alternative to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. In 1999, 25 years after he assumed the presidency, he returned to the East Room of the White House to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He and Mrs. Ford were also awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the first-ever joint presentation of Congress’ highest civilian honor. In November 2006, President Ford became the longest-living president in U.S. history. The year 1981 saw the dedication of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Both institutions quickly established themselves as an important part of the Ford legacy. In 2006, the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy moved into its new home at the University of Michigan. President Ford was a frequent participant in conferences examining Congress, the presidency, and foreign policy; Soviet-American relations; German reunification, the Atlantic Alliance, the future of American foreign policy; national security requirements for the 1990s; humor and the presidency; and the role of first ladies in the life of the nation. At hundreds of colleges and universities, he lectured on Congressional/White House relations, federal budget policies, and domestic and foreign policy issues. He attended the annual Public Policy Week Conferences of the American Enterprise Institute, and in 1982 established the AEI World Forum, which he hosted for many years in Vail, Colorado. This continues as an international gathering of former and current world leaders, as well as business executives – all gathered to discuss issues of topical concern. On Aug. 9, 2004, President Ford spoke in Statuary Hall at the USS GERALD R. FORD

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Congratulations On the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford

We salute our U.S. military and are proud supporters of the first-in-class addition to our Navy fleet—the CVN-78

U.S. Navy photo by Joshua J. Wahl

The American Iron and Steel Institute and the people who work in the American steel industry


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President Gerald R. Ford U.S. Capitol to members of his cabinet with his daughter, Susan and White House staff and reflected on Ford Bales. his life and presidency. “At my stage in life, one is inclined to think less about dates on a calendar than those things that are timeless – about leadership and service and patriotism and sacrifice, about doing one’s best in meeting every challenge that life presents,” he said. “History will judge our success. But no one can doubt our dedication. We set out to bind America’s wounds, and to heal America’s heart. By the time we celebrated our Bicentennial in 1976, we celebrated more than a distant event – we were able to take heart ourselves from the renewal of the great truths expressed by our Founders. Without seeking them, I was called upon to fill this nation’s highest offices. For two and a half years, I had the greatest privilege that can come to any American – to lead my countrymen through trying times, and uphold the sacred honor of free men and women everywhere. So I ask you to join me in saluting the past, savoring the present, and anticipating the future. For in America, the best has never been – it is always yet to be.”

FAREWELL President Ford died on Dec. 26, 2006, at his California home. During the several days of state funeral services and tributes in California, Washington, DC, and Michigan, tens of thousands of Americans turned out to express their gratitude and pay tribute to President Ford. The services and tributes were a symbolic mosaic to President Ford, the leader, and Gerald Ford, the man. The state funeral, and its thematic mosaic, let Americans young and old consider him in a broader historical context. Author Peggy Noonan later wrote,“[President] Ford’s was the most human of presidential funerals. Maybe because the Fords wanted so little done, so insisted on modesty, all that was done was genuine, and sincere, and – perfect.” The tributes to President Ford continued after his death. On Jan. 16, 2007, Navy Secretary Donald Winter named America’s next aircraft carrier, CVN 78, the USS Gerald R. Ford. And in 2011, a magnificent new statue of President Ford was placed in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Historian Jon Meacham reflected on Gerald Ford’s place in the broad sweep of history. “President Ford was a man who trusted in the essential goodness of the people and who knew the dangers of excessive faction and extremism,” Meacham said. “No other American president, including Washington himself, has more closely resembled the ideal of the Roman leader Cincinnatus – the man who was summoned from his plow against his will to restore faith in the republican ideal. Like Cincinnatus, Gerald Ford did not seek – but did accept – ultimate responsibility in an hour of maximum danger. We live in a better and brighter country because he answered that call.” Vice President Dick Cheney concurred. “It was Gerald R. Ford who led our republic safely through a crisis that could have turned to catastrophe,” Cheney said. “We will never know what further

unravelings, what greater malevolence might have come in that time of furies turned loose and hearts turned cold. But we do know this: America was spared the worst. And this was the doing of one man – an extraordinary man and American president. For all the grief that never came, for all the wounds that were never inflicted, the people of the United States will forever stand in debt to that good man and faithful servant from Michigan – Gerald R. Ford.” USS GERALD R. FORD

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Susan Ford Bales SHIP’S SPONSOR SUSAN FORD BALES IS A VIRGINIA NATIVE and now resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is the daughter of President Gerald R. Ford and Betty Ford and is married to Vaden Bales, an attorney with the Hall Estill firm in Tulsa. Susan is the mother of two daughters, Tyne Berlanga and Heather Devers, three grandchildren, Joy Elizabeth Berlanga, Cruz Vance Berlanga, Elizabeth Blanche Devers, and three step-sons, Kevin, Matthew, and Andrew Bales. Susan was raised in Alexandria, Virginia, and attended Holton Arms School and the University of Kansas, where she studied photojournalism. She is the recipient of an honorary doctorate of public service degree, an honorary doctorate of letters degree, and an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree. She is the author of two novels set in the White House, Double Exposure: A First Daughter Mystery, and its sequel, Sharp Focus. Susan is the Ship’s Sponsor for the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), which she officially christened on Nov. 9, 2013. On April 8, 2016, in recognition of her extraordinary service as the Ship’s Sponsor, she was named an honorary naval aviator by the United States Navy, becoming only the 31st American to receive this distinction. And history was made with her selection – Susan is the first woman to be chosen as an honorary naval aviator. Susan has served as a trustee of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation since 1981 and currently serves as

co-chair of the Foundation’s Programs Committee. Susan’s work with the foundation centers on promoting the ideals of integrity, courage, and candor that were the hallmarks of America’s 38th president and his distinguished service as a naval officer in World War II, member of Congress, and as vice president and president. During her high school years, Susan lived in the White House and served as official White House hostess following her mother’s surgery for breast cancer in 1974. In 1984, she and her mother helped launch National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Susan subsequently served as national spokesperson for breast cancer awareness. Since the founding of the Betty Ford Center in 1982, Susan worked side by side with her mother on projects at the center and was elected to the center’s board of directors in 1992. She succeeded her mother as chairman of the board from 2005-2010, and currently serves on the board of directors of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. In addition to her many charitable and public service activities, Susan serves as co-trustee of the President Gerald R. Ford Historical Legacy Trust, a member of the advisory board of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health, trustee of the Elizabeth B. Ford Charitable Trust, global ambassador for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the executive board of the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens Foundation, and the Honorary Advisory Committee of the Children’s National Medical Center.

How did your father feel knowing this new aircraft carrier and carrier class were being named for him? Susan Ford Bales: From the moment he learned that CVN 78 was going to be named for him, Dad was, as they say, on Cloud 9! He displayed so many emotions – surprised, amazed, humbled, proud, grateful, happy – and then some! Most of all was his gratitude for such an honor. He tried and tried, but, not surprisingly, was never able to find the words that he felt adequately expressed how much the naming of the new aircraft carrier and carrier class meant to him. It was so funny to watch the almost boyish excitement and enthusiasm anytime the subject of CVN 78 came up. Whenever Mom and I would mention CVN 78 to Dad, we knew we would immediately see Dad’s great big grin and hear a steady stream of comments about the ship. There were particular moments the last year of his life that are vivid memories when I think about Dad’s feelings about

the ship. In late summer of 2006, he learned about the naming for the first time. Vice President [Dick] Cheney telephoned him to share the news of Navy Secretary [Donald] Winter’s intentions for the name of CVN 78. Several weeks later, Secretary Winter held a meeting at the Pentagon to plan the official Naming Ceremony, and right after the meeting Dad, Mom, and I received a telephone report about the ship and its naming plans. And then, during Thanksgiving, Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld and Joyce [Rumsfeld] made a surprise visit to see Dad and gave him a USS Gerald R. Ford ball cap. Every one of those moments is a special memory. And even though Dad’s health was fading, he was ebullient with every one of those moments and would chatter for days afterwards about those conversations and his soon-to-be namesake aircraft carrier. I’ve tried for years to describe what this honor meant to Dad; I always come up short. As was so often the case with

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Dad, his own words about the ship are the best guide. That’s why it’s so fitting that the words from his letter about CVN 78 are now a permanent part of the ship’s statue of Dad as lieutenant commander in World War II. Your father served as a naval officer in World War II aboard the aircraft carrier USS Monterey (CVL 26). Did he talk often about his naval service and what it meant to him? Almost never; in fact, I can probably count on less than one hand the number of times he talked to me about his service as a naval officer in World War II. His attitude was like so many of his generation. He saw it as his duty to serve his country, and, after Pearl Harbor, he volunteered to do so – no fanfare, no self-aggrandizement, no bravado. He and his comrades proudly did their duty – end of story. One of the eulogists at Dad’s state funeral captured that part of Dad’s life well: …(H)e came from a generation accustomed to difficult missions, shaped by the sacrifices and the deprivations of the Great Depression, a generation that gave up its innocence and youth to then win a great war and save the world. And when that generation came home from war, they were mature beyond their years and eager to make the world they had saved a better place. They re-enlisted as citizens and set out to serve their country in new ways, with political differences but always with the common goal of doing what’s best for the nation and all the people. When he entered the Oval Office, by fate not by design, Citizen Ford knew that he was not perfect, just as he knew he was not perfect when he left. But he was prepared because he had served his country every day of his adult life, and he left the Oval Office a much better place.

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Do you think his service, especially in combat, affected his decision-making when he became Commander in Chief? Without question, Dad’s service in World War II directly affected his perspectives as Commander in Chief. Like a number of our presidents, he saw first-hand the ravages of war and the horrors of combat. How can that experience not affect you when contemplating sending our brave men and women in uniform into harm’s way? And, if the history books teach us nothing else, they vividly illustrate how military service affected those presidents who wore the uniform. I suspect Dad’s perspectives as Commander in Chief were strikingly similar to those formed by others who served, such as Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Bush, and others. There is USS GERALD R. FORD

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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY PETTY OFFICER 3RD CLASS SEAN ELLIOTT

Capt. Richard C. McCormack, commanding officer, PreCommissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), and Susan Ford Bales, Ship’s Sponsor, tour a jet shell located on elevator one in Ford’s hangar bay during a guided visit aboard the ship. Bales is the daughter of the ship’s namesake, President Gerald R. Ford.

nothing – absolutely nothing – more difficult for a president – and Dad certainly felt that way! – than issuing orders that put at risk the lives of Americans in uniform. Dad bore that solemn responsibility to the depths of his soul. Tell us about how it was that you became the Ship’s Sponsor of your father’s namesake aircraft carrier. Oh, if only there was some great narrative behind it all. It wasn’t because I harbored a mountain of Ship’s Sponsor expertise that made me the odds-on favorite – that’s for sure! Seriously, the selection of a sponsor is steeped in Navy

tradition. And I had an advantage on my brothers – the tradition is that sponsors are females. That 2006 telephone call Dad, Mom, and I had about Secretary Winter’s planning meeting at the Pentagon was the first time I learned I was being considered as the CVN 78 Ship’s Sponsor. Initially, I thought Mom should be selected. I talked about it with Mom and Dad. They felt strongly that I should do it. They wanted to be sure that the Ship’s Sponsor could carry out their wishes for the ship for several decades. So, I proudly accepted Secretary Winter’s designation, and almost 11 years later the honor and joy I’ve experienced is USS GERALD R. FORD

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Congratulations to the Captain and Crew! May God Bless You All and Keep You All Safe.

Congratulations Susan Ford Bales on such an impressive ship. Your dedication and hard work are a lasting tribute to the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).

Mary and MaryPat Woodard


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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST SEAMAN APPRENTICE GITTE SCHIRRMACHER

beyond description. I could not be prouder or more grateful to serve in this role. What are the duties of the Ship’s Sponsor? Is there a manual that tells you what’s expected? I originally hoped there was a book somewhere titled: Seven Easy Steps To Being A Ship’s Sponsor. Alas, there’s no CliffNotes ®, or how-to instructions, for a Ship’s Sponsor. Other than breaking the bottle of sparkling water on the ship’s bow at the christening, and when I “bring the ship to life” at the commissioning, there are no specified duties for a Sponsor. But, in a way, that’s a real benefit. Each of us can shape our role to fit our own priorities and those of our ship. And, in my case, I could focus on carrying out what Dad would have set as his priorities with the ship. It’s been fantastic, and I know Dad would share my happiness. As the Ship’s Sponsor of this first-in-class aircraft carrier, what have been your priorities? My priorities have evolved since 2006. In the early years, my focus was 100 percent on the shipbuilders. I visited

Ship’s Sponsor Susan Ford Bales poses with the PreCommissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) choir during a reception following a change of command in the ship’s hangar bay. Ford is the first of a new class of aircraft carriers.

the ship as often as I could. My mantra at the shipyard was always the same – tell me how I can help! And, my goodness, did the shipbuilders ever take up my challenge; they put me to work, and I loved it! Then, when the first commanding officer, John Meier, and the first crew members began to arrive, I expanded my priorities to focus also on the crewmembers and, in particular, their families. First and foremost, I want to make certain to always tell the shipbuilders and crewmembers how much I appreciate their sacrifice and service to our country. Secondly, I want to convey to them how much this ship meant to Dad and his own “Integrity at the Helm.” CVN 78 and those who built her and will serve aboard her are the most magnificent tribute Dad will ever receive. In a very personal sense, the shipbuilders and crew embody Dad’s legacy in an unprecedented way. And, finally, I want to make certain that all of us involved with the ship set a standard of integrity and USS GERALD R. FORD

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excellence that will define CVN 78 and each of the ships in the Ford class. If my service as Ship’s Sponsor has helped the shipbuilders and crew in their responsibilities, if I’ve made them proud to be associated with this ship and Dad’s legacy of integrity, or if their families have an extra gleam of happiness from activities we’ve done together, then mark me down as the proudest Ship’s Sponsor in the history of the United States Navy. During his visit to CVN 78 earlier this year, President Donald Trump was clearly quite impressed by your tireless support to the shipbuilders and the crew, and he specifically explained to the thousands gathered in the hangar bay that you had made 17 visits to the ship. Tell us about those trips and what you’ve learned about the shipbuilders and sailors. Unless there is some ceremonial activity I need to do, when I visit the ship I want to do two things: spend time with the shipbuilders and crew, especially to tell them how grateful I am – and Dad most certainly would be – and do any task – no matter how large or small – I can to make their lives on board a little nicer and satisfying. On my many visits, I’ve pulled cables, punched holes, welded, served food to the sailors in the mess, installed telephone systems, worked on the dual-band radar, calibrated laser measurements, tested the anchors and weapons elevators, participated in All Hands Calls, worked up in the giant big blue crane, and assisted with signal commands out on the flight deck to test the EMALS by launching sleds into the James River. And, of course, we’ve had lots of fun and laughs along the way. One of the great moments was when Matt Mulherin, president of Newport News Shipbuilding, announced that they’d designated me as an honorary shipbuilder. It is fantastic to be able to say: “my fellow Newport News Shipbuilders.” What I’ve learned along the way is that the shipbuilders and crewmembers come from all walks of life in America; it is such an amazing tapestry. Common to every single one of them – without exception – is a love of country and a personal character of integrity and courage without equal. Dad summed it up perfectly when he wrote that there’s no greater honor he ever received than to have his name and our family’s name associated with the brave men and women of the USS Gerald R. Ford. Your father, like any political leader, had many political adversaries, but it’s virtually impossible to find anyone who didn’t like and respect him as a person. Why was that the case, especially considering the political adversaries who (remarkably) were close personal friends of his? There are lots of reasons people point to, but I think they all have a common denominator – he was a great listener. It didn’t matter if you were some powerful political leader, corporate luminary, or a classmate from South High in Grand Rapids [Michigan]. Dad always listened to what you had to say and did so with a genuineness and interest that inevitably made disagreements less disagreeable – much less disagreeable.

You have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours with the shipbuilders and the crew. What are some of your favorite memories of those interactions? That’s easy; the countless friendships I’ve made with shipbuilders and crewmembers. They are such wonderful people, and I’m blessed to call them my friends. They will forever have a special place in my heart. Last year, I was completely surprised when it was announced at the change-of-command ceremony that Adm. John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, had appointed me as the first female honorary naval aviator in history. To be sure, the appointment itself was special and extraordinary. But it was made even more meaningful when I learned from Adm. Richardson and from dozens of comments made to me afterwards that the decision was intended to specifically recognize the positive impacts I’ve had on the lives of the CVN 78 crewmembers and their families. Without question, I’ll cherish that memory and my wings of gold forever. What has impressed you the most about the aircraft carrier itself? No matter how many times I’ve been to the ship, I’m simply gobsmacked on every visit by how absolutely massive she is. People sometimes refer to her as a “floating city.” I used to think that was silly. I don’t anymore; it’s the best description there is. As Commanding Officer Rick McCormack and I have observed many times, she is indeed the mightiest ship ever built. USS Gerald R. Ford will sail for many decades, and tens of thousands of sailors will live and serve aboard this ship. What about your father would you want them to keep in mind as they serve aboard her? Dad showed America and the world, by word and deed, that doing the “right” thing is not always easy, and it’s definitely not always popular. At the end of Dad’s life’s journey, the integrity to do the “right” thing is the example he left for all of us, most especially for the crew of his namesake carrier. I hope the crews who serve aboard CVN 78 will follow his example every day and do the “right” thing, no matter the challenges or difficulties that “thing” may pose. What a wonderful testament to Dad that would be! Your father’s personal integrity is the cornerstone of the ship’s motto – Integrity at the Helm. What do you remember most about his integrity as a dad? Whether he was called lieutenant commander, Congressman, Mr. President, Jerry, or Dad, he was always the same wonderful man. There were no hidden agendas, no lurking demons, and no bursts of bravado. The person whose Integrity At The Helm the public witnessed for decades is the same special person who was at our home. How lucky I was that he was my dad. I know he’ll be watching over me every step of commissioning week. I miss him. USS GERALD R. FORD

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Congratulations to the Captain and Crew on the Commissioning of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) into the United States Navy Steve & Amy Van Andel


C O

Capt. Richard C. McCormack COMMANDING OFFICER CAPT. McCORMACK ENLISTED IN the Navy in 1984 and was selected a year later to attend the United States Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island. He graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy in May 1990. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School, the NATO Defense College, and the Joint Forces Staff College. Capt. McCormack completed flight training in 1994 and was qualified in the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet. His operational tours include VFA-131 as a division officer and landing signal officer, and VFA-146 as a department head. He commanded VFA-86, USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), and served as executive officer of USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). As a naval aviator, he embarked in the USS George Washington (CVN 73), USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS Enterprise (CVN 65). McCormack flew in support of Operations Joint Endeavor, Deny Flight, Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and Anaconda, where he accumulated more than 2,800 flight hours and 750 arrested landings. For his joint assignment, he deployed as the officer in charge of Multi-National Division Baghdad’s Joint Counter Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device team in direct support of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division. His shore assignments include VX-31 as F/A-18 test pilot, E/F model manager and Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System/AIM-9X project pilot, VFA-125 as training officer, and OPNAV N-98 staff as the F/A-18 requirements officer. Capt. McCormack’s personal decorations include the Legion of Merit Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (Strike/ Flight), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Battle E (USS Blue Ridge), and various other unit and campaign awards. USS GERALD R. FORD

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CREATING A BETTER COMMUNITY TOGETHER

SHARE WHAT MATTERS TO YOU. @WhirlpoolCorp #WhatMatters LinkedIn.com/company/Whirlpool-Corporation WhirlpoolCorp.com


XO

Capt. Brent C. Gaut EXECUTIVE OFFICER CAPT. BRENT GAUT, BORN in Stockton, California, graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in English in 1994. He received his commission upon graduation and was designated a naval aviator in September 1996. Upon completion of SH-60B pilot training, Capt. Gaut reported to the “Scorpions” of HSL-49. He deployed in USS Vincennes (CG 49), USS Vandergrift (FFG 48), USS Cowpens (CG 63) and USS Mobile Bay (CG 53). Capt. Gaut’s next tour of duty was as a flight instructor with the “Seahawks” of HSL-41, where he was selected as the 2002 Instructor Pilot of the Year. In January 2004, Capt. Gaut reported to and deployed in USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3) as the Mini Boss and in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. While deployed, Gaut also served as Air Boss. Capt. Gaut reported to HSL-45 in October 2005. He served as the squadron’s aviation safety officer from November 2005 to September 2006, during which time HSL-45 was recognized as the 2006 CNO aviation safety award winner. Capt. Gaut also served as Detachment Four OIC, deploying in USS McClusky (FFG 41), and as the command’s maintenance officer, spearheading the squadron’s recognition as winner of COMHSMWINGPAC’s 2007 Golden Wrench Award. In January 2008, Gaut reported to the Executive Officer of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy as a policy analyst. While attached, he also served as the staff director for the Office of State, Local and Tribal Affairs. Capt. Gaut checked on board HSM-77 in November 2010 as XO of the indomitable “Saberhawks.” He assumed

command in January 2012, attached to CVW-2, and embarked in USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). During his XO/CO tour, the “Saberhawks” were recognized as winners of the SECNAV Safety Excellence, three Battle “E,” and three Gold Wrench awards throughout two combat deployments to Fifth and Seventh Fleets, culminating in HSM-77 becoming the first Navy squadron to win the DOD Phoenix Award. In March 2013 Capt. Gaut reported to the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, where he completed the Senior Course and earned a Master of Arts degree in national security and strategic studies, graduating “with distinction.” In July 2014, Capt. Gaut assumed command of HSM-41, the community’s West Coast FRS squadron. During his tour, HSM-41 was recognized as the FY14 Commander Theodore G. Ellyson Aviator Production Excellence Award Winner, as well as winner of the 2014 CNO Aviation Safety Award. Capt. Gaut was selected for the AVN pipeline in October 2014 and completed training in March 2017. Capt. Gaut has accumulated approximately 2,750 flight hours and 881 shipboard landings in H-60 series aircraft. He has been awarded the Presidential Service Badge, Defense Meritorious Service, Meritorious Service (two), Navy Commendation (four), and Navy Achievement (three) Medals, the Battle “E” Ribbon (six), and various unit and campaign service awards. Capt. Gaut and April, his lovely bride of 9 years, reside in the Larchmont-Edgewater area of Norfolk, Virginia, with their son Jacob (3), daughter Faith (1) and dog Romeo. USS GERALD R. FORD

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TEAMWORK

STARTS HERE. At AAM, we understand and value the POWER of a team. It takes the right people working together toward a common goal to achieve excellence in any field. Congratulations to the captain, crew and shipbuilders of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) on its commissioning into the United States Navy.

www.aam.com POWER STARTS HERE.


C M C

Master Chief Laura Nunley COMMAND MASTER CHIEF A NATIVE OF WEST COVINA, California, Command Master Chief Petty Officer Laura Nunley enlisted as a young mother and wife in May 1994. After completing Recruit Training in Orlando, Florida, she reported to Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center in Dam Neck, Virginia, for Intelligence Specialist “A” School. Her first duty station was Atlantic Intelligence Center (AIC) in Norfolk, Virginia. Master Chief Nunley’s other assignments have included Mobile Integrated Command Facility Europe (MICFAC EUR) / Tactical Support Center (TSC) Sigonnella, Italy; Naval Strike and Air Warfare Command (NSAWC) Fallon, Nevada; USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3), and USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) San Diego, California; Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TWO (COMPATRECONWING TWO) Kaneohe, Hawaii; USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71); and United States Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA) Fort Bliss, Texas. While assigned to COMPATRECONWING TWO, Command Master Chief Nunley completed an eightmonth individual augmentation to Camp Abu Naji in Al Amarah, Iraq. While at Camp Abu Naji, she was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal for her extraordinary leadership as an Iraqi Military Training Team (MITT) Adviser setting the standard for the future Iraqi Army Non-Commissioned Officer Corps.

In 2011, Master Chief Nunley was selected for command master chief. She reported to the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA) class 62 in El Paso, Texas, August 2011. She graduated in the top percentile of her class, landing her on the coveted Commandant’s List. From 2012 to 2014, she assumed the role as Command Master Chief of USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), followed by a tour as the Command Master Chief of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron FIFTEEN (HM-15), and currently serves as Command Master Chief of PCU Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). Her academic achievements include a Bachelor’s degree of professional studies in business and management; Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education; United States Sergeants Major Academy, class 62; CMDCM/COB Course; and National Defense University KEYSTONE Command Senior Enlisted Leader Course. Military decorations include the Joint Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three gold stars), Joint Achievement Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four gold stars). In 2006, she was awarded the Vice Admiral Rufus L. Taylor Award for leadership. In addition, she has earned the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist and Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist designators. USS GERALD R. FORD

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Gregory D. Willard COMMISSIONING CO-CHAIRMAN GREG WILLARD, COMMISSIONING Co-Chairman, has been actively involved with the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) since 2006. His dedicated efforts to President Ford’s namesake aircraft carrier have included 14 working visits to the ship and will culminate with her historic commissioning into the fleet. A native of Pittsfield, Illinois, Greg studied as an undergraduate at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, and graduated from Westminster College (B.A. summa cum laude) and the University of Illinois College of Law (J.D. cum laude). His relationship with President Ford began in 1975 in the White House, where he served as President Ford’s White House Staff Assistant. He moved with President and Mrs. Ford to California after the presidency and served as President Ford’s personal aide. In later years, he was President and Mrs. Ford’s personal

representative for the planning and conduct of President Ford’s State Funeral. Greg is an adjunct professor of law at the St. Louis University School of Law, where he teaches courses on constitutional law and presidential power, and is an attorney with the law firm Doster, Ullom & Boyle, LLC., specializing in corporate restructurings and Chapter 11 reorganizations. For over twenty five years, he has been selected annually to the Best Lawyers In America. Greg is co-trustee of the President Gerald R. Ford Historical Legacy Trust, an honorary member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, and a trustee of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation. Greg and his wife Annie, who also served on President Ford’s White House Staff, have three sons, Michael, David, and John, and three grandchildren, Ismeria, Emmerich, and Charles.

What was it about President Gerald R. Ford’s character you remember from knowing and working with him in the White House and in later years? Gregory D. Willard: Whether you were a Cabinet secretary or a young White House staff member, he treated all of us the same – with friendship, kindness, and his ever-present smile. And the fact that he “drank his morning coffee from a cup with the Presidential Seal” didn’t affect him in the least. His kindness never wavered after we left the White House and moved to Palm Springs in 1977. For over 30 years, in his office, on long flights aboard Air Force One, at public events, playing a practical joke on (or with!) him, on the golf course, or reminiscing in the twilight of his life, it was always enjoyable to be with him. President Ford’s character is at the heart of columnist David Broder’s conclusion: “In an odd, inexplicable way the truth has begun to dawn on the American people that Gerald Ford was the kind of President Americans always wanted – and didn’t know they had.” At every step of his life’s journey, there was an inner core of goodness. The phrase, “He was a good man,” sometimes sounds trite. But, as to President Ford, it’s not trite; it’s very real. When one remembers him in that context – that he was a good man – and then examines what that meant over the course of his 93 years, what a wonderful legacy to celebrate at the commissioning of CVN 78.

As co-chairman of the commissioning committee, what have been your priorities? The crew, the crew, and the crew – in that order! Seriously (and Doug and Red feel likewise), this is a tremendous honor. Our focus from Day 1 has been to support the crew, particularly their on board quality of life. It has been said many times that the USS Gerald R. Ford has a secret weapon – and her name is Susan! Our Ship’s Sponsor, Susan Ford Bales, has certainly set a standard that is without equal. We’ve followed her example to make certain our collective efforts to support the crew are worthy of her dad.

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CVN 78

Having been involved with the ship since 2006, what moments have been most memorable? Oh, goodness – where to start! There are cascades of highlights – the naming ceremony, island landing, and christening; flooding the dry dock; the first Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) test launches from the flight deck; working with the shipbuilders to construct different parts of the ship; joining crew members and shipbuilders in Michigan to celebrate President Ford’s centennial birthday; collaborating with Rear Adm. (then Capt.) John Meier and Susan to design the ship’s crest and Sponsor’s seal; and earlier this year, President Trump’s dramatic aircraft elevator entrance to the ship’s hangar bay – each of those was memorable.


C O M M I S S I O N I N G

But the most memorable moment came last autumn. At Capt. McCormack’s invitation, I addressed the entire crew during an all hands call in the hangar bay. I explained to the crew that each of them is a shining monument to President Ford’s legacy of “Integrity at the Helm.” Several days later, the mom of one of the sailors who had been at the all hands call telephoned me at home to say thank you for making her daughter so proud to be associated with President Ford. The emotion (and pride) in that mother’s voice is a memory I will never forget – never.

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Caption needed

What was your last conversation with President Ford? In the autumn of 2006, I was summoned to a meeting at the Pentagon with [former] Navy Secretary Donald Winter regarding his intention to name CVN 78 the USS Gerald R. Ford and to designate Susan as the Ship’s Sponsor. Following the meeting, I telephoned President and Mrs. Ford and Susan to report on plans developed at the meeting for a Jan. 16, 2007, naming ceremony. On the call, President Ford’s enthusiasm and pride in CVN 78 were palpable. He asked all about the ship, Susan’s role as Ship’s Sponsor, and the timetable for construction. He ended the call, “Come visit, Greg!” I replied, “Good night, Mr. President; I’ll see you soon.” That was the last time we spoke; he died the next month. So, knowing that President Ford felt such pride towards CVN 78 has been a special inspiration. Tell us about the letter from President Ford after that telephone call. A few days after the call, a letter from President Ford arrived. Included were several personal requests regarding CVN 78. The letter then concluded: “In closing, please permit me a personal reflection. In my life, I’ve received countless honors. But none was greater than the USS GERALD R. FORD

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opportunity to wear the uniform of lieutenant commander in the United States Navy. On an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific during World War II, I learned to respect, and to rely on, my comrades as if my life depended on them – because it often did. As a World War II veteran, I yield to no one in my admiration for the heroes of Omaha Beach and Iwo Jima. At the same time, I take enormous inspiration from their grandsons and granddaughters who are writing new chapters of heroism around the globe. Thus, it is a source of indescribable pride and humility to know that an aircraft carrier bearing my name may be permanently associated with the valor and patriotism of the men and women of the United States Navy.” Those poignant sentiments are now etched on the base of the ship’s Lt. Cmdr. Ford statue as an enduring part of the USS Gerald R. Ford.

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY PETTY OFFICER 3RD CLASS SEAN ELLIOTT

What special moments during President Ford’s state funeral honored his naval service? We planned his state funeral as a thematic mosaic of his extraordinary life. A special part of that mosaic was honored en route to the U.S. Capitol when the hearse bearing his casket paused at the World War II Memorial for a ceremonial tribute to his naval service. The tribute included a naval honor guard and a Navy boatswain’s mate “piping the side.” In addition, a large group of female naval officers, who were graduates of the Naval Academy, gathered at the memorial to pay tribute and say “thank you” to President Ford for being the first president to appoint women to the Naval Academy. Several days later, at the conclusion of the interment service at President Ford’s tomb, the three volley salute was rendered by a Navy firing party, after which his casket flag was presented to Mrs. Ford “on behalf of a grateful nation.” When we arrived back in California the next day, Mrs. Ford placed the flag on President Ford’s pillow, where it remained until her death in 2011. Knowing how much President Ford’s naval service meant to him and how proud he was of CVN 78, Mrs. Ford gave specific instructions that the flag be placed aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford. And so it is; his flag now rests in a place of honor in the ship’s inport cabin. What are the “ship enhancements” funded by the commissioning committee? The funds raised are for ship enhancements and for major events associated with the commissioning itself. CVN 78 has many conveniences you would expect with an aircraft carrier. They provide a good environment for the crew and for the air wing when on board. However, government funds can’t be used to provide special enhancements that have been identified to make life on board a little nicer and a little easier. And that’s where the commissioning committee and our Navy League partners come in. With millions of dollars of support from Americans

across the country, the enhancements will benefit the ship’s crews for decades. The enhancements are extensive; some cost several hundred thousand dollars, and others are relatively inexpensive. There are substantial improvements to the ship’s learning center and to the ship’s chapel; significant upgrades are being integrated into the library. Susan and Rear Adm. (then Capt.) John Meier oversaw the design of the spectacular bronze statue of Lt. Cmdr. Jerry Ford. The statue, now the centerpiece of the ship’s ceremonial quarterdeck, portrays Lt. Cmdr. Ford holding his navigational sextant on the deck of the USS Monterey (CVL 26) in the South Pacific during World War II. The commissioning committee provided funds for the unique uniform patches (with the ship’s distinctive crest) worn by each Ford crewmember. The on board Tribute Room highlights the legacies of President Ford and his beloved wife Betty. And there are several very special in-kind gifts, including Vaden Bales’ gift of President Ford’s office chair that is now in the inport cabin, and the collections in the inport cabin and ship’s library from President Ford’s Historical Legacy Trust of inscribed books from former presidents, first ladies, Cabinet officials, and friends of President and Mrs. Ford. What aspect of the past 11 years with the ship has been your most gratifying? Guests at the commissioning will visit with crewmembers. Undoubtedly, those guests will leave bursting with pride and gratitude to the crew. To paraphrase the old saying, “If the crew of the USS Gerald R. Ford doesn’t move your spirit … you ain’t breathin’!” So, without question, the most gratifying aspect has been the heartfelt appreciation expressed so often by the crew. If, by any measure, we’ve improved their well-being on board and, at the same time, honored their service to America, then no greater satisfaction could there ever be. What has been most impressive about the USS Gerald R. Ford? Of course, you cannot help but be impressed (and in awe!) at the sheer size and power of the ship – 100,000 tons of American strength and ingenuity in the most powerful ship ever built. The capacity of the new power plant, the EMALS launchers, the advanced arresting gear systems, dual-band radar, and the countless other technological advances are astounding. But there are two indelible impressions of the USS Gerald R. Ford that encompass all the others: the patriotic commitment that the thousands of Newport News shipbuilders brought to every weld, every system, and every section of the ship; and the command climate of integrity and excellence that CO John Meier created and CO Rick McCormack has continued. The shipbuilders and crews will always be in our thoughts and prayers – always. USS GERALD R. FORD

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THANKS TO ALL WHO DEFEND THE FLAG OF FREEDOM.

Congratulations to the U.S. Navy on the commissioning of the first Ford-class aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). This next-generation ship demonstrates the Navy’s commitment to naval air power and to the brave men and women who will take her to sea in the name of freedom.


T H E

S H I P ’S

C R ES T

The Ship’s Crest THE FLEUR-DE-LIS POINTING true north symbolizes the Boy Scouts of America and honors President Ford’s distinction as the only President who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. The moral compass represents President Ford’s legacy built upon integrity and honesty. The map of the world represents USS Gerald R. Ford’s global presence and ties to the Chief of Naval Operations’ guiding principle of operating forward. The 38 stars surrounding the emblem represent President Ford as the 38th President of the United States. Twenty-six of the 38 stars are colored in, representing his ship during World War II, USS Monterey (CVL 26). The color scheme is azure (blue) and maize (yellow) representing President Ford’s undergraduate university, the University of Michigan. The crest also contains Yale blue and white, to represent his law school. “Integrity at the Helm” is the Ford Foundation motto, which ties the ship to the Ford Foundation while highlighting the Navy core values.

USS GERALD R. FORD

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C O M M U N I C AT I O N ,C O M M I S S I O N I N G S ,C O M M I T M EN T

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CVN 78


U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS ERIC S. GARST

Audience members listen to remarks during the commissioning ceremony for the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. Ship commissionings are among the most visible activities undertaken by the Navy League.

Communication, Commissionings, Commitment THE NAVY LEAGUE SUPPORTS THE SEA SERVICES BY EDWARD LUNDQUIST

USS GERALD R. FORD

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The people of Grand Rapids, Michigan have a deep love and appreciation for the name

“USS Gerald R. Ford” Our family is proud of our relationship with our community’s icon.

“Go Navy - Go CVN 78” Sgt. Peter F. Secchia (1956-1960) USMC 1626193 and my family


C O M M U N I C AT I O N ,C O M M I S S I O N I N G S ,C O M M I T M EN T

“We believe that the security of our nation and of the people of the world demands a well-balanced, integrated, mobile American defense team, of which a strong Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine are indispensable parts.”

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY CHIEF MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST ELLIOTT FABRIZIO NATIONAL ARCHIVES

– Statement of Policy, Navy League of the United States FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY, the Navy League of the United States has supported and advocated for the sea services. Formed in 1902 at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt, the Navy League’s goals are: • To foster and maintain interest in a strong Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine as integral parts of a sound national defense and vital to the freedom of the United States. • To serve as a means of educating and informing the American people with regard to the role of sea power in the nuclear age and the problems involved in maintaining strong defenses in that age. • To improve the understanding, appreciation, and recognition of those who wear the uniforms of our armed forces and to better the conditions under which they live and serve. • To provide support and recognition for the sea service Reserve forces in our communities in order that we may continue to have a capable and responsive maritime Reserve community. • To educate and train our youth in the customs and traditions of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, and the Merchant Marine through the means of an active and vigorous Naval Sea Cadet Corps. The Navy League communicates with the general public and national leadership through placement of editorials in the mainstream press, its Sea-Air-Space Exposition it holds every year in Washington, D.C., and its magazine, Sea Power. The Navy League also supports long-term educational efforts such as the

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson delivers remarks at a Cohen Group breakfast event during the 2017 Sea-Air-Space Exposition. The Navy League’s Sea-AirSpace Exposition was founded in 1965 as a means to bring the U.S. defense industrial base, U.S. private-sector companies, and key military decision-makers together for an annual innovative, educational, professional, and maritime-based event. USS GERALD R. FORD

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reading programs of the Chief of Naval Operations, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Coast Guard. Much of the Navy League’s work hinges on advocacy, and the organization is free to carry out its advocacy for the sea services and for sea power, because those in uniform are barred from membership. One of the most visible activities of the Navy League is its program of sponsoring the commissioning of new vessels into the sea services. Federal law, ethics rules, and service regulations heavily limit the sea services in what they are allowed to do during the fitting out and commissioning of new vessels, and the Navy League has made it its mission to help out and finish the job the way it should be done. The Navy League’s contribution to a ship commissioning begins long before the vessel ever goes into the water, working with the shipbuilders and other contractors, the sea services themselves, and local councils to lay out a program for the ship commissioning that will be supportive of the ship and crew, educational for the community, and, most important, legally allowable for all the parties concerned. The councils are involved in a number of ways with the commissioning of a vessel, from the commissioning itself to a discreet process of fundraising to help improve the lives of the

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Program officers and scientists from the Office of Naval Research and the Naval Research Laboratory prepare for the opening of the 2017 Sea-Air-Space Exposition. Sea-Air-Space is the largest maritime exposition in the United States and continues to be an invaluable extension of the Navy League’s mission of maritime policy education and sea service support.

crew aboard the vessel. These include finding funds to provide shipboard enhancements to help make the ship more of a home for the young servicemen and women who will live aboard. Improvements to the ship’s library/chapel spaces, buying gym equipment for crew fitness, and computers and software for ships’ learning centers are just some of the things that Navy League councils help provide for the men and women who sail America’s ships. Because of its proximity to the Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipyard and Norfolk Naval Base, the Hampton Roads Council is especially experienced in helping make each commissioning a special event. “This is our 25th commissioning,” said Maryellen Baldwin, president and chief executive officer of the Hampton Roads Council of the Navy League of the United States (NLUS). Baldwin said the Navy League is in a unique position to help with events such as the upcoming commissioning of the Gerald R. Ford. Navy League of the United States, Hampton Roads is one of

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY JOHN F. WILLIAMS

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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS JONATHAN DONNELLY

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200 Navy League councils in the United States, with another 26 councils overseas. The Navy League, in partnership with the commissioning committee, successfully raised more than $6.5 million. These funds provide qualityof-life programs and upgrades aboard USS Gerald R. Ford. It is important to note that taxpayer dollars do not fund ship enhancements or activities surrounding the commissioning ceremonies. They are funded through private contributions made up of individuals and corporations that understand the sacrifices our service members undertake while at sea and ashore. “A byproduct of all of this is that it brings awareness of the importance of the sea services to the national defense of our maritime nation,” said Baldwin.

TRIBUTE ROOM One of the main other enhancements to the ship is the “Tribute Room,” which will honor

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Tinisha Franklin, stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), is awarded by Adm. Philip Davidson, Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, as the Fleet Sea Sailor of the Year during an announcement ceremony hosted by the Hampton Roads Navy League.

President Ford’s life of service, and can be used by the ship for ceremonies, special occasions, and to welcome distinguished visitors. Aboard an aircraft carrier, a Tribute Room is a museum that honors the legacy of the ship’s namesake. “The Ford’s Tribute Room will, when complete, have artifacts from the Ford Foundation from Gerald R. Ford’s time as President and mementos from his naval service,” said Capt. Richard McCormack, the ship’s commanding officer. “A Tribute Room allows both sailors and visitors a more personal experience and the opportunity to reflect on the individual for whom the ship is named.” Artifacts on display in the Tribute Room also represent his youth as an Eagle Scout and college football player to his days in public service. “Gerald R. Ford was a leader who served our nation his entire adult life, from his time with the Navy during World War II to his 13-terms as a Michigan congressman to his time in our nation’s highest office,” said McCormack. “His entire life was dedicated to service before self, and committing himself to doing the right thing, regardless of the personal consequences. He truly lived in accordance with his values, and embodied the character traits that our nation will always require.” “President Ford lived his life with core values that he learned at an early age, and that guided him through his life,” Baldwin said. “The Tribute USS GERALD R. FORD

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C O M M U N I C AT I O N ,C O M M I S S I O N I N G S ,C O M M I T M EN T

PHOTO BY CHRIS OXLEY

A statue of Lt. Cmdr. Gerald R. Ford is unveiled during a ceremony aboard the aircraft carrier.

Room exemplifies his legacy to the crew, many of whom were not even born when he was president.” The Tribute Room will also recognize the president’s wife, Betty Ford. “They were quite the leadership team,” Baldwin said. Representing the family legacy today is daughter Susan Ford Bales, who is the Ship’s Sponsor. If the massive effort involved in ensuring that the Gerald R. Ford commissioning is appropriately supported isn’t enough, the Hampton Roads Council is also focused on helping to celebrate the year-long observance of the centennial of the Norfolk Naval Base. Next year they’ll help Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach celebrate its 75th anniversary. And there are more ships coming. There’s a commissioning committee that makes these special events possible, including an honorary committee of prominent Americans who are backed up by a diligent working committee conducting the fundraising. In the case of the Gerald R. Ford, the committee has representation from Gerald R. Ford’s home state of Michigan to places where the Ford family had deep connections, including Vail, Colorado and Palm Springs, California, as well as Ford’s involvement in government, all of whom are privileged to support this undertaking. “There are many people who admired Gerald Ford, and who also support our Navy,” said Baldwin. “They have been very willing to support this endeavor.”

SERVING THE NAVY COMMUNITY The Hampton Roads Council has many ongoing programs, investing in the success of the annual Sailor of the Year events, Navy and Marine Corps birthday celebrations, the Navy Warrior Games, and contributing to scholarship funds such as the Dolphin Scholarship, Anchor Scholarship, and Wings over America Scholarships that benefit the dependent family members of past and present Navy men and women serving in submarines, surface ships, and naval aviation, respectively. The council has also raised $125,000 to create a USS Gerald R. Ford scholarship through commissioning committee efforts. Altogether the Hampton Roads Navy League has awarded more than $1,000,000 in college scholarships since 2001 to high school seniors who are children or grandchildren of former members or active members of the sea services, or who are members of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps. The Navy League at the national level and in councils like Hampton Roads also supports youth programs, such as the Naval Sea Cadet Corps, Navy Junior ROTC, Scout units, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and Continuum of Resource Education (CORE). Baldwin said that Navy League members regularly meet with representatives in the Congress to explain the importance of the sea services for the peace and prosperity of the nation, and how they impact U.S. national security and the global economy. Altogether, Navy Leaguers have met with USS GERALD R. FORD

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Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson poses for a photo with fellow 1982 graduates of the United States Naval Academy during a dinner hosted by the Navy League.

more than 28 members of Congress and have sent more than 10,000 emails to Congress so far in 2017. “As a membership-based organization, the more members we have, the greater the voice we have on Capitol Hill,” Baldwin said.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT The Navy and the military are a huge part of the local community and economy. The Navy Region Mid-Atlantic (NRMA) fiscal year (FY) 2015 “Economic Impact Report” for the Hampton Roads area tabulates manpower and payroll data on all active-duty and Reserve Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, and U.S. Coast Guard personnel assigned to NRMA installations located in Hampton Roads. The report captures the amount of direct capital infused into the local economies as a result of salaries, expenditures, and contractual payment for services rendered in support of installation activities. Manpower and payroll data are also collected for civilian personnel as well as civilian contractors working at installations located in the Hampton Roads area. The report states that there is a military-related population of 187,289 in the area, including active duty, retirees, Department of Defense civilian, and non-appropriated-fund employees and contractors

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(but not dependents). The Navy’s direct economic impact on the Hampton Roads area was approximately $10.75 billion in 2015. The Navy is very supportive of its host communities in the Hampton Roads area, and the communities are supportive of the Navy, said retired Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, director of the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance. Hampton Roads has a large footprint for all of the armed services, including the largest concentration of Coast Guard men and women anywhere. The area was named one of eight 2017 “Great American Defense Communities” by the Association of Defense Communities (ADC). Hampton Roads was recognized because of the tremendous support it provides to military-connected children. “Through innovative school programs and community-based support organizations, Hampton Roads exemplifies what it means to be a Great American Defense Community.” “The Navy League is the central actor in all things involving the sea services in the region,” Quigley said. A common misconception is that the Navy League mainly raises money for commissioning events. “They certainly do that,” Quigley said, “but are so much more.” For more than a century now, the Navy League has kept faith with the sea services and the nation it serves. Even in times when America was not interested or listening, the Navy League has managed to keep its message of sea power’s influence out in the public domain, where it needs to be if the United States is to sustain itself as the preeminent maritime power in the world.


EAGLE SCOUTS CARRY ON FORD’S LEGACY

PHOTO BY PETTY CLASS3RD NATHAN U.S. NAVY PHOTO OFFICER BY PETTY1ST OFFICER CLASSLAIRD LAUREN K. JENNINGS

BY BEN PYCRAFT

ABOARD USS GERALD R. FORD, a ladder leads to a large photo of the 38th President of the United States of America. Down the hall to the entryway, the Presidential Seal welcomes visitors. Inside is a rounded room, with bulkheads covered in memorabilia. Along the left side, the very first showcase pictures a Scout holding an American Flag, and a Boy Scout Troop just beside it. An Eagle Scout emblem pops out in the display, and captions tell important details about each item, along with other images of the early life of this Scout. Continuing around the room are exhibits on football, family, and Navy decorations, all depicting the life of this Eagle Scout, and things most important to him. This is the Tribute Room dedicated to Eagle Scout Gerald R. Ford, 38th president of the United States of America, aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford. Navy ships are named for historical battles, heroic sailors and Marines, or famous Americans. On aircraft carriers, it is common to have a place on the ship to recognize and honor the ship’s namesake, in what is called the Tribute Room. The USS Gerald R. Ford is the newest aircraft carrier to join the fleet. Construction began in 2005, and the carrier was delivered to the Navy in 2017. Gerald R. Ford is scheduled for its first deployment in 2021. Currently the sailors are hard at work preparing for the ship’s commissioning, and are ready to serve aboard the ship embodying Ford’s “Integrity at the Helm.” Ford, among his many accomplishments, attained the rank of lieutenant commander while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was also a long-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Most notably, he was vice president and then president of the United States. And he was an Eagle Scout. Today, there are several crewmembers who share that distinction with the ship’s namesake. They, too, are Eagle Scouts. Eagle Scout Carl Bodin is a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow and an Eagle Scout from the class of 1996. Lt. Cmdr. Bodin is the reactor controls assistant in the Engineering Department, and is inspired by President Ford. “Working on his namesake ship presents an outstanding opportunity to daily live up to his ideals.” Lt. Nicholas Quenga, also assigned to the Reactor Department, said, “choosing G.R. Ford as the ship’s namesake also demonstrates the desire for us that serve aboard her to live and fight with vigor, strength, and endurance,” which he feels are, “required among Eagle Scouts and naval officers.” Quenga was inducted into the Order of the Arrow in 2003. Interior Communications Specialist 1st Class Marc Schoonmaker said, “Scouting has helped me be ready for whatever life throws at me and be prepared for anything. My knowledge will always keep me grounded and ready!” Also

an Arrowman, Schoonmaker stresses how important it was to learn so much at an early age through Scouting that has led him to be able to relate with fellow Scouts aboard the ship, and to Gerald R. Ford as a person. Machinist’s Mate Fireman Charles Jacob Reese agreed. “As I walk on board this mighty vessel and look up at the ship, I am inspired to become a leader just as strongly as I was being an Eagle Scout and raise the bar for those who follow.” Reese was inspired to join the Navy when his Scout troop took a trip to the USS Yorktown in Charleston, South Carolina. Lt. Robert W. Crawford is a physical therapist in the Medical Department. He feels a connection to the USS Ford because of the shared Scouting and naval service. “We shared similar goals growing up and held ourselves to a higher standard. We pushed ourselves and our limits to better our individual abilities. We never settled for the status quo and always strived for the highest goals.” “We don’t have to wait to be president to be a great leader,” he said. “Leadership can start at a young age.” Gerald R. Ford may be considered to be the most successful Boy Scout to date, and is the only Eagle Scout to serve as the president of the United States of America. He was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in 1970 by the Grand Valley Council, in Michigan. Following his death in December of 2006, more than 400 Boy Scouts showed up at the memorial service. The following words are found at the Ford Presidential Museum in his hometown of Grand Rapids: “My early years as a Boy Scout were invaluable in helping to shape the course of my later life. Throughout my public service and extensive travels around the country, I have seen firsthand evidence of the immeasurable worth of the basic values taught by scouting programs. The Scout Oath to help other people, to keep physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight and to do one’s duty to God and to our country provides a solid base on which to build both individual and national strength. The three great principles which scouting encourages – self-discipline, teamwork and moral and patriotic values – are the building blocks of character. By working for these principles, those who belong to and support the Boy Scouts of America add greatly to the vitality of our society and to the future well-being of its people.” – Gerald R. Ford Ben Pycraft is an Eagle Scout from Cleveland, Ohio. USS GERALD R. FORD

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Commissioning Sponsors With sincere gratitude to the following individuals and organizations who so generously made possible the Commissioning Committee’s accessions and support to USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and her crew:

Integrity At The Helm

The DeVos Family President

Doug and Maria DeVos; Peter and Joan Secchia Vice President

Richard and Helen DeVos; MaryPat Woodard; The Van Andel Family; Amway Cabinet Secretary

Newport News Shipbuilders-Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc.; Dow Chemical Corporation; The Frey Foundation/David Frey; The Meijer Foundation

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SALUTING THE USS GERALD R. FORD Raytheon proudly supports the men and women of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), which honors President Gerald Ford for his distinguished service and commitment to our country.

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Four Star Admiral

Auto Cam Corporation; Curtiss-Wright Corporation; Cheri DeVos; Honorable Betsy DeVos and Dick DeVos; DTE Energy Foundation; J.C. and Tammy Huizenga; John and Nancy Kennedy; Northwood Group - Bill Parfet; Rollin M. Gerstacher Foundation; SpartanNash; David and Carol Van Andel Family Foundation; Steve Van Andel Foundation Three Star Admiral

Peter Cook Foundation; Daniel and Pamela DeVos; Dow Corning; Horizons; Mike Jandernoa – Jandernoa Foundation; Hon. Paul O’Neill; Don and Angela Sheets; The Charles J. Strosacker Foundation; The Boeing Company; USAA; Ron and Eileen Weiser; Greg and Annie Willard Two Star Admiral

Susan Ford Bales and Vaden Bales; Gaby Foundation – Richard and Barb Van Andel-Gaby; American Axle and Manufacturing; Chemical Bank; Corning Inc; Faircount Media Group; Gordon Food Service; Grand Valley State University; Jim and Kathy Hackett; JP Morgan Chase; David Kemper-Kemper Family Foundation; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Geoff and Chris Mason; Pure Michigan; Raytheon; Sign Art, Inc. – Wensco; Jim and Sue Williams

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One Star Admiral Malik and Haifa Adbulnoor; Sue and Martin Allen; Barbara Manfuso Appleby; ASRC Federal; John and Janet Babb; Hon. Jim and Susan Baker; Bob and Jarka Boetticher; BWX Technologies; Joe and Donna Calvaruso; Jim Cavanaugh; Sheri and Red Cavaney; Deb and David Hoogendoorn; DTN Development Group; Dan Bitzer - First National Bank of Michigan; Robert and Julie Ford Foster; Frizkin Enterprises, Inc.; Dennie Jagger; Lisa Dale McLaughlin, in memory of the Maguire Family; OnStaff USA in memory of Janet G. Allkins; PNC Bank; Pratt & Whitney; PricewaterhouseCoopers; The Parma Family Foundation; Frank and Cathy Ursomarso

Captain Albion College; Paul Bergman; Robert and Susan Brown; Larry Buendorf; Hon. Randell Bumgardner; Linda-Ford Burba and Ted Burba - in memory of Richard A. Ford; Commerce Bank; Jim and Michele Dunlap; Steven Ford; Dan and Lou Ann Gaydou-Mlive; Dawn Gaymer; Bryce Harlow; Terri Land and Dan Hibma; Hines Corporation; Bay and Bob Innamorati; Scott Miller; Northrop Grumman Corporation Navigation & Maritime Systems; Sally Phinny; Q.E.D. Systems, Inc.; Jerry and Barbara Reeves; Hon. Donald and Joyce Rumsfeld; Bob and Kim Schermer-Meritage Hospitality Group; The Robin B. Martin Family Foundation; Tim and Barbie Schowalter-Pioneer Construction; Troy Thrash; Mike and Gayle Van Gessel-Rockford Construction; Mitch and Stacey Watt-Triangle, Inc.; Richard and Tati Wennekamp; Hon. Donald and Linda Winter

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Matt Mulherin EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, HUNTINGTON INGALLS INDUSTRIES AND PRESIDENT, NEWPORT NEWS SHIPBUILDING MATT MULHERIN RETIRED JULY 1, 2017, AS president of HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division in Newport News, Virginia. Named to this position in 2011, he was responsible for all of the division’s engineering, operations, and programs, including the most complex ships in the world: nuclearpowered aircraft carriers and submarines. Newport News has approximately $4 billion in revenues and more than 20,000 employees. Mulherin earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Virginia Tech in 1981 and began his career at Newport News the same year as a nuclear test engineer. Since then, he has held increasingly responsible positions, including nuclear project manager for Los Angeles-class submarines, director of facilities, director of nuclear engineering and refueling, and director of carrier refueling and overhaul construction. He also served as director and vice president for

the next generation of aircraft carriers, the Gerald R. Ford class, and vice president of all programs, including shipbuilding and repair, Department of Energy and commercial energy. Before being named president of Newport News Shipbuilding, Mulherin served as vice president and general manager of site operations at Newport News as part of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. In 2016, Mulherin was appointed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to serve on the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board, and in 2013, he was appointed to serve on the board of directors for the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority. He also served on the board of directors for the Shipbuilders Council of America and the Naval Submarine League and on the board of trustees for The Mariners’ Museum. He was a vice president of Greater Peninsula NOW, and a member of the Hampton Roads Business Roundtable.

Could you give me a little background on the aircraft carrier building heritage of Newport News Shipbuilding? Matt Mulherin: The first aircraft carrier we delivered was in 1934, so by my math, that is 83 years. Ford will be the 31st aircraft carrier we’ve delivered to the Navy.

the Empire State Building if the carrier stood lengthwise. It’s big. It’s robust. It’s complex. It’s got a lot of technology put into it. The submarine guys will tell you that a submarine is much more compact. And that’s what adds to that complexity. Well, an aircraft carrier, even though it has some spaces like the hangar bay that are big and open, also has some very compact places – machinery spaces in the propulsion plant, weapons elevators, aircraft elevators. It has its share of really compact spaces that also drive a lot of the challenge to build the ship. So it takes a lot of planning and a lot of thought to come through that in an efficient way.

So it’s a long, long tradition. Long time. Now they’ve evolved, changed, and have gotten bigger and wider and more capable. But there have been lots of them, some amazing ships when you think of names like Ranger, Yorktown, Enterprise, Hornet, Essex, Midway, Coral Sea, Forrestal – just tremendous names throughout naval history. We’ve been building aircraft carriers for a long time. Aircraft carriers have been described as the most complex of all warships. As far as the present day goes, how long does the building process take and what makes it such a challenging undertaking in comparison with other classes of ships? An aircraft carrier takes, ballpark, seven years to build from the time you start buying long-lead material, start construction, and deliver the ship, maybe as long as eight – but somewhere in that range. When you think about it, you’re building a floating city. It has two power plants. It has an airport, restaurants, 4,660 beds on the ship – just a tremendous undertaking. It’s 1,100 feet long, just shorter than

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Let’s talk a little bit about that. The Ford class is a brand new class. What are some of the things that make it different from the Nimitz class or the follow on to the Nimitz class? I’ll tell you – just about everything. The ship itself, from the shape of the hull from the waterline down, is the same as the Nimitz. But the materials are different. Thicknesses are different. And then from the waterline up, everything is new. Certainly in today’s environment, a sailor is not free. In the past, the Navy had sailors, and had sailors in huge quantities, and that wasn’t important when they designed those earlier carriers. But today that’s not true. You recognize that a sailor brings with him or her a lot of cost and a lot of shore infrastructure in dental, medical, housing – all those kinds of


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things. So we looked at how sailors spend their day on an aircraft carrier, whether they stand watch, do maintenance work, cleaning, painting, you name it, the whole range of duties. So we really spent a lot of time thinking about how to make the ship more efficient. And then add to that a couple of things – like the increasing diversity of the crew. So there were a lot of those kinds of things that sound simple but made us really think a lot and really push ourselves. We also wanted to recover service life margins. The Nimitzclass ships designed some 30 years ago have consumed all their weight margin. So if you want to bring a pound of weight onto a Nimitz-class carrier – the coolest, latest technology that the Navy really needs – you’ve got to take a pound of weight off the ship. We wanted to set up Ford for 50 years of being able to bring on technologies, so we had to put the ship on a diet, take weight out, and really figure out how to set up the ship for a fifty-year life of new technologies. There was a general view that they wanted more capability in the ship. I think of that as lethality and sortie generation rate. They wanted to fly more airplanes off the ship. They wanted the ship to be more flexible. They wanted to make it essentially an all-electric ship. They wanted to increase the service-life margins, reduce the maintenance, and have the carrier available for deployment to a larger extent. And then we wanted to take out cost. So capability, flexibility, and affordability drove more requirements into the ship. All those things really caused us to spend a lot of time looking at how you would most efficiently relay out the inside of a carrier. And I agree: When you pull up to it you say, ‘That’s an aircraft carrier. It’s not that different looking.’ But it really is, functionally, inside the

Caption needed

Matt Mulherin

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HUNTINGTON INGALLS INDUSTRIES PHOTO BY CHRIS OXLEY

Shipbuilders at Newport News Shipbuilding use a torque wrench to tighten a stud for the tail cap on one of the four propeller shafts on Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).

ship, much different. It has two big galleys where all of the food for the ship is cooked. On the Nimitz-class ship, there are multiple kitchens where food is cooked for sailors, officers, the air wing. And it really creates some inefficiencies in how food is moved around the ship and how it is stored, all those kinds of things. So we really looked at how to go about designing the ship, operating it day to day, and help give a higher quality of life to the sailors. I think we did a good job on that. On a Nimitz-class ship, the entire carriers comprised an allmale crew. If you were in your bunk and you needed to go to the shower or the bathroom, you walked down the hallway and found one. Today, we have integrated the bathrooms inside much smaller berthing areas. And now there is a locked door that is accessed by a hotel keycard. Only the people who live in that berthing can get in there. Only the people who live in that berthing use that bathroom. So it’s just safer, cleaner, a little bit homier. I think the sailors are really reacting to it. They say that the sailors live like chiefs on the ship because of smaller berthing, those kinds of things. We really spent a lot time

thinking about the sailor, and it’s very helpful to the Navy to keep higher retention numbers. We really wanted to create an aircraft carrier that people really wanted to be assigned to, because at the end of the day, quality of life on that ship is going to be better. So it’s completely changed, completely different on the inside. It’s still an aircraft carrier, but I think one that is better for the sailors. It sounds like this isn’t a matter of incremental improvements. It sounds like you looked at everything with fresh eyes in this case. Absolutely. We spent a lot of time doing that before we really put pen to paper – I guess it’s really fingers to keyboards – to start designing the ship. We wanted to really think about what drives our cost, identify some big game-changers we wanted to go do, and how to build the ship. We asked ourselves – what are those big technologies and how does that afford us better ways to build it? What are some of the design features we’re going to need to implement in order to deliver the carrier that meets all those requirements? One of the things this ship can do is process all of the wastewater on USS GERALD R. FORD

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FREEDOM. DELIVERED. USS GERALD R. FORD (CVN 78)

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HUNTINGTON INGALLS INDUSTRIES PHOTO BY RICKY THOMPSON

The 555-metric-ton island was lowered onto the nuclearpowered aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Jan. 26, 2013, at Newport News Shipbuilding. The 60-foot-long, 30-foot-wide island was the 452nd lift of the nearly 500 total lifts needed to complete the aircraft carrier.

the ship before it discharges it. And it essentially has the ability to destroy all of the trash. So you end up with a greener aircraft carrier, if you would. It’s multiple little things that, when you integrated them all together, really gave you this different carrier.

How far back did this planning go? Was this something that was ongoing even while you were beginning the build process for George H.W. Bush or even further? Oh, absolutely. This really started in the mid-90s, kind of culminated in 1999 with the Navy’s official analysis of alternatives where they said, ‘What do we really want this aircraft carrier to look like?’ It could be big. It could be small. It could be nuclear. It could be non-nuclear. It could have catapults and arresting gear. It could just be airplanes that take off vertically and land vertically. It could be any combination of these things. They studied – I can’t even remember

– something like 30 or 40 different alternatives. And at the end of the day, after multiple reviews of very senior people in the Navy and Department of Defense reviewing it, it came down to a big deck, nuclear aircraft carrier. We developed manufacturing assembly plans. We had a high-level view of how we wanted to manufacture, assemble this aircraft carrier before we really did any design work. What were the things driving cost that we needed, significant technical review to say, ‘Yeah, that’s OK. I like that, and I agree that the value you get from that change is worth us going and doing all the engineering work to convince ourselves that that is the right thing to go do.’ We spent a lot of time on that, all the getting ready to get started. Then when we came to the Navy, we were part of that, came to that analysis of alternatives we started into our concept, arrangement, detail design – three distinct design phases for each part of the ship. Then we started pumping out drawings. Then we were planning. And these are all kind of going on at the same time. I mean every individual space had a concept first, a detail or concept, then an arrangement and then a detail. But with the ship so big, there are USS GERALD R. FORD

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all kinds of pieces at different stages in the design. So we went through all of that. We were pumping out drawings. We were buying material. We were doing the planning, all of those kinds of things. I think we started that in mid-1999. And on Aug. 11, 2005, we cut the first piece of steel. So, it sounds like a long time, but to design and start construction of an aircraft carrier in those six years, I was down there so I can tell you they went by pretty fast. You described to a large extent the Navy and Newport News Shipbuilding working together. Different communities and different projects have a different level of involvement, from all the subject matter experts being part of the shipyard as builder, to the armed forces having their own subject matter experts. How tight is the relationship? Is it just basically, ‘We need an aircraft carrier so go off and do it’? No, it was quite different than that. For almost every person I had, there was a counterpart in the Navy, and we spent a lot of time in design reviews, hand-over-hand reviews. There was a lot of integration. We kind of got to the point where we did a couple of things: One is, we created this electronic integrated data environment to be able to connect all of us, so we could all be looking at the same 3D product model at the same time. So I could be sitting here at Newport News, the Navy could be sitting in Washington, the laboratories could be sitting in Pittsburgh and we could all look at the same thing. And we had a conference call going on simultaneously. So we were all talking. But there were periodically times when we had to get together. And there was nothing like the old face-to-face meeting. So we spent a lot of time either with shipbuilders driving to Washington, Navy folks driving from Washington to Newport News. Finally, at the real peak of it, Richmond was about middle ground, so we all drove to Richmond because that was like 45 minutes to an hour drive, and we could all be there for a face-to-face meeting. So we spent a lot of time doing that as well. That lasted probably 18 months to two years. I still can drive down the Interstate and I know every exit, the route to the gas station, a McDonald’s. And the Navy folks are the same way, just from the time we spent, because you can’t mess this thing up, right? It’s a one time in your life evolution, a multiple generation evolution, and you’ve got to get it right. I imagine that once the build began that there was also a pretty close relationship between the sailors once they started to come aboard and the shipbuilders? Oh, yeah, absolutely. So, two things: One is, once we started building, it was nice because we quit driving. Everybody else had to come see us since we had the ship. But, yeah, the sailors were amazing. The plankowners started showing up probably in about 2006 or so and maybe ’07 and they were crawling all over the ship, seeing pieces and parts of an aircraft carrier no sailor ever sees, trying to understand how the equipment works long before all the manuals are written. They were there providing us input. They could provide input

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that might, if it was a good idea, get factored into the design, because it was still progressing. The design didn’t finish until sometime in 2010. Not only have they been working with my shipbuilders, they’ve been working with every tech rep and essentially anybody who comes to work on the ship. And they try to draw out all the smarts they have. I remember the air compressor guy. There were sailors down there with the air compressor vendor just trying to make sure they understood every part of it – how it operated and how it was designed and why it was designed that way – all those kind of things. They were really trying to absorb as much knowledge from everybody as they could. They’ve kind of developed their own schools, because some of this equipment is in advance of the Navy’s normal logistics and schoolhouse training systems providing them that training. They’ve essentially written their own training. They know that ship literally inside and out. It’s just an amazing bunch of folks. Capt. Meier, the first commanding officer, set the tone and the way the ship interacted with the shipyard, and it was extremely productive and everybody worked together. If there was a problem we identified it and we fixed it. But it was a great relationship with the crew. You spoke a little bit about reduced manning. Could you describe some of the other improvements, refinements, and new technologies that are aboard the ship? It has a bunch of them. It has the new propulsion plant that generates three times the electrical power, which really plays into the future, as you bring on new technologies, whether it’s for rail guns or lasers or photon torpedoes like on the starship Enterprise. Whatever it is, it’s going to need electrical power. The ship has infinitely more air conditioning, because all those fancy electronics generate heat and it’s going to need air conditioning to take that heat away so it can function in the environment. The increased air conditioning is going to weigh something and be of some size. That’s why we took weight off the ship and recovered service-life margin. This ship actually has 4.6 acres of flight deck, just because we needed to go to a little bit more internal volume in the ship. The Nimitz has 4.5 acres. It’s not substantial, but in some ways it was important. So it’s got weight and volume to be able to bring on new technologies. We put in reconfigurable spaces where you can come in and bring in new technology, plug it in and bolt it down. We really set up the ship for whatever future technologies come on board. It has new things like EMALS, the electromagnetic aircraft launch system, or the catapult system. It has a fancy new aircraft recovery system. Both of those are really designed to reduce maintenance, improve uptime – operational time – improve the way it launches airplanes – a much smoother acceleration and a smoother deceleration to give the airplanes a longer service life themselves. It has a different radar system that doesn’t have the rotating arrays. It has a big flat panel, you know, better from a maintenance


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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 1ST CLASS DAVIS ANDERSON

CVN 78 sits in dry dock 12 at Newport News Shipbuilding waiting for Ship’s Sponsor Susan Ford Bales to break a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow, christening the ship Gerald R. Ford in a centuries-old naval traditional said to bring life and luck to the ship.

standpoint, better capability, so it just has lots and lots of those technologies. It has PAWDS, the Plasma Arc Waste Destruction System, which just annihilates anything in the trash and turns it into little bits of dust. It’s just tremendous technologies – little ones, big ones, but everywhere throughout the ship. So it really did help to make the ship all electric. It’s still driven by steam propulsion. But for the most part, steam is confined to the propulsion plant and doesn’t go outside the propulsion plant. On the Nimitz-class carrier you send steam to the catapult, steam to heat the ship, steam to cook food, and steam to the dry cleaners so they can press your clothes. They use steam everywhere on the ship. Today, steam is kept in the propulsion plant and everything else is electrical. That really helps take manning off the ship. So you’re not dealing with piping systems, valves, all of those kinds of things. Electrical systems, essentially they either work or they don’t. So that’s what a lot of those technologies did. But it’s very integrated: bring on technologies, set up the ship to be able to take on even more, provide the infrastructure to do it and then have all of these individual

technologies that enhance the operation, meet all of the performance parameters that help you take 800 sailors off the ship. How difficult is it to do all these at once? You know, with a typical class of ships, as each new ship is built, maybe you’re adding a new plant or you’re adding a new combat system, a new weapon system. But with the Ford, from top to bottom, there are whole new sets of systems going in. Yes, sir, that’s why I’m talking to you today as opposed to about six months ago. And it’s not really the individual technologies, because we’re going to get them all to work. It was what was the readiness of that technology when it actually came to the ship. I’m often asked the question, should we have done those things all at once and pushed them ahead? I don’t know that you really had any choice. Eventually you just have to bite the bullet. You’re only going to struggle through this on the first one. And then the John F. Kennedy, the second ship of the class, will benefit from it. When those technologies are rolled in, all the design changes, how we operate it, everything will just roll to those guys and it will be USS GERALD R. FORD

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incorporation of perfectly functioning, ready, capable technology. Yeah, it had some risk. We all knew it at the time. I asked that question because I think from the outside, again, people look at aircraft carriers and say, ‘Well, it looks a lot like USS George H.W. Bush did and how different could it be?’ But when you have something like EMALS testing at the same time as the ship is being built, normally something has already been tested. It’s a known technology before you try and put it into the design of a ship. You can see there are going to be huge difficulties there, and I think that maybe the average man on the street doesn’t get that. No, I think you’re exactly right. But at the end of the day, I think this is how the taxpayer ultimately gets the most bang for his buck. We knew the five or six technologies that were really going to challenge us. We put our efforts into those and at the end of the day we’ll drag those across the finish line and deliver them and you can put that in the done pile. Kennedy and Enterprise and the other seven ships of the class will get all the benefits from that. I’m assuming that there are going to be lessons learned that will be passed along to the next ships of the class that will probably make your job a lot easier? Oh, yeah, absolutely. So the second ship of the class is costing significantly less to get to the same level of completion than the Gerald R. Ford. In fact, we signed a contract for the second ship of the class that is 18 percent fewer manhours. So it’s substantially less costly. It’s the exact same ship as Ford. This is where you’ve got to start making the doughnuts. Don’t change it. Let’s just make it, because if you keep it the exact same, you spend less on engineering. You have the most learning that you can apply. And at the end of the day, it will be the least cost. So we’re really trying to make sure that Kennedy and then also the third ship, Enterprise, is also exactly the same because that’s where you’re really going to get on this learning curve and start seeing ship-over-ship cost improvements. We also build the Virginia-class submarines. I will tell you the first couple of Virginia-class submarines that we built were more than the budget and took longer to build. But today, you’ll hear Virginia-class submarines talked about as the greatest program not just in the Navy but the whole Department of Defense. They’re on budget, ahead of schedule. And that’s just because I’m building a submarine every six months. I’m on that two per year pace. So it’s going real well. And that’s what the Ford class will get to once we come through Ford. I think they call this the romance of shipbuilding. The romance of shipbuilding? That’s what they call this phase of the first ship of a class. That’s sort of a star-crossed romance at times I suppose. You’ve got it.

You’ve mentioned that the flight deck is a bit bigger, and that you’ve worked to try and save weight. How much weight? Yeah, substantial. Now the ship ultimately will weigh about the same because of things we brought on, like more air conditioning. A lot of these things bring on weight themselves. So we had to take out or lighten up the ship where we could. We went to lighter steels. We looked at making the steel a little bit thinner in certain places. Are there lighter weight, higher-strength steels? We really looked at the structure and spent a lot of time driving that weight out of the structure by looking at every piece of steel and asking ourselves how we make it weigh less but still give it the same strength, the same capabilities if not more. We took out about 5 percent of the inherent weight of the ship, ultimately. We added some back in to give us some more capabilities at the end of the day. But we really focused on how to find weight savings. Lightweight deck tile was another example. I don’t know how many square feet of deck tile there is, but if you can get rid of heavier linoleum tile and go to something lighter weight, there is enough of it that it becomes measureable. We really focused on all those kinds of things to figure out how we take weight off the ship. I understand you had a sort of virtual reality environment where you could look at different aspects of the ship under construction. Oh, yeah. So this is all a 3D digital design. We had this integrated data environment where we could all be looking at the 3D product model. We could all be in the same space. And we would drive it from down here. So we’d be walking through the space and somebody would say “Hey, stop and look back over your left shoulder up in the overhead. I saw something there.” And we’d do it. So everybody was looking at the exact same thing and we were having those discussions. We’d also, in the propulsion plant, go down hand over hand, piece by piece, every piece of pipe, every system to make sure we really had it all figured out and well understood. And we did all of those things in these 3D design reviews. You think of days of old, it was a little bit more of ‘you go design the carrier, you go develop the drawing,’ which is kind of the end product, ‘you give it to me, the United States Navy’. I’ll look at it. I’ll mark up in red what I don’t like or what I want different, and I’ll give it back to you. It’s this back and forth discussion. We didn’t have that on Ford. We had design reviews. When we walked through that 3D product model, the Navy was buying the design of the ship. So it completely changed. In fact, I’d tell you, for Kennedy, we’re going to start, and for Enterprise our plan is to not issue any construction drawings. Every employee will have a tablet, an iPad® or whatever the device that is needed, so they can see an electronic work package that shows pictures of the product. You won’t need a drawing. A drawing is what Noah used when he built the ark. So we can probably dispense with drawings in the future as another way to save USS GERALD R. FORD

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Service members, crew, their families and distinguished guests I N T Ebow R Vtheir I E W heads as Navy Capt. Jerome Hinson gives a benediction during the ship’s christening ceremony.

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 1ST CLASS PATRICK GRIECO

both engineering costs and give better-quality product to the craftsmen on the deckplates – which is in my view who we all work for anyway – how do we make that craft person that much more efficient in doing their job every day? What has been Susan Ford Bales’ relationship with the shipyard, the ship, and the sailors? What role has she played? I don’t know that there is a standard definition for what a ship sponsor does. And don’t get me wrong. There’s lots of great ones out there. But Susan just has a very different relationship with shipbuilders, with the crew. We’ve made her an honorary shipbuilder because she has been here. She has welded. She has pulled cables. She has helped fit big steel units and used big jacks to put them in place. She has operated a crane. She flooded the dry dock when we launched the ship. I mean, there is nothing Susan hasn’t done to work with the shipbuilders. She has her own steel-toed shoes and her hard hat and all that stuff. She is just tremendous from that standpoint. She spends a lot of time with the sailors on the ship just to get to understand those folks because the relationship kind of changes. We knew Susan before there was a crew. And now we’re going away and the sailors – there are more sailors on that ship than there are shipbuilders today. So the relationship is changing. And we will certainly miss

her. You think about it: somebody who grew up in the White House has no reason to be or at least has reason not to be down to earth, approachable, all those kind of things. And she is all of those things. I mean you just can’t get somebody who is nicer to be around. She is a very normal person, and I think really is trying to essentially do what her father would have tried to do had he been here to be engaged with the shipbuilder, engaged with the crew, understand the process, you know, that ‘whatever help you need I’ll try to give it to you’ attitude. I think that was kind of who Gerald Ford was. I think Susan is not dramatically different. I think there is a lot of her father and her mother in her. And she just likes to be down there and be on the ship. She’s just tremendous. Susan has kind of rewritten the book on what it means to be a sponsor. You’re approaching retirement soon. What memories will you take with you from this job? I’ll mostly remember the people who I worked with, the fun we had, the long days and the challenges. But I am sure my lasting memories will be all about the great people – shipbuilders, Navy folks – both civilian and uniformed – and our suppliers. I look forward to seeing USS Gerald R. Ford and the remaining ships of the class do great things. USS GERALD R. FORD

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“Where Are the Carriers?” BY NORMAN FRIEDMAN

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DOD PHOTO BY PH2 LIPSKI

Ten ships of Task Force 155 gather during Operation Desert Storm. Leading the formation at left is the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV 60), flanked by the guided missile cruisers USS San Jacinto (CG 56), top, and USS Thomas S. Gates (CG 51). At center is the nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser USS Mississippi (CGN 40) flanked by the aircraft carriers USS America (CV 66), top, and USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67). At rear are, from top, the guided missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 46), the guided missile cruisers USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) and USS Normandy (CG 60) and the guided missile destroyer USS William V. Pratt (DDG 44). Aircraft carriers with their embarked air wings were able to deter Saddam Hussein from attacking Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield and then carried out continuous air strikes once Desert Storm began.

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NATIONAL ARCHIVES

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CARRIERS LIKE GERALD R. FORD give the United States invaluable insurance in a very uncertain world. For decades, when crises have broken out, presidents have asked, “Where are the carriers?” because the carriers are often the only way to bring usable power quickly to bear. A long-range bomber or a missile can, it is true, cause destruction anywhere on the other side of the world, but a carrier brings sustained power, and also a threat of power that need not be used. Carriers also offer relief in crises like the terrible Asian tsunami, something no other kind of military unit can bring. Carriers are the core expression of American sea power. The United States is inescapably a maritime nation, because so much of what we need to stay alive comes over the seas. Carriers – and navies – matter because it is far easier to move anything heavy, from a load of cars to an air base, by sea than over land. It used to be said, for example, that it was less expensive to move a car from Japan to New York than from Detroit to New York. Similarly, it was far easier for the United States to move forces mainly by sea to deal with Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001, than it had been for the Russians to move their army by land, over a far shorter distance, about two decades earlier. After the 9/11 attack a Russian military expert remarked that, because the United States had no bases near or in Afghanistan, it would have no option other than a nuclear attack; having fought the Afghans, he welcomed one. He reckoned without the mobile bases the United States did have: carriers.

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A Grumman F9F-3 Panther of Fighter Squadron 52 (VF-52) taxies forward aboard USS Valley Forge (CV 45) to be catapulted for strikes on targets along the east coast of Korea, July 19, 1950. The first carrier air strike of the war was launched from the Valley Forge on July 3, 1950. Carrier-based aircraft provided the first sustained response to the North Korean invasion, and could provide the long loiter time over the battlefield Air Force aircraft flying from Japan could not.

Moreover, once the United States could use its carriers as bases, countries in the region were far more amenable to offering base rights on their own soil. It was one thing for them to have the option of barring the United States from the region by denying base or overflight rights. It was quite another if the Americans were going to be able to operate anyway. In that case, governments could decide that American presence might be quite helpful. Otherwise internal opponents might well feel it was worth while expending their political capital to bar American forces. We have also found that using non-carrier forces based in foreign countries can have unfortunate consequences. In 1986 the United States attacked Libya, using a combination of FB 111 bombers based in the United Kingdom and carrier aircraft from the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. The attack seems to have been mounted without consulting the British. Some in Britain felt sensitive that the United States felt free to use their bases without seeking any permission, that Britain was being treated as something other than a fully sovereign country. The upshot was that the British government of the day demanded (and got) USS GERALD R. FORD

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ROYAL NAVY PHOTO BY LA(PHOT) BILLY BUNTING

Sea Harrier FA2s of 801 Naval Air Squadron on the flight deck of HMS Invincible. The ability of Invincible’s sister ship Ark Royal to move into areas with flyable weather kept her aircraft sortie rate higher at times than those of land bases.

a formal veto over any future U.S. military use of British bases. Some in Britain felt that the United States was trying to force the British to support the U.S. action against Libya, whether or not they wanted to. Not only is it far easier to move a carrier force than a landbased air force, but once in place, a naval force can remain on station at relatively low cost, both in terms of effort and in terms of political impact. Political impact increasingly matters: There is a vast difference between negotiating American presence at an Army or Air Force base and simply placing a carrier battle group a few hundred miles offshore. The carriers, moreover, give us choices. It costs little to reinforce them or to withdraw them when some agreement is reached. Pulling down our flag when our Army or Air Force leaves some foreign country carries political weight, which may be unfortunate. Moreover, it is unlikely that even so rich a country as the United States can afford to maintain permanent garrisons around the world, assuming that they would be welcomed.

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The carrier provides the influence we often need. It offers an enormous combat potential, but it does not have to exercise that potential the way a bomber flying over a foreign country does. Thus it can threaten our enemies – but it can be withdrawn quietly if they pull back. It can encourage our friends without forcing them to cede us bases or to become responsible for armed action. It is a piece of American territory movable over much of the world, at our behest. These advantages are enormously important in a world in which we have interests in many places, and in which we may often want to act, but in a limited and controllable way. It seems particularly valuable to have such mobile bases available if we find ourselves fighting a global terrorist organization like al Qaeda or Daesh (also called ISIS), which will try to set up new bases as we attack it. The value of such flexibility was not always obvious. In the years immediately after World War II, it was argued that American security rested mainly on nuclear weapons, which would be delivered by heavy long-range land-based bombers. It seemed that the existence of these ultimate weapons would deter any enemy and thus preclude any crisis short of all-out war. Although the early nuclear bombers required bases abroad, there was a hope that eventually bombers based in the United States could reach the Soviet Union. USS GERALD R. FORD

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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY CAPT. DANA POTTS

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If that happened, if the United States needed no foreign bases at all, it did not have to worry about the sort of sea dominance the U.S. Navy provided. Then war broke out in Korea in June 1950; it was clear that nuclear weapons could not deter anything except all-out nuclear war. The North Koreans overran air bases in South Korea. American aircraft based in Japan could not spend much time over targets in Korea; they lacked range. In the crisis, naval aircraft aboard a U.S. and a British carrier in the Western Pacific provided the main air cover to the beleaguered forces on the ground. That was the case even though there were far fewer carrier-based than land-based aircraft, even at the outset. What mattered was how long airplanes could spend over the battlefield, supporting troops. There was no question of whether or not the land bases would be available; at the time, the United States occupied Japan, where the bases were. The problem was endurance over the battlefield. Too, a carrier can seek out flyable weather when a land base may be closed down. That was the case during the NATO attacks on Serbia in the late 1990s. Carriers in the Adriatic were free to operate when the much more numerous NATO aircraft on Italian bases were not. Much of the time even a very small carrier – the British STOVL carrier Ark Royal – could maintain a higher sortie rate than the land bases. Half a century after Korea, on Sept. 11, Americans discovered themselves under attack mounted from a remote land-locked country, Afghanistan. It was obvious that the United States

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An F-14 “Tomcat” assigned to the “Jolly Rogers” of Fighter Squadron One Zero Three (VF-103) conducts a mission over Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy aircraft carriers operating aircraft like the Tomcat, which had evolved into a precision-strike aircraft, were able to provide air support over the battlefield before there were any friendly bases available in the country or nearby.

would retaliate, but how? The Russians had spent nearly a decade fighting in Afghanistan. One of their commentators asked how the United States could make more than a token strike, since it had no bases in the neighboring countries. He was wrong: the United States had big gray mobile bases – aircraft carriers. They could move into the Arabian Sea, within striking range of targets in Afghanistan. Throughout the war there, carrier aircraft provided the continuous air striking presence, which proved decisive. Long-range aircraft flying from distant ground bases could deliver heavier bomb loads, but they could not provide the sort of continuous coverage, which troops on the ground badly needed. This sort of presence made it possible for the Marines to set up a base near the main Taliban center of Kandahar. Their presence in turn convinced many Afghans that they should side against the Taliban. The coalition forces won. The Taliban survived as rebels, but not as the government of Afghanistan that allowed or even supported the Sept. 11 attack. A carrier like Gerald R. Ford is extremely expensive, and her aircraft add to that cost. The combination has proven well worthwhile. With the largest economy in the world, the United States is inextricably tied to dozens of countries overseas. No matter what its view, every U.S. administration finds that it sometimes needs to be able to intervene, or at least to threaten to do so, abroad. Critics sometimes speak about an American empire, harking back to the British Empire of the past. Carriers symbolize the difference between the two. The British found themselves deploying troops around the world, because they had no other way to act in crisis. Troops and colonies went together; the British sought to govern strategic places they needed, among other things, as bases to protect their vital global interests. The United States does have troops in many foreign countries, but generally as guests. We do not try to govern other countries. Yet we still have global interests, and they can still be threatened. We need some way of rushing our power to wherever it is needed in such a way that it can remain there for a protracted period. Carriers and their aircraft USS GERALD R. FORD

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are the most effective way of doing so. They are unique in not requiring permission to arrive at a crisis – or permission to leave if the U.S. government decides to back off. Any time that troops or airplanes are deployed on shore, a foreign government has to give its permission. It generally also has to give permission for the troops and aircraft to leave. Its interests generally are not the same as ours; that is inevitable. We may not want to support them with our forces. Conversely, the locals may not want to support our interests. Thanks to her nuclear power plant, Gerald R. Ford can remain at sea almost anywhere in the world for months at a time. She can embody potential power, a way of convincing enemies or encouraging friends. Or, she can exercise that power, as in Afghanistan, or in the air defense of Saudi Arabia in 1990 after the Iraqis invaded Kuwait (and thus threatened the Saudis). Because the carrier is largely self-contained, she is effective as soon as she arrives. In the Saudi case, Air Force fighters were ferried in before the carriers arrived in the Gulf, but they arrived without ammunition and without spare parts. It was some time before they could be considered effective for more than one flight each. As importantly, the carrier does not need permission for her presence. That is partly a matter of the freedom of the seas, but it is also because the carrier and her consorts can be expected to beat off opposition. Indeed, in a major war, the carrier would be expected to attract and destroy anti-ship forces, which might

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An A-6E Intruder aircraft and Attack Squadron 46 (VA-46) A-7E Corsair II aircraft fly in formation as they prepare for refueling during Operation Desert Storm.

otherwise overwhelm other naval forces and thus deny us the free use of the sea near an enemy’s shores. This role was particularly important in the U.S. Navy’s approach to a potential war against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. The Soviets recognized as much in their own reaction to the U.S. Navy. As it became clear that, were war to break out, the U.S. Navy would surge forward, the Soviets began to emphasize defense over offense. The key was that carriers and other U.S. naval forces could threaten the one naval asset the Soviets valued, the force of strategic submarines operating in the “bastion” near the Soviet Union. In this sort of war, the Soviets would have concentrated what naval offensive forces they had against U.S. carrier battle groups. The U.S. Navy view in the 1980s was that it could win such a battle and, in the process, break the Soviet navy. Victory would have solved the potential Soviet threat against vital NATO shipping in the North Atlantic. It would also have freed the U.S. fleet to attack the flanks of any Soviet advance into Western Europe. The carriers were essential because the Soviet naval threat was based largely on land-based bombers carrying missiles. Only carrier-based fighters could destroy these aircraft. Any alternative sea-based defense might have warded off some of their missiles, but as long as the bombers survived, they could keep coming, and eventually the defense would have been exhausted. The

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY CAPT. WILLIAM E. GORTNEY

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Two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets fly in formation after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct. 17, 2016. The Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) carried by these Super Hornets mean that a single carrier can hit many more targets per day than in the days of “alpha strikes.”

naval thinking of the Cold War shows how carriers are at the same time offensive and defensive. They can gain air superiority or protect U.S. access to the sea near an enemy coast by attracting and destroying an enemy’s anti-ship forces. No other naval asset has that sort of capability. One of the ironies of recent history is that our ability to appear without permission often makes it possible for us to protect friends abroad. When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, he told the Saudis that they would face revolution if they invited Westerners in to protect them. Indeed, in his attacks on the Saudi royal family, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden regularly counted allowing non-believers into their holy kingdom as their cardinal sin. Clearly both Hussein and the U.S. government doubted that, by itself, the Saudi military could withstand an Iraqi attack. The Saudi royals, moreover, took Saddam’s political threat seriously. By moving carriers into the Gulf, the U.S. government could provide air cover to Saudi Arabia without causing embarrassment. Hussein realized that his threat was pointless. He withdrew it, perhaps because he would have lost more had the Saudis tested it and found it hollow. With Hussein’s political threat gone, the Saudi government felt free to follow its interest in allowing coalition (including American) forces into the kingdom to help protect it, and ultimately to deal with the threat presented by the Iraqis occupying Kuwait. The carriers prevented Saddam Hussein from pushing the Saudis into a form of suicide. Later, the United States and Britain sought to rein Hussein in by enforcing a no-fly zone over much of Iraq and also by pressing him to allow continuous U.N. weapons inspections. The aircraft they relied on were based both in Saudi Arabia and on carriers in the Gulf. In 1998, Hussein ejected the weapons inspectors, beginning the period of crisis that would lead up to the invasion of his country in 2003. The immediate U.S. and British response was an air strike, but the Saudis vetoed use of their bases. That left the carriers – the bits of U.S. and British territory in the area. Their aircraft carried out the necessary attacks. In effect, carriers made it possible for the two allies to act as they had to, whether or not other governments agreed. Agreement is often valuable, but no government wants to give others a veto on its actions. The British found this experience so revealing that their government decided to build two large aircraft carriers to replace the existing small ones. Carriers like Gerald R. Ford offer this sort of capability because, in their 1,000foot flight decks, they achieve what an airfield ashore has to pay for with 5,000- or

6,000-foot concrete runways and acres of fuel tanks and ammunition and spare parts dumps. Moreover, that thousand feet can go anywhere in the world at more than 30 knots – more than 33 miles per hour – for months on end. This is so remarkable that we never think about it. It was made possible by three great post-World War II innovations: the steam catapult, the angled flight deck, and the mirror (later Fresnel lens) landing sight. The catapults were needed to launch the new generation of heavy aircraft – they are the shipboard replacement for the thousands of feet of concrete jets need to take off. The combination of ship speed and much more powerful arresting gear equated to the thousands of feet of concrete land-based airplanes need to land. The mirror sight (and a lot of operating changes) made jet operations safe enough to sustain. In the years since World War II, carrier deployments have evolved. During the Cold War, the United States sustained carrier forces in two forward areas, the Far East and the Mediterranean. By the 1980s, typically that meant two carriers in the Mediterranean and three in the Far East. The rule of thumb was that it took three carriers to maintain one in a forward area: one actually in the area, one working up for deployment, and one in refit. That required 15 carriers, and even then continuous deployment could be difficult. To some extent the pressure was eased by basing one carrier continuously in Japan, at Yokosuka (forward basing in Athens was also considered, but the Greek government rejected the idea). After the Cold War, the situation changed. For the gulf wars, the Navy was asked to concentrate as many carriers as possible for maximum attacking strength. The Navy developed a concept of surge deployment in place of the continuous deployments of the Cold War. As many as six carriers could be surged together, but the price was a USS GERALD R. FORD

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Sailors assigned to the Weapons Department of USS Nimitz (CVN 68) move ordnance in the hangar bay during an at-sea ammunition onload. The capacious elavators, hangar decks, and flight decks of aircraft carriers can as easily continue a steady stream of aid to help friendly nations in need as they can a steady rain of weapons on the nation’s enemies. No other ships offer such capability.

stand-down afterward. The strength of the carrier force has also changed. During the Cold War, the agreed requirement was 15 active carriers. Counting ships refitting, that might equate to 16 or 17 in all. After the Cold War, the agreed strength of the carrier force fell to 12 and then to 10 ships, with a commensurate reduction in the number of carrier air wings. In 2017, the new administration is interested in increasing the carrier force to 12 ships, which suggests that the construction of the other two ships of the Gerald R. Ford class may be accelerated. With the evolution of carrier air power from 1945 through the present has come a change in the way in which carriers engage targets ashore. In 1945, a carrier typically attacked a single shore target with maximum air strength. The attacking aircraft were massed to overwhelm target defenses. Attack planning was relatively simple and did not have to be very rapid. With the advent of nuclear weapons, a carrier might strike multiple targets at more or less the same time. Carriers in the Sixth Fleet, for example, often had nuclear-armed aircraft on their catapults, ready to fly. Nuclear missions were generally preplanned. A ship would go to sea with “target folders” describing separate missions in her safes. For the war in Vietnam, the carriers reverted to the mass attacks of earlier years, with some important exceptions. Now it was vital that strike planners be aware of the details of enemy

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air defenses not only at the target but also en route, as enemy missiles might well be emplaced along the route the aircraft were to take. By 1968, carriers were equipped with RA-5C Vigilante reconnaissance aircraft that typically collected allsource data concerning the target and the route to it. Not only did the Vigilante collect far more than in the past, but its data could rapidly be inserted into a computerized carrier intelligence center. Computerization made it possible to apply the data the Vigilante collected even after a strike was in flight. A few carrier aircraft, the night-flying A-6 Intruders, operated alone against multiple targets, but in principle the carriers were still executing mass strikes as in the past – “alpha strikes.” During the Vietnam War the possibility of a new way of attacking appeared in the form of precision-guided weapons, such as laser-guided bombs. In theory, mass attacks were needed both to saturate enemy air defenses and to ensure sufficient hits on a target, given the inaccuracy of bombing. It was discovered that a single laser-guided bomb could often destroy a target that had survived hundreds of conventional sorties. In theory, then, the laser-guided bomb could enable a single carrier to attack tens of targets with the same deck load of aircraft that in the past had accounted for only one. Laser guidance still imposed limitations. The attacking airplane generally had to loiter near the target as its bomb fell; it might therefore be vulnerable to enemy defenses. Too, standoff range was limited. When the bomb exploded, it generally threw up debris that made it impossible to guide a further bomb. Often photographs of the results of laser bomb attacks showed a crater on or near the target – and others much farther away, made by

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY PETTY OFFICER 3RD CLASS LAUREN K. JENNINGS

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Congratulations to the Captain and Crew on the Commissioning of USS Gerald R. Ford into the United States Navy.

President Gerald R. Ford U.S. Navy February 1942 — January 1946


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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST SEAMAN CHRIS CAVAGNARO

Air Department sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) load relief supplies onto an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 12 “Golden Falcons” to be airlifted ashore in support of Operation Damayan’s relief efforts in response to the aftermath of 2013’s Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

bombs whose guidance had failed due to the debris. However, the laser-guided bomb did allow aircraft to attack from a distance, and that might make it possible to attack even a defended target without using large numbers of bombs. The number of separate aircraft a carrier could launch became significant. The situation changed again with the advent of GPS. An airplane dropping a GPS-guided bomb does not have to wait for the bomb to hit. Nor does any debris the bomb throws up affect the accuracy of others. The bomb could also be dropped farther from the target. An airplane carrying several GPS-guided bombs could attack several targets per flight. Suddenly a single carrier could hit many more targets per day, assuming that each of its bombs was powerful enough to deal with each of them. In the 1990s, carrier designs were rated by the number of sorties they could support each day. Increasing that figure was why the flight deck on board Gerald R. Ford was redesigned. The new capacity came as the carrier mission changed, from the emphasis on fleet air defense in the late Cold War to shore attack afterwards. Where Cold War naval technology emphasized maintaining a picture of the open-sea situation around the carrier and her consorts, since the end of the Cold War there has been far more interest in providing the carrier with a picture of the situation ashore. Thus the point of current automation is to direct the carrier’s main battery, her aircraft, to deal with more targets ashore. That requires automated mission planning, the means for which the U.S. Navy has been developing for about 30 years. Such automation in turn requires that the carrier have access to a mass of information held ashore, such as satellite photographs of the target area. Getting that information to a carrier requires satellite links, which in turn involve special antennae. Other special antennae receive information from carrierbased reconnaissance aircraft. Typically the results of mission planning are inserted into the airplane at flight time, using a special cartridge. This data goes into the airplane’s mission computer. The computer carries the detailed route to the target, as well as a mass of other information such as radio frequencies and identification codes – which, in earlier times, would have been set manually by a pilot. The U.S. Navy initially placed mission computers on board its fighters so that they could be directed automatically to intercept attacking enemy aircraft. The same fighters are used for attack, and their mission computers have been

adapted to control attacks. Thus the data link developed to direct a fighter toward an incoming bomber can be used to revise the attack flight plan on board a fighter-bomber, directing it toward a new target. The combination of smart bombs and automated planning makes it possible for a carrier and her aircraft to strike many targets in a day. For a carrier, every additional antenna carries a special cost, because it must be mounted on or around the flight deck. Flight deck space is at a premium because free space determines, among other things, how quickly an airplane can be serviced and turned around to fly again. Current U.S. military thinking emphasizes the sheer speed with which enemy targets can be attacked, the idea being that an enemy will be unable to handle fast-paced combat. That kind of attack proved quite effective in Afghanistan in 2001. For a carrier, the measure of pacing is how many targets her attack aircraft can strike each day. No other kind of ship offers anything like the carrier’s capability to hit large numbers of targets ashore – and to keep hitting. Missile destroyers and cruisers can fire long-range Tomahawks, but only in limited numbers. Moreover, it is nearly impossible to replace their weapons at sea, because it is difficult to maneuver them into those ships’ vertical launchers. By way of contrast, Gerald R. Ford and her predecessors have wide elevators at their sides, onto which weapons can easily be maneuvered from another ship. Once aboard, they are stowed in the ship’s magazines, ready for issue to her aircraft. A carrier’s magazines hold about 2,000 tons of weapons, but typically she works with a replenishment ship carrying more thousands of tons, enough to replenish her magazines several times. Thus a carrier can maintain a steady stream of attacks, interrupted only by her need to replenish at sea. Any other sort of ship would have to go back to port to replace her relatively small stock of missiles. USS GERALD R. FORD

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Douglas L. DeVos COMMISSIONING CO-CHAIRMAN AND

Richard M. “Rich” DeVos, Sr. PRESIDENT GERALD R. FORD’S CLOSE PERSONAL FRIEND

RICHARD M. “RICH” DeVOS, Sr., was born March 4, 1926, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a graduate of Grand Rapids Christian High School and attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids. He served in the United States Army Air Corps from 1944 to 1946. In 1953, Mr. DeVos married the former Helen Van Wesep of Grand Rapids. They have four children, 16 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. In 1949, Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel formed the Ja-Ri Corp., and began distributing products on a direct sales basis. In 1959, he founded Amway with Mr. Van Andel. Amway is an $8.8 billion direct selling business based in Ada, Michigan. Top-selling brands for Amway are Nutrilite™ vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements, Artistry™ skincare and color cosmetics, eSpring™ water treatment systems and XS™ energy drinks – all sold exclusively by Amway Business Owners. Global sales in 2015 made Amway the No. 1 direct selling business in the world, according to the 2016 Direct Selling News Global

100. The company’s annual sales figure includes revenue from direct selling operations and other business holdings. For company news, visit globalnews.amway.com. A renowned speaker, Rich DeVos has appeared before hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. His recorded talk, “Selling America,” received the Alexander Hamilton Award for Economic Education from the Freedom’s Foundation. He has written five books: BELIEVE!, Compassionate Capitalism, Hope From My Heart, Powerful Phrases for Positive People, and Simply Rich, released in April, 2014. Simply Rich is a memoir reflecting on his work, faith, family, and the core values he held onto from his humble, Christian upbringing through his enormous success as co-founder of the world’s largest direct-selling business: Amway. In September 1991, Mr. DeVos and his family acquired a National Basketball Association franchise, the Orlando Magic, of which he currently is senior chairman.

As president of Amway since 2002, DOUGLAS L. DeVOS oversees daily operations of the company with Chairman Steve Van Andel. Together, they form the Office of the Chief Executive. DeVos is the youngest son of Amway co-founder Rich DeVos, who, with Steve’s father Jay, started Amway in Ada, Michigan in 1959. DeVos has worked with Van Andel to build enthusiasm for the Amway business and help it grow to become the world’s largest direct selling company. The results of their ability to foster entrepreneurs around the world are reflected in the company’s record sales growth. DeVos, who joined the company in 1986, also has served in various leadership positions in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Currently, DeVos chairs the Executive Committee for the National Constitution Center, in Philadelphia, and serves as

chairman of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations. He is also involved in numerous business and civic organizations, including the Business Leaders for Michigan, West Michigan Policy Forum, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, Economic Club of Grand Rapids, Keystone Community Church and The Right Place, a regional economic development organization in West Michigan. He has been inducted into the U.S. Direct Selling Association Hall of Fame and recognized with the Direct Selling Education Foundation’s Circle of Honor award. DeVos earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Purdue University, where he also played football. He is a member of the Global Strategic Advisory Council for Purdue’s Krannert School of Management.

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Douglas L. DeVos (left) and Richard M. “Rich” DeVos, Sr.

Tell us about the decades-long friendship between the DeVos family and President Ford. Richard M. “Rich” DeVos, Sr.: Our friendship began in the early days of the Amway business back when President Ford was our local congressman. He was very supportive of Amway and would attend our different groundbreakings, ribboncuttings, and other Amway events. As his positioned changed, becoming House Minority Leader, then Vice President and then President, we maintained our friendship, with me and Jay visiting him in D.C. or whenever he came back home to Grand Rapids. Our friendship continued through the years and well into his retirement. Douglas L. DeVos: My early memories are of Congressman Ford in the 1960s. Jerry established and valued his strong relationships here in Grand Rapids. I remember when Dad and Jay were in D.C., they would stop by to visit Mr. Ford and tell him about what was happening here in Michigan. He was always happy to see friendly faces from home. The three of them built a strong friendship and I believe that the Ford family chose to put their father’s presidential museum and burial grounds here in Grand Rapids because of the strong relationships that always represented home. How did you come to know President Ford and how long did you know him? Rich: We first came to know Jerry when he was our local congressman. In fact, he attended the dedication of Amway’s

World Headquarters. From there, he attended many other Amway events and was a strong supporter of the work Jay and I were doing. We formed a friendship that we continued even as his public service roles grew up until his retirement and his death in 2006. Doug: When Amway opened our new World Headquarters in 1973, President Ford and Governor Milliken came to the opening. I remember it well because I got to miss school. As I grew up, I got to know President Ford through my parents and then through our involvement in the Ford Foundation. After his presidency, Amway would help with his flights home to Grand Rapids. Once, just after I became president of Amway, I happened to be at the hangar when he came in and he made a point of personally thanking me for the flight. He was always so warm and gracious. What one anecdote of your family’s experiences with President Ford typifies his character? Rich: President Ford was one of the most honorable people I ever met – as a friend, leader and politician. His highest ambition was to become Speaker of the House. He never sought the presidency. Yet, as more responsibilities were handed to him – as vice president, then as president, he accepted them with grace and perseverance. And he never forgot where he came USS GERALD R. FORD

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I N T ER V I E W Richard M. DeVos, Sr.

from. He always remembered his hometown of Grand Rapids and the people of the community where he grew up. Doug: In 1995, I was at the grand opening of the Frederik Meijer Gardens and I was in the back of the room talking with Peter Cook. I was surprised to see President Ford sneak in the back door. Then I had the honor of hearing these two old friends catch up. It was so typical of President Ford. He was always friendly and happy to see people. He snuck in the back, wanting to be part of this wonderful event but not needing any fanfare. He never forgot his Grand Rapids family and to me, this was always part of his grace, charm and character. If President Ford were alive today, how would he feel about having this carrier named after him? Rich: President Ford would be utmost honored to have such a state-of-the-art aircraft carrier named after him. Honored – and incredibly humbled. Doug: I believe President Ford would be incredibly honored to have this magnificent carrier named after him. He would be thrilled to see the crew and he would probably want to work right alongside them. I think he would be all over the ship with a special appreciation that would have come from his own experience as a veteran of the Navy. Which aspect of the carrier would make him proudest? Rich: As a naval veteran who served during World War II and as the country’s Commander in Chief, President Ford was a true patriot who understood fully the awesome responsibility our military serves. He’d be tremendously honored that a carrier of this caliber not only carries his name, but will serve as a beacon of freedom and American values for decades to come. Doug: While President Ford would be so proud of the technology and craftsmanship that has gone into this carrier, I think he would be most humbled by the crew and their willingness to serve. He always recognized the efforts of those around him and he would love what this project has come to represent – for people here in the United States and others around the world. Americans are familiar with President Ford’s extraordinary career of public service, but what was he like as a private person? What were the essentials of his character you remember most from knowing him? Rich: With President Ford, what you saw was what you got. He was genuine, sincere, humble, and noble – both as a public servant as well as a friend. Doug: I always think the beauty of President Ford was straightforward and simple. He was a real “what you see is what you get” kind of guy. He really was honorable, smart, kind, thoughtful, and genuine. He never became anything else. One story I’ve always appreciated was the one about President Ford and Hubert Humphrey being seen talking, laughing, and hugging one day at the White House. This was just days after Humphrey had publically criticized President Ford on television. Ford later said that although their personalities and institutions

are different, the men were still good friends. “He likes me, just not my politics,” was President Ford’s remark. What was President Ford’s impact on the Grand Rapids community? How is his presence still felt in Western Michigan? Rich: To have a former U.S. President be from your hometown is both rare and significant. Then to have someone with the legacy and values of someone like President Ford makes our community tremendously proud. The strong support of the Ford Museum as well as the Ford Foundation is a great testament to the connection all of us in the Grand Rapids community feel to President Ford and his entire family. Doug: No one has had a greater impact on the Grand Rapids community than President Ford, and I think we all take pride in his character and service. Just look how many people came to his funeral! People were in line for hours in the cold streets to pay their respects. He and Mrs. Ford were laid to rest here and we all know that this was his home. Now his family continues his legacy here and we are so grateful. From our community leaders to our school systems, we tell his stories and visit his museum. Now the Learning Center is furthering our opportunities to learn about him, the importance of public service and American history and values. Tell us about the special enthusiasm the citizens of Western Michigan have shown to the USS Gerald R. Ford. Rich: The community of West Michigan is very excited to join in the celebration of Ford’s legacy with this very visible tribute to a man of such character we all love, respect, and remember so much. Doug: The USS Gerald R. Ford is another chance for us to be connected to President Ford’s legacy and his commitment to freedom and country. We are so proud of the extension of our favorite Grand Rapids son that extends far beyond West Michigan. Doug, what have been your personal priorities as co-chairman of the commissioning committee? Doug: It has been such an honor to serve on this committee. I have had the opportunity to tell the story of President Ford and celebrate his legacy. This ship will enable us to do that for years to come. I am deeply proud to be able to support the crew, the U.S. Navy and our country in this way. This ship will proudly serve the needs of so many people … the crew will have what they need to carry out their mission and our country will take pride in their work. Enabling it all will be the USS Gerald R. Ford, and I’m sure he would want it that way. What aspect of the commissioning process has been the most gratifying? Doug: To be part of this commissioning process has been a great thrill. Every time we hear about this ship in the news, knowing I was a very small part of is humbling. I’m so proud to know that this will serve our country for the next 50 years and I can’t imagine all that her crew will see and do. USS GERALD R. FORD

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USS Gerald R. Ford and Tomorrow’s Aircraft Carriers BY NORMAN FRIEDMAN

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NEWPORT NEWS SHIPBUILDING PHOTO BY MATT HILDRETH

The aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford returns from sea trials. One of the most noticeable differences from the previous Nimitz class is the island, which is set back some 140 feet farther aft, as well as being significantly smaller. It also lacks the rotating radars of previous carriers, employing instead the flat plates of the active phased array radar system.

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East Grand Rapids, Michigan is the hometown of the 38th President of the United States Gerald R. Ford With pride in our favorite son, the East Grand Rapids community sends congratulaƟons on the occasion of the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).

Best Wishes and Smooth Sailing! Sheri and Red Cavaney

Christening Portrait by Brian Murphy, November 9, 2013


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THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER HAS endured for a century because it is so flexible. The future surely belongs to carriers designed to combine that flexibility – that ability to handle so wide a variety of aircraft – with technology which will make them simpler and less expensive to operate, and that will also help defeat whatever new threats they must face. Gerald R. Ford is the first of a new class because it seems that enough new technology exists or is imminent that it is worth re-thinking carrier design. At least for the U.S. Navy, carriers are vital because, despite many attempts, no other kind of ship can project power ashore on a sustained basis. Only a carrier can easily take modern precision weapons on board at sea, and only a carrier’s airplanes can deliver them on a sustained and affordable basis (because they can attack, return, and attack again at will). It also seems that only a carrier’s fighters can effectively protect ships at sea from enemy air attacks using long-range missiles. Surface ships may be able to shoot down the missiles – but unless they are destroyed, the enemy’s bombers can keep coming back until the missiles are exhausted. It takes a carrier like Ford to sustain an air offensive or air defense. The new carrier is built in about the same hull envelope as the Nimitz and her sisters. The decision was made early in the design process as a way of limiting the ship’s size and cost growth during that process. There was considerable pressure for growth, and it was not difficult to argue that a somewhat larger, more commodious hull would be more efficient. Moreover, the Nimitz design is now about fifty years old. Although it has evolved through at least three versions (Nimitz, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan) the basic internal configuration of the Nimitz class and even its power plant have not changed very much. Naval architects say

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A graphic cutaway of USS Gerald R. Ford showcases some of the many changes and improvements over the Nimitz-class carriers. The two – instead of three – hangar bays, repositioning of the island with its Dual Band Radar, three aircraft elevators, EMALS, Advanced Arresting Gear, and improved, enlarged electromagnetic weapons elevators are among the features of the new class.

that the design has exhausted its margins, both of weight growth and of electric power. The basic requirement for the Gerald R. Ford was to restore the capacity for the ship to grow in capability over its expected fifty-year lifetime. At the same time, the Navy badly wanted to reduce the high cost of ownership – of operating the ship. Half of that cost is associated with the ship’s crew and the personnel of her air wing. For a nuclear ship, there is also the considerable cost in the refit undertaken when the ship is refueled. The Navy currently estimates that it will cost $4 billion less in 2017 dollars to operate USS Gerald R. Ford than a Nimitz-class carrier. The new carrier is expected to require 800 fewer personnel in its crew, and 400 fewer in its air wing. USS Gerald R. Ford is described as more survivable than earlier carriers, which suggests that she has been rearranged internally to incorporate new types of armor and also new types of underwater protection. Hers seems to be the first U.S. carrier design to take fully into account the reality of torpedoes designed to explode under her hull rather than in contact with her side. Large-scale experiments, including the controlled sinking of the discarded carrier USS America, have presumably provided the basis for this redesign. Typically the degree of underwater protection is associated with its volume. A demand for greater protection would therefore increase pressure to make the innards of the carrier as compact as possible. On the other hand, the demand for a greater sortie rate is associated USS GERALD R. FORD

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with greater quantities of air weapons, and therefore probably with more voluminous magazines. From an engineering point of view, one of the basic factors in future growth margin is power available for the ship’s auxiliaries. In a Nimitz-class carrier, that is a combination of electric and hydraulic power and steam to operate catapults. Over the life of a ship additional electric generators can be added (with difficulty), but it is almost impossible to add hydraulic power or to increase the capacity of the ship’s steam catapults. In the Gerald R. Ford, the solution has been twofold. First, all auxiliary power is now electric. Second, electric generating capacity is almost three times as great as that in a Nimitz. Making all auxiliary power electric has the important virtue that power can be switched between various functions, some of them not yet envisaged. For example, it can be concentrated to power future self-defense weapons such as lasers, which seem to be nearly at the point where they can replace conventional close-in anti-missile defenses, or railguns. Electric power is also much more delicately controllable – by computer – than hydraulic or steam power. For example, electric catapults can be controlled to provide a power profile that imposes less stress on an airplane being launched. Electric power can also be associated with a more automated approach to damage control (hence greater survivability) based on sensors in the ship’s compartments. The shift to all-electric auxiliaries helps explain the requirement that

Ford’s power plant generate three times as much electric power as that of the earlier Nimitz class. The reactors are a fixed element in a ship’s design, so at the outset whatever growth margin (in power) is desired has to be designed in. Ford has a pair of A1B (originally designated S9G) reactors that are smaller than those of her predecessors but generate about 25 percent more power. They require about half as many personnel for operation and maintenance, which is probably a major contribution to overall ship personnel savings (moreover, nuclear-trained personnel are particularly expensive). Until lasers and their ilk enter service, Ford has the standard carrier defensive battery of a pair of octuple launchers for RIM162 ESSM (Evolved SeaSparrow Missiles), the shorter-range Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM), and the Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS). ESSM is supported by the ship’s CEC (Cooperative Engagement Capability), a link among ships that provides targeting data on incoming missiles and other threats while they are still beyond the ship’s horizon. ESSM missiles can be launched on that basis, considerably extending the ship’s defensive bubble. The original design requirement to work within the Nimitz hull envelope made it essential to save space inside the ship. That made elimination of steam catapults, whose piping and steam chests have always taken up considerable volume, extremely desirable. Ford has electromagnetic catapults, a system called


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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS KRISTOPHER RUIZ

Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) arrives at Naval Station Norfolk after completing builder’s sea trials off the coast. The smaller, but taller island structure houses the Dual Band Radar’s Multifunction Radar and Volume Search Radar. Each radar has three flat plates on the island, each of them covering 120 degrees.

The future of freedom. The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) will proudly guard America’s freedom for decades to come. Congratulations to everyone who made this monumental achievement a reality. jeppesen.com


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Sailors from the Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) walk the ship’s flight deck following the first “dead-load” test of the ship’s Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS). In the foreground is the catapult shuttle. For generations, catapult tracks in the decks of U.S. Navy carriers were wreathed in the steam used to power them, but EMALS points the way to the future.

EMALS (Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System) that are considerably more compact than steam catapults. She also has arresting gear that absorbs the energy of a landing airplane and converts it to electrical power. That also saves space, but it is not as essential to the success of the ship as EMALS. The demand to make the best possible use of the ship’s limited internal space has been met in part by allowing for rearrangement of non-structural partitions to create or eliminate spaces as needed. That is practicable because all power for these spaces is electrical, available from outlets built into the ship. As might be imagined, the main change in the way the carrier operates will probably come from the way in which aircraft are used. In the past, the U.S. Navy conducted mass strikes (“alpha strikes”) against single chosen targets on land. Mass was needed to confuse enemy defenses, and also because it took many bombs to ensure a few hits. The carrier flight deck was designed to support the quick and nearly simultaneous launch of many of the ship’s attack aircraft after they had been loaded en masse. There were also single-airplane attacks, and some aircraft did not fly off en masse, but the emphasis was on preparing a flight deck full of aircraft and launching them together.

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Turnarounds did not have to be very fast. Even with the advent of smart bombs, the need to saturate enemy defenses remained. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrated a very different sort of carrier operation. It proved possible to destroy enemy national air defenses at the outset. GPS-guided bombs could be dropped from outside the range of the remaining enemy defenses. Unlike the smart bombs of the past, they did not require the airplane to keep a laser on the target until the bomb hit. One airplane could hit multiple targets on a single flight. Bombs were so precise that masses of airplanes attacking together no longer seemed very important. Instead, what mattered seemed to be how many different targets a carrier’s aircraft could hit in a day. Instead of being launched in a mass and recovered together, a carrier’s aircraft would be launched one by one. It would matter enormously how quickly an airplane could be turned around upon landing, because that would largely determine how many flights that airplane could make each day – how many separate sorties the carrier could generate each day. This point was reinforced in Afghanistan, when the key value of carrier aircraft was that they could be maintained continuously over the battle area to provide troops with air support. This sort of continuous operation requires that some aircraft be serviced and rearmed while others are launched and recovered. Carriers always had this capability, but it was limited because their flight decks were arranged for an earlier idea of combat. For example, ships had magazines located forward so that weapons (originally, nuclear weapons) could be fed to aircraft on the bow

. U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 1ST CLASS JOSHUA J. WAHL

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An F/A-18E Super Hornet is launched during a test of the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) at Naval Air Systems Command, Lakehurst, New Jersey. Newer, heavier and faster aircraft will result in launch energy requirements approaching the limits of the steam catapult, increasing maintenance on the system. The system’s technology allows for a smooth acceleration at both high and low speeds, and will provide the capability for launching all current and future carrier air wing platforms, from lightweight unmanned aerial vehicles to heavy strike fighters.

catapults, before they were launched. They could not feed airplanes being serviced or fuelled after having landed farther aft. USS Gerald R. Ford has her island farther aft, leaving more open space, including parking and rearming space, forward. Ford is the latest in a long series of attempts to place the island in the best position for air operations, keeping in mind that the ship is navigated from it, hence that those in it need good visibility. She has three rather than the previous four elevators (two forward of the island, one right aft to port). These elevators are larger than those of the earlier ships. The last previous major flight deck redesign came in the late 1950s, when the island was moved aft, exchanging position with one of the two elevators formerly abaft it. At the same time the elevator formerly at the fore end of the angled deck was moved aft. These changes were intended to simplify flight deck operation.

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For example, the elevator at the forward end of the angled deck blocked the two waist catapults. It was a legacy of an earlier flight deck arrangement adopted at the start of World War II, when carriers had only bow catapults. The number of elevators and their location reflect the fact that the hangar deck is split into bays (so that, among other things, no weapon or fire can sweep the whole hangar deck). Each bay has to have independent access to the flight deck. Moreover, elevators are spread out fore and aft and to each side so that the ship is harder to put out of action. The change in Ford means that no hangar deck bay will have access on both sides. Presumably that is acceptable because doors between the bays allow such access unless the carrier has been damaged. Much the same goes for catapults, which are paired forward and amidships. Catapult operation is further complicated by the fact that each catapult requires a slot cut into the flight deck – which is the ship’s strength deck, hence cannot be cut crosswise (because the waist catapults are angled, they do reduce deck strength somewhat). Reducing the number of elevators and moving the island to the after corner of the flight deck frees space for aircraft parking, servicing, and rearming. The Ford’s flight deck is about 8,000 sq. ft. larger than the CVN 77. Rearrangement also entails changing the positions of weapons elevators relative to the parking areas. Given the redesigned flight deck, Gerald R. Ford is expected to be able to hit about one-third more targets than her predecessor (the numbers are typically given as numbers of sorties per day: 160 to 220 rather than 120 on a sustained 30-day basis, or 270-310 in a 4-day surge). It is also argued that, should the U.S. Navy adopt unmanned aircraft, they may be somewhat cumbersome as they are maneuvered around the flight deck. More flight deck area will make them easier to operate. Moving the island eliminates possible interference with No. 4 (starboard waist) catapult, which launches aircraft at an angle to the two bow catapults. That improves the ship’s ability to launch two aircraft at the same time, a factor in increasing the sortie rate. A related factor is a rethought weapons area using high-speed elevators. The new weapons elevators will carry more than twice the weight of those aboard the Nimitz USS GERALD R. FORD

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class, and there are two more than formerly. The weapons magazine has also been dramatically enlarged (to two deck heights) so that weapons can be stowed fully assembled (‘full-up’) rather than broken down. Again, this is a means of increasing sortie rate, as weapon assembly can be a major delaying factor in rearming airplanes for new strikes. Aircraft rearming has been centralized to make it more efficient, and to require fewer personnel. Carrier designers once considered a wider variety of flight deck arrangements, and perhaps their ideas will return. For example, the U.S. Navy is now building a replacement for the LHA, a largedeck amphibious ship which resembles an aircraft carrier, and which can operate STOVL fighter-bombers. One abortive proposal was to place her island on the centerline, with angled decks on either side meeting at the bow. One deck (“tramway”) would have operated helicopters, the other STOVL aircraft. The ship would have been about the size of the old Forrestal. The idea was rejected because of its cost, but the concept of multiple launch (and recovery) decks remains interesting, particularly if the point of the design is rapid cycling of individual aircraft. Note that this configuration was considered and rejected when the first U.S. nuclear carrier, Enterprise, was built – but her designers envisaged a very different kind of flight deck cycle. The Enterprise designers also considered a multi-level flight deck (i.e., launching aircraft from hangar deck level), which would have been a throwback to some foreign carrier designs of the 1920s. They probably also remembered that a few U.S. carriers built during World War II had cross-deck hangar deck catapults. In those ships the idea was to be able to launch aircraft even with a full air group parked at the forward end (the flying-off end) of the flight deck. The hangar deck catapults were used, albeit rarely; they were eliminated to provide space for more light anti-aircraft guns, hardly a consideration in the post-1945 jet age. The idea in the 1950s was to increase the rate at which aircraft could be launched. The size of the island (and of accompanying masts) is set largely by the radars the carrier needs to detect enemy aircraft and to control its own. The more separate radars, the larger the island/ mast footprint. Since the 1970s, electronically scanned radars, like the one used aboard Aegis ships, have become inexpensive and reliable. They add valuable capability, but they replace earlier radars on a one-for-one basis, and often take up more space. Proposals to install Aegis-type radars on carriers failed because of cost. Now the next step in technology, the active array, is entering service on board Gerald R. Ford. In contrast to the rotating radars on board past carriers, Gerald R. Ford has the fixed arrays of the radar built into her more compact island. She has no radar masts at all. This is an active electronically-steered array radar (the SPY-1 of Aegis ships is a passive array). In an active array, each element is a miniature radar capable of transmitting and receiving signals. A computer instructs the elements to work together to form transmitting and receiving beams. In contrast to a passive array, an active array is much better suited to dealing with jammers, as it can rearrange its beams to null them out. An active array may also be able to create its own jamming beam(s) while it continues to conduct radar searches. The published list of electronic equipment on

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board Ford does not include the usual SLQ-32(V)4 carrier jammer, or any other jammer. The earlier ships carry radars operating at several frequencies (L-, S-, and X-band). Ford was conceived to use a dual-band active-array radar (SPY-3/4) to operate in both X- and S-band, combining the AN/SPY-3, operating at X-band, with the S-band, volume search radar for all-weather search capabilities. Overall, the island of the Ford is less than two-thirds the length of the island on a Nimitz; too, there is no separate radar mast, as there is in a Nimitz. Both the island and the radar mast of the earlier ships contribute heavily to the ship’s radar cross-section, which is why the last two Nimitz-class carriers had their islands extended and their separate radar masts eliminated. Many suspect that manned attack aircraft will give way to unmanned ones; the coming F-35 (JSF) is often described as the last manned fighter. This transition, if it comes, will not change the basic carrier mission, which will still be to project air power from the sea. However, it may dramatically change carrier operating practices, and hence the shape of carriers. Northrop Grumman’s X-47B Pegasus demonstrated that it could operate from a carrier, and it seems to be assumed that the Ford will in the future include unmanned aircraft in its air wing. These aircraft would be about the size of current carrier fighters. Too, the Navy has shown that an unmanned combat air vehicle can refuel in flight, just as manned aircraft currently do. It seems reasonable to argue that pilot fatigue is the main limit on current aircraft endurance; pilots become exhausted before airplanes fail in flight. A refuelable unmanned airplane could fly much longer missions. They would probably involve orbiting (perhaps en masse) within range of potential targets waiting for the order to attack particular ones. The carrier flight deck would operate with a different tempo, with much longer intervals between launching and, usually, servicing aircraft. If most of the unmanned strike aircraft spent most of their airborne time orbiting, servicing would be intermittent rather than, as now, nearly hourly. Vehicles would return either when they were about to run out of time between failures, or to reload after dropping their weapons. They would be fed one by one into the orbiting mass. Tanker flights to keep the unmanned vehicles in the sky might be more frequent than any others supported by the carrier. It is not clear how fleet air defense would fit into this picture; it might or might not become an unmanned function. On the other hand, handling unmanned vehicles on the flight deck would be a very different proposition, because there would be no pilot onboard to maneuver the airplane in response to the hand signals from the handlers, or for that matter to avoid obvious obstacles. Unmanned vehicles may be provided with their own flight deck sensors, or they may be remotely controlled by the handlers. There may be particular challenges in handling both manned and unmanned aircraft together, but they may be eased if the unmanned aircraft have such long effective endurance that they only occasionally affect the flight deck. Unmanned aircraft could have profound impacts on the carrier. Pilots have to fly daily to maintain their proficiency, e.g. in difficult skills like carrier landing. Unmanned aircraft would fly only


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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 3RD CLASS ELIZABETH THOMPSON

MV-22 Ospreys assigned to Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) land on the flight deck of Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). The Ospreys, preparing for a presidential visit of the first-in-class carrier, were the first aircraft to land on the flight deck of the carrier. This image clearly shows the forward aircraft elevator and weapons elevators on the starboard side, though the forward outboard weapons elevator is obscured by flight deck tractors.

when needed. Such a pattern would dramatically reduce the carrier’s need to take on jet fuel, which currently entails an operating cycle as short as three or five days. The carrier might still fuel her escorts, but she would spend much less time in the vulnerable process of taking on fuel. Merely operating at higher average speed would give her considerable protection against non-nuclear submarines, which have low average speeds when submerged. Dramatically reducing aircraft operating hours would also reduce the carrier’s maintenance workload and would probably require far fewer spares for the aircraft. All of these changes would be attractive in a Navy trying, as ours is, to reduce the number of sailors. Moreover, if unmanned aircraft replaced many manned ones, the economics of the carrier would change, perhaps dramatically. The cost of aircraft is now comparable to the cost of the carrier herself; over her lifetime, aircraft may cost twice as much as the carrier. An unmanned strike airplane would not cost any less than a manned one, but there would no longer be a need to buy nearly as many – none would be needed for pilot proficiency training, for example. Fewer air wing personnel would be needed, too, if the unmanned aircraft flew less frequently (because pilots would not be flying them every day to maintain their skills). Critics of carriers often describe them as too expensive, but a dramatic change in their economics might make carriers far more affordable. Right

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now the United States does not have as many carriers as it needs to deal with a very unstable world. Anything that made the same carrier capability much less expensive on a ship-for-ship basis would be very welcome. Stealth is another issue. About 2000, a U.S. Navy design team sketched a truly stealthy carrier, observing that stealth would have carried a high cost (which proved excessive) in aircraft capability. However, signature control might be a more reasonable proposition. A carrier generally operates with escorting destroyers. An attacker must distinguish the high-value target from the others. If the carrier’s signature could be reduced to the point where she might be difficult to distinguish from her escorts (or their signatures turned up to match hers), she might gain considerably. Stealth would include changing radar (and communication) usage so that the carrier could not be identified by the special radars she has. For that matter, any ocean surveillance system that detected the carrier in the first place would probably rely on the carrier’s electronic emissions to distinguish her among the mass of large ships at sea at any one time. Previous carriers use a characteristic set of radars to control airplanes waiting to land. In the Ford, these radars, which might well identify the ship to an enemy, are replaced by a system based on GPS: a returning airplane reports its position to the carrier (via a stealthy link) and the carrier commands it to land based on the series of reported three-dimensional positions. None of this broadcasts the carrier’s identity the way the earlier specialized air traffic control radars did. As in earlier carriers, the main air search radar – in this case SPY-3 – is a fallback for air traffic control. The difference is that the Ford’s active array radar can carry out USS GERALD R. FORD

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U.S. NAVY COMBAT CAMERA PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS RIDGE LEONI

The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) arrives at Naval Station Norfolk and approaches its berth next to the Nimitzclass aircraft carriers USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), left, and USS George Washington (CVN 73) after returning from builder’s sea trials and seven days underway. The expanded size of the flight deck is very evident here, as well as the portside elevator right aft.

that function more effectively while searching for air targets that might threaten the ship. For the U.S. Navy, an important objective in the Ford design was interoperability – the new ship should use as many standard components as possible. The shift to greater reliance on electric power contributed to that objective, because it dramatically reduced the number of specialized power converters on the ship. For example, on board previous carriers, and most other ships, pumps driven by the main engines powered a hydraulic system that drove major auxiliaries. The details of the hydraulic system varied from ship to ship, and so did the details of many of the auxiliaries. Electric power means a much greater degree of standardization. The ship’s generators certainly are specially designed, but electric motors throughout the ship can be standardized. Electrically-powered pumps need not be specially designed to work with the carrier’s specialized hydraulic system; they can be same standard pumps that other electric ships have. As of 2017, the U.S. Navy plans at least ten Ford-class carriers, to replace the ten Nimitz class. However, there is also current interest in increasing the carrier force back to its previous strength of twelve ships. These are expensive ships, and they have their critics. The question is generally whether there is some less expensive way to provide sustained striking power at sea. Since about 1970 the answer, in numerous studies, has been no: Big carriers are the most efficient and most survivable way to go. Critics of expensive large-deck carriers like Ford have often suggested that the appropriate reaction to high carrier cost is to build much smaller ships operating fewer aircraft, like ones in foreign navies. Smaller carriers are inherently less survivable, and they keep the sea less effectively. That drives up the accident rate and limits the carrier’s ability to launch aircraft. The smaller the carrier, moreover, the more she costs per airplane and also per sortie. If the ultimate value of the carrier lies in its ability to project power – to attack the largest possible number of shore targets – then anything that makes that more expensive is unlikely to be attractive. Under some circumstances, too, a less numerous air wing is far less effective tactically. Below a certain size, moreover, a carrier will be incapable of operating modern catapult-launched aircraft. A review

of foreign programs shows that navies which hope to operate such aircraft have been compelled to contemplate building much larger carriers. Conversely, STOVL technology can allow aircraft operations by a small ship, but it is not enough to operate a very few aircraft. For example, the British found that their light Invincible-class carriers could cram about 20 STOVL Sea Harriers on board. That was too few to be effective. The British jumped up to 65,000-ton ships mainly in order to accommodate forty larger F-35Bs, which they considered the minimum effective size for an air wing. Some critics have suggested that somehow adopting unmanned aircraft can cut minimum acceptable carrier size. That seems unlikely. It takes an airplane of a given size to deliver strikes at useful ranges using weapons capable of destroying typical targets. If the airplane has no pilot, it may be able to handle somewhat higher accelerations and decelerations, in which case the catapult need not be so long, and the arrester gear pull-out allowance can be shorter. The flight deck as a whole can be shortened slightly, but not very much. However, the number of aircraft is set not by the number of pilots but rather by the damage the ship is intended to impose on an enemy – which is the reason for buying it in the first place. Of course, if the carrier has to accommodate both manned and unmanned aircraft (as seems likely) no such economy of flight deck length is possible. Another issue is survivability. In a world of numerous satellites and unmanned aircraft, how difficult can it be to find a huge ship? Once found, surely it can always be destroyed. The reality is that the ocean is still vast. An enemy’s surveillance systems can still be decoyed, particularly if the carrier’s aircraft can operate from the greatest possible range (allowing her the maximum possible sea room). Too, the carrier and her consorts can beat off many kinds of attack. There is, however, a deeper reality. The point of maintaining a navy is to make it possible to use the sea freely. Free use must entail the protection of surface ships, such as merchant ships, in the face of an enemy’s attempt to deny the use of the sea. If a heavilydefended survivable ship like a supercarrier cannot survive, no surface ship can, and the sea can be denied successfully. That is why the future of ships like Ford is so deeply bound up with that of the U.S. Navy. USS GERALD R. FORD

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Newport News Shipbuilding workers prepare for the lift of the 787-metric-ton upper bow unit for the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) in April 2013. Aircraft carriers today are built in modules and then assembled together into a whole in the dry dock.

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Designing and Building an Aircraft Carrier

NEWPORT NEWS SHIPBUILDING PHOTO BY CHRIS OXLEY

BY EDWARD LUNDQUIST

AIRCRAFT CARRIERS ARE THE BIGGEST warships in the world. But up until recently, they were built the same way as any other warship. BY EDWARD LUNDQUIST For many years, the basic process has remained the same. First, a requirement is generated and resources allocated. Once the ship is approved and funds authorized and appropriated by Congress, the acquisition community sets about soliciting bid proposals and selecting contractors. This is an oversimplification of a very complicated process. The ship starts with a concept. The design process starts many years before the first piece of steel is cut. It really begins with the definition of the ship’s mission, such as the size of the air wing and the type of aircraft, the sortie rate, the size of the crew, the ship’s projected endurance, self-defense capabilities, and other factors. From this, system and component requirements are developed, approved and documented. “Once initial requirements are established, an overarching build plan is established to dictate schedule and resource requirements needed to support construction,” said Craig Byrum, Newport News Shipbuilding engineering director. Different configurations may be evaluated to pick the most feasible, cost effective or efficient design. Once the preliminary design, with the basic shape of the ship, to include propulsion, plant layout and major components is settled upon, the detailed design is made, which completes the ship down to the piping, wiring, heating and cooling ducting, and, well, the details of the design. “During the design process, as requirements are solidified and tools and processes are further refined, the timing of the ship construction schedule is set,” said Byrum. “Many elements of the design are tackled in parallel with construction to shorten the overall design/build timeframe. For CVN 78, initial tasking to begin early concept designs occurred almost 20 years ago in the late 1990s.” Byrum said there is a healthy amount of research and development that also occurs once the new design requirements are set. The goal is to design the ship so it can be most efficiently built, maintained and sustained for its service life. In the case of a U.S. Navy supercarrier, that’s 50 years or more. Then comes supplier evaluations, and in the case of CVN 78, establishment of the 3D product model design tools and processes that would inevitably be used. “Once this is set, and the

system level and interface control diagrams have been established, the actual design process progresses through a series of design phases, for which there were three for CVN 78 (concept, arrangement, detail), and where successive phases produced greater design fidelity,” Byrum said. “The exit of the final detail phase of the design is what provided the basis for construction assembly and installation.” During this process, the “long lead time” items, such as the ship’s nuclear reactors, are ordered. Traditionally ships have been designed with a series of blueprints. However, there’s a newer and better way to design and build ships today. The design process for CVN 78 has been different from other ships in general, and carriers specifically. Instead of drawings, the designs are digital. “CVN 78 was the first aircraft carrier to utilize a 3D product model as the design implementation tool for the entire ship. A 3D product model had been used for submarine design previously, and for discrete areas of carriers in the past, but never to the extent that it was used for CVN 78,” said Byrum. “Also, CVN 78 started with a clean sheet space arrangement and was configured to optimize material movement, weapons handling, and allow for a reduced crew.” According to Bob Miller, an engineering manager at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding (NNSB) in Newport News, Virginia, state-of-the-art ship design software permits multi-discipline, simultaneous design work with a large number of designers and engineers accessing the models, and supports digital manufacturing. “It connects the ‘digital thread’ from engineering and design, to planning, to shop planning, to the manufacturing shops, to the shipboard craftsmen that install the components and build the ships.” Newport News Shipbuilding uses a three-phase digital design process: Concept Phase, Arrangement Phase and Detail Phase. As the ship design matures, digital data from the 3D product model is accessed real time by the value stream stakeholders. This enables the optimization of the design to support efficient, cost effective construction. According to Miller, Newport News Shipbuilding has been using digital ship design systems for many years. “More recently, we have focused on leveraging them to higher advantage by using the digital models to eliminate the need to develop and maintain drawings. In the past, we used to develop 3D models to produce drawings. We are now eliminating the drawings and are using the 3D models to convey instructions to build ships.” USS GERALD R. FORD

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Standardization is the key for enabling modules and components to be built in different places by different suppliers, Miller says. “The design must have standard geometric dimensioning and tolerances. Using a common design tool with standardized design procedures is critical to ensure that the pieces fit together within the allowable construction tolerances.” Miller said NNSB is also working to use 3D models to facilitate the ship’s entire life cycle program. “The software must be able to ‘configuration-manage’ the technical data throughout the ship’s life cycle. For some ships, this can be as long as 50 years.” “Using digital models not only allows designs to be produced more efficiently and to a high degree of quality, it also allows the ship construction to be planned to a finite level of detail, sending models and visuals of only what is pertinent to a tradesperson’s daily assignment directly to that person. The digital 3D models can be used to automate instructions and operations that are on the work package, and can be used to automatically assign target hours based on the operations to be performed. Digital models feed our material management systems, and digital modeling systems interface with our manufacturing capabilities to make sure designs are able to be efficiently manufactured by our equipment, Miller said.

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NNSB teaches students at their apprenticeship school to use the tools, software and concepts that they’ll use at the shipyard. Likewise, local academic institutions that are the source of engineers and naval architects for NNSB also use the same software, making their students immediately employable at the shipyard. Ship construction traditionally began with a keel laying. When the keel – the backbone of the ship –was laid down, the frames were built up, then the decks and the skin of the ship within the framing. When the ship could be floated, it was “launched” into the water, where the rest of assembly and outfitting took place. In modern ship construction, instead of building the ship piece by piece from the ground up, sections are assembled into modules, which are completely outfitted with piping, wiring, lighting, ducting and furnishing. Huntington Ingalls Industries works with a network of shipbuilding suppliers that is 5,000 companies strong and spans all 50 states to build these modules. The modules are efficiently built on land, then assembled into larger units until they become a ship that can be taken into the water and floated, at a much higher degree of completion than before. Altogether, the Ford has more than 1,900 miles of electrical cable and more than 750 miles of fiber optic wire. When ready, the shipyard takes the ship out for builder’s trials. Any discrepancies are noted and corrected. Then the Navy takes the ship out for acceptance trials. Noted deficiencies are corrected before delivery. When the Navy takes delivery of the ship it is prepared for commissioning, a ceremony that marks the ship becoming part of the U.S. fleet. After commissioning the ship receives some of its Navyspecific systems, and it goes through a “shakedown” period and combat systems qualifications testing (CSQT) to make sure the sensors, combat management systems and weapons can detect and engage targets. Key CVN 78 construction milestones: • First cut of steel – Aug. 11, 2005 • Keel-laying ceremony – Nov. 14, 2009 • 50 percent structural completion – Aug. 18, 2011 • 75 percent structural completion – April 16, 2012 • 100 percent structural completion – May 8, 2012 • Flooding of Dry Dock – Oct. 11, 2013 • Christening – Nov. 9, 2013 • Launch – Nov. 19, 2013 • Builder’s trials – completed April 14, 2017 • Acceptance trials – completed May 26, 2017 • Delivery – May 31, 2017

FORD IS FIRST OF CLASS, FULL OF NEW TECHNOLOGY The U.S. Navy currently operates ten Nimitz-class nuclear powered aircraft carriers. The first, USS Nimitz (CVN 68)

U.S. NAVY PHOTO COURTESY OF RICKY THOMPSON

The final keel section of the future USS Gerald R. Ford is lowered into place at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding. The 680-metric-ton, 60-foot-tall lower bow unit was joined to the other keel sections and was the last major section of the ship installed below the waterline.


Quartermaster Lydia Pandorf, a Navigation Department sailor assigned to PCU Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), simulates using the ship’s whistle inside the bridge.

FORD’S INNOVATION CONTINUES WITH SHIP’S WHISTLE

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY PETTY OFFICER 2ND CLASS KRISTOPHER RUIZ

STORY BY PETTY OFFICER 2ND CLASS KRISTOPHER RUIZ

SINCE THE EARLY DAYS of ship navigation, communication has been of the utmost importance to Sailors. In the past, Sailors have used flags, cannons, lights, horns, and musical instruments to relay messages and aid in navigation. The time-honored tradition of the ship’s whistle still holds a place aboard the Navy’s newest and most technologically advanced warship. “The purpose of the ship’s whistle is to notify other ships in the area of our intentions and warn other ships in the event of a problem,” said Lt. Patrick Miller, Ford’s assistant navigation officer. “We can communicate with other ships strictly by using our whistle.” Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is outfitted with electric whistles rather than the steam whistles that are found on Nimitz-class carriers. Ford’s whistles are constructed from two Kahlenberg KPH-130C electric piston horns that have an audibility range of two nautical miles and produce an audio level of 143 decibels at 1 meter. That’s greater than the sound a jackhammer creates (115 decibels) and greater than a jet taking off (130 db). “The first time I heard one whistle I didn’t think it was too loud, but when both whistles were tested it’s really loud. It’s like having an air horn right next to you,” said Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Alexander Rios, an engineering department

Sailor, and one of the electricians that maintains the ship’s whistles. The ship’s whistle system is comprised of multiple manual controls and one automatic selector that is programmed to automatically deliver maneuvering signals. There are two different types of whistle blasts: a “short” whistle blast, which is one second long, and a “prolonged” blast, which is four to six seconds long. Different combinations of blasts represent different messages. For example, one short blast means, “I am altering my course to starboard,” whereas two short blasts mean “I am altering my course to port.” Whistles are also used to render “passing honors” between military ships and on occasions when ships, officials, or officers pass in boats or have passed. Passing honors between ships consists of sounding “attention” with the ship’s whistle and all persons on exposed decks rendering a hand salute. Rios said there are many benefits of having an electric whistle compared to a steam whistle, but the biggest benefit is that it’s easier to troubleshoot and operate than the traditional steam whistle. “Electrically wise it’s not a really complicated system and I see it as a simple system for us to use,” said Rios. “It’s just another example of the advanced technology that makes Ford a first in class ship.” USS GERALD R. FORD

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NEWPORT NEWS SHIPBUILDING PHOTO BY JOHN WHALEN U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS RIDGE LEONI

LEFT: Water flows into the dry dock where the carrier has been under construction to float the ship for the first time. ABOVE: The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) underway on its own power for the first time. The ship was going to sea to conduct builder’s sea trials, a comprehensive test of many of the ship’s key systems and technologies.

was commissioned in 1975, but was designed in the 1960s. USS Gerald R. Ford has a similar hull as the Nimitz-class predecessors, but is different than previous aircraft carriers in many ways, including many new critical systems not found on any ship. For one thing, the total operating cost is reduced by nearly $4 billion per hull compared to the Nimitz class. “Gerald R. Ford has several technologies that are unique to the Ford-class, such as a re-designed reactor plant, dual band radar, electromagnetic launch system, and advanced arresting gear,” said Capt. Richard McCormack, the Ford’s commanding officer. “The technologies were designed to ensure that our aircraft carrier is capable of meeting our nation’s needs and project power for several decades to come.” According to Rear Adm. Brian Antonio, the program executive officer for carriers, CVN 78 has increased flexibility, with nearly three times the electric plant capacity; a bigger flight deck and hangar bay for flight deck operations and aircraft maintenance, and a 33 percent increase in sortie generation rate, as well as reduced manning and a 20 percent reduction in maintenance costs. The ship requires a smaller number of air wing personnel as well as a smaller crew. Because of the way the ship was designed, it won’t require the same periodicity for major maintenance. That means a longer time where the ship is operational before having to be brought into the shipyard for refit. The 43-month maintenance cycle and 12-year docking intervals mean the ship will spend less time in the shipyard and more time deployed. USS Gerald R. Ford has an entirely new integrated electric propulsion system. The all-electric system eliminates steam lines and pumps, and reduces hydraulic systems, cutting down on weight and maintenance. CVN 78 also has a third less valves

than the Nimitz-class ships due to so many systems being based on electricity rather than hydraulics and steam. The two A1B reactors each generate 300 MW of power, almost three times what the Nimitz-class A4W reactors produced. That extra power also provides significant margin for future electrical loads. That’s especially important when considering that the warships of tomorrow will have sensor and weapons power demands that rival the propulsion requirement. The ship features all-electric auxiliary services. This means steam heavy and maintenance-intensive hydraulic systems and pneumatic piping are eliminated. It has a zonal electrical distribution system and all-electric advanced weapons elevators, each of which can double the useful load of earlier generation weapons elevators. The steam catapult is replaced by an Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), and aircraft will be recovered using an Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG). The new Dual-Band Radar (DBR) helps coordinate the ship’s aircraft and defend itself and the strike group. The layout of the hangar bays and flight deck, as well as the size and position of the island – the ship’s superstructure – are more efficient. There are three aircraft elevators rather than four, serving two hangar bays rather than the former three, but there are two more of the more capable weapons elevators and thousands more square feet of flight deck space. As a former test pilot, McCormack can attest to the challenges and growing pains that come with any first-in-class technology. “Many of the sailors on board worked directly with the manufacturers and industry establish processes for operating equipment that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the fleet. In doing so, they set the standard for the Ford-class carriers to follow. It’s a tremendous responsibility to get it right, and it’s a challenge Ford sailors actively seek.” USS GERALD R. FORD

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Gerald R. Ford sailors review Maintenance Material Management (3M) paperwork during Ford’s 3M Phase One Loadout to ensure the 3M systems aboard are applicable to Ford’s new technology.

THE FORD-CLASS MAINTENANCE PLAN

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 1ST CLASS JONATHAN PANKAU

BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 1ST CLASS AIDAN P. CAMPBELL

PRE-COMMISSIONING UNIT Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is equipped with some of the Navy’s newest and most high-tech electronics, all of which requires special care to keep it running smoothly. Ford crew members are examining the ship’s equipment and drafting the Navy’s version of a ship owner’s manual, the ship’s Maintenance and Material Management (3M) program. The first step in drafting the Ford’s 3M program is identifying what maintenance is needed in a collaborative effort called a Phase One Loadout. Representatives from every department on the ship are meeting with the ship’s 3M Coordinators and their civilian counterparts to determine what equipment is present and the care it needs. “A Phase One Loadout is a List of Effective Pages verification more than anything,” said Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel) Bryan Hay, one of Ford’s 3M Coordinators. “We’re also verifying each individual workcenter has preventive maintenance coverage for every piece of gear they own.” On a brand new design of warship every piece of equipment must be looked at and assessed individually.

Hay says that the Nimitz-class ships were so similar that the 3M programs from one ship could easily be adapted for use on another, but that is not possible on the Ford. Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Technical) John Brock is helping to pave the way forward for the new class of ship. “We’re learning how to maximize manpower between assigning jobs and tracking maintenance requirements for the Ford,” says Brock. “I would say that the expertise between senior leadership and the civilian counterparts is instrumental in delivering and maintaining a fully capable warship.” Once Phase One Loadout is complete, Ford’s 3M team will start the work toward the Phase Two Loadout which consists of identifying the best procedures for maintaining the equipment identified earlier. “The last three years the Ford’s 3M team has been working hard to get a program running on a first-in-class warship. Lots of unknowns and hurdles popped up while building the program but we’ve had a lot of support from the Ford crew,” says Hay. “I know it will continue.” USS GERALD R. FORD

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Byron M. “Red” Cavaney, Jr. COMMISSIONING CO-CHAIRMAN RED CAVANEY SERVED AS Director of The White House Advance Office for President Gerald R. Ford, having also served on the White House staffs of Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. He later served as the president and CEO of several major U.S. Trade Associations: American Petroleum Institute (API), American Plastics Council (APC),

How did you come to know President Ford, and how long did you know him? Byron M. “Red” Cavaney, Jr.: I first met Gerald Ford in 1973, soon after he was sworn-in as Vice President, and President Nixon called on him to travel extensively to meet directly with Republican leaders across the country and ask for their continued support during Watergate. At the time, I was deputy director of the advance office, charged with handling all travel and public appearances for the President and Vice President and their families, so, in that capacity, I had the great honor to really get to know Vice President Ford, both inside the White House and during his extensive travels. Many observers have commented about the loyalty those of you who worked for him still hold today. Why do you think that loyalty remains strong four decades after he left the White House? I had the opportunity to see first hand that President Ford was intensely loyal to those he served and to those whom he befriended, whether colleagues, staff, or friends. There are legions of people across the country who feel the same loyalty toward President Ford, not only toward him personally, but a desire to pay it forward to others. It is for this reason, that I will always do what I can to continue his legacy. President Ford also had a powerful sense of honor and integrity, as evidenced throughout his life and career. I am especially fond of the incident that occurred in his college football days at the University of Michigan in 1934, when he stood up for his teammate, Willis Ward, who was benched when Georgia Tech came to Ann Arbor because GT refused to play with an African-American. Jerry Ford was incensed by this treatment and went on to lead the effort in the game to man-handle and beat favored Georgia Tech! Ford and Willis Ward became lifelong friends.

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and American Forest Paper Association (AF&PA). He concluded his career, as Senior Vice President, Government Affairs of ConocoPhillips, the nation’s largest independent oil and gas producer. Since 2014, he has served as the Chairman of the Gerald R. Ford Board of Trustees. He is married to Sheri B. Cavaney.

Which one anecdote of your experiences with him typifies the character of President Ford? In all of my memories of the President, I will always remember his kindness and concern for others. In that way, he personally touched me and my family while in Vail, Colorado, on a holiday break, my wife became very ill, and the President’s physician, Dr. Lukash, recommended that she be immediately transported back to Washington, D.C., to seek medical treatment. Without hesitation, President Ford ordered to have her flown back to Walter Reed Hospital in D.C., which may have saved her life. If President Ford were alive today, how would he feel about having this carrier named after him? I believe that the President would be deeply humbled and grateful beyond words for the honor to have the carrier named after him, as he had intense loyalty toward the Navy, as well as for the Armed Services, in general. He had a great love of the Navy, as a result of his carrier service during World War II. Americans are familiar with President Ford’s extraordinary career of public service, but what was he like as a private person? What were the essentials of his character you remember most from knowing and working with him in the White House? There was only one Gerald Ford, whether in private, with friends and colleagues, or in public, meeting people for the first time. He was open, warm, welcoming, and loved a good laugh. He was inquisitive, whether learning more about an issue or about someone he was meeting. He enjoyed putting people at ease in his presence. However, he was also very firm in his convictions, and if his suspicions were raised, he responded with a frown and a stiffened jaw!


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Caption needed

Byron M. “Red” Cavaney, Jr.

Is there an aspect of his presidency that President Ford was proudest of? Having been with the President on all of his travels, I believe that he was most proud as his role as Commander in Chief of the men and women who comprised the U.S. armed forces. Wherever we were, he never missed an opportunity to seek out members of the military in order to tell them how much their service meant to him. There’s much angst in the public square today about the divisiveness that permeates our public officials. What lessons could those officials learn from President Ford’s decades of public service? I believe that President Ford would be indignant by the bitterness and divisiveness that now permeates our governing system and, in some ways, our public officials. He was a firm believer that politics was a game of addition, not subtraction. For him, talking with others was the first step toward finding common ground that benefitted the common good. I fondly remember the relationship that President Ford had with Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill. Despite their ideological differences, they found ways to come together and govern for the good of the country and the nation that they served.

What do you find most impressive about the USS Gerald R. Ford? CVN 78 is a remarkable symbol of President Ford’s “peace-through-strength” mindset, enabled by his strong belief that pushing the edges of technology was a “must” for our country. What have been your personal priorities as Co-Chairman of the Commissioning Committee? I feel it is vitally important that those who will serve aboard CVN 78 understand the nature and commitment of President Ford to peace through strength and the integrity he exhibited in every aspect of his life. “Integrity at the Helm” could not be more fitting! What aspect of the commissioning process has been the most gratifying? I am very gratified at the enormous generosity of those who have contributed to, and those who have worked on CVN 78; to provide the enhancements that will help those who serve presently, as well as in the future, to learn more about, and emulate, President Gerald R. Ford. USS GERALD R. FORD

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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST SEAMAN CATHRINE MAE O. CAMPBELL


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Ford’s Crew Represents All of the Navy, and All of the Nation BY EDWARD LUNDQUIST

USS GERALD R. FORD

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Congratulations on the Commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)

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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST SEAMAN APPRENTICE GITTE SCHIRRMACHER

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AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER HAS often been described as a small city, from the fire department, hospital, police department, and electricity and telecommunications utilities to the gym, 7-Eleven and Starbucks®. And this city has an airport – a pretty busy airport! It’s different from a normal city because this one will go to sea for months, travels around the world, and is always prepared for any contingency – including combat – that may be required by the nation and the Navy. The crew of the Navy’s newest warship represents the best of America, from every state and territory, from big cities and small towns, from coasts to the plains to the mountains, from sea to shining sea. They represent virtually every Navy career field and specialty, at all levels of experience and expertise, so as to fight, and if necessary, save their ship. USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is truly a marvel of technology, but it is so much more than that because of its crew of talented, well-trained, and dedicated men and women. Navy enlisted ratings are categorized in the fields of administration, aviation, construction, deck, engineering, medical, technical, and weapons. Navy enlisted personnel received technical training or attend various schools to prepare them for their jobs while assigned to ships and submarines, aircraft squadrons, shore installations, construction battalions, SEAL teams, or other Navy commands. They must also learn and practice the skills needed to work as a team aboard ship for standing watches, navigating the ship, fighting fires or controlling damage, or launching and recovering aircraft. Some crewmembers

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PREVIOUS PAGES: Sailors in Air Department’s V-3 Division aboard Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) line up during general quarters on the flight deck. ABOVE: Seaman Apprentice Khalilah Smallwood, assigned to PreCommissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), pours steamed milk into a cup for a macchiato in the ship’s coffee shop. An aircraft carrier has been compared to a small city, and with the help of the Navy League and generous donors, this small city has its own coffee shop.

wear devices showing that they have qualified as parachutists, divers, or air crewmen. Virtually all of these career fields are in some way represented on board Gerald R. Ford. Aboard Gerald R. Ford you will see members of the crew who earned warfare qualifications. The basic officer warfare qualifications are aviator, naval flight officer, surface warfare officer, information dominance, and submariners, with many variations of those qualifications, such as for supply or medical personnel. Enlisted personnel may be “qualled” as enlisted aviation warfare specialist (EAWS), or enlisted surface warfare specialist. Administratively, the crew is structured into departments, and then divisions, which align to the skills and jobs they perform aboard Gerald R. Ford. They may stand watches with their division, or in some cases, stand watches on the bridge or the in-port duty sections that include individuals from multiple divisions. Crewmembers up on the flight deck will wear shirts that denote the different jobs they are performing. The personnel in purple are refueling aircraft; the maintenance personnel and cargo handlers are wearing green, as are the sailors operating USS GERALD R. FORD

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the catapults and arresting gear, while the catapult officers are in yellow; the red shirts are handling weapons or part of the crash crew; and the white shirts are medics or safety observers; aircraft handlers are in blue; and plane captains wear brown. Watches are often performed in addition to their assigned jobs within their division. So the daily routine varies for different members of the crew. There’s always something going on. Fortunately, there is also time to work out, relax, write home to families and friends, watch a movie, or sip a cup of coffee. But between their division jobs, watch-standing, eating and sleeping, compartment cleaning, working on qualifications, and studying for advancement, everyone on board USS Gerald R. Ford is busy, and everyone’s contribution is important to the operation of the ship.

SUPPLY DEPARTMENT HAS EVERYTHING YOU NEED … INCLUDING A SMILE Capt. (Sel.) Julie Treanor is the ship’s supply officer, managing the logistics for the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier. “As the ship supply officer, I have 12 different divisions. I run the entire ship’s budget; own all of the material that is associated with the ship; feed all of the sailors; pay the crew; provide every single part for the ship and the air wing; am responsible for all of the hazardous materials; run the post office; and deliver all of the ‘hotel services,’ such as the barbershops and the laundry, as well as the Ship’s Store, which is kind of a ‘7-Eleven’ minimart for the crew on the ship. So I touch sailors probably more than any other operation within the ship.” As the precommissioning supply officer, Treanor gets to build the entire operation from the keel up, and that includes instilling a customer-focus attitude. “I get to figure out where all the parts will be kept, the procedures by which we will support the customers, the thresholds of the levels of service that we will provide, and set the standard right from the beginning, which is, in my opinion, a benefit. Many times you find yourself coming into an operation where the customer service isn’t what it should be, and you’re working with the team to figure out where the problems are, fix them, and then try to improve the morale of the team. From the outset, I’ve established with our team on Gerald R. Ford that we are a ‘yes’ organization, and a ‘lean forward’ organization,” Treanor said. “The pre-comm environment drives you to do just that.” While the ship was under construction and not yet in service, Treanor said there have been challenges. “Because we are not yet in commission, we don’t have as many resources as a typical carrier would. And the logistics of the shipyard itself can be somewhat challenging. We are also on the receiving end of a procurement pipeline that we don’t ultimately control – that is the responsibility of the program office. So we receive material when it comes in. It can be a long supply chain because this ship has a lot of new technologies. But all that makes it exciting.” Treanor is not new to large commands at sea. She’s served on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) through multiple deployments.

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“When you are deployed you are more internally focused,” said Treanor. “Right now we’re working with a lot of external organizations to make sure we get what we need. Once we pull away from the pier and are delivered to the Navy, then we own the operation fully. Then it is on us to make all of the procurements and receive all the material. Hopefully we can execute a lot of the changes and improvements in things that we want to do once we’re out of the delivery phase where they’re trying to complete the ship to specification.” On Enterprise, Treanor was responsible for services, where she ran all of the “human elements” – the barbershops, the feeding, and berthing. And as the principle assistant for logistics, her job was to make sure the ship had all the parts it needed to keep moving and the air wing flying to support mission operations.

SERVICE TO THE CREW One of the most tangible ways Treanor’s department “touches” everyone in the crew is through the popular Ship’s Store, the crew’s local “convenience store.”


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Petty Officer 2nd Class Romeika Dillingham, assigned to PreCommissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), is awarded the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal by Cmdr. Julie Treanor, Ford’s supply officer, during an awards at quarters’ ceremony.

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY PETTY OFFICER 2ND CLASS JASON PASTRICK

Business is good, Treanor said, but she’s looking forward to getting underway, because sales will definitely go up. Ship’s Store prices are reasonable, and profits go back to the crew’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) fund, she said. “The best thing about the Ship’s Store is that the proceeds generated go back to the sailor. When we make profits inside the Ship’s Store, it goes into the MWR Fund, and that allows us to give back to the sailors through holiday parties, summer picnics, and recreational events like discounted tickets to the Norfolk Tides baseball games,” Treanor said. “We try to make sure that we’re touching the sailor in every facet and provide a healthy outreach to bring the crew together as a team and provide worthwhile recreational opportunities.”

“We try to have a selection of snack foods, such as candy and chips, as well as beverages like soda, Gatorade® and Monster drinks. Hot and spicy seems to be the thing of the day when it comes to chips,” Treanor said. “We sell ‘emblematics’ such as coins, belt buckles, patches, and ball caps. And we also carry personal items like soap, shampoos, conditioners, deodorant, toothpaste, shaving cream, and shower shoes that our sailors might need to replace on a long deployment.” There’s even a Starbucks on board. “The Navy League helped us acquire the equipment for [our] own licensed Starbucks coffee shop associated with our Ship’s Store that we call ‘Mac’s.’ That’s a reference to Mackinac Island, where Gerald Ford visited as a young boy and attended Scout camp,” Treanor said. “We have a number of pictures down there where he’s raising the American flag with the Boy Scouts on a retreat at Mackinac Island.”

BEST ON THE WATERFRONT Treanor said she’s blessed with a great department. “I call us ‘the best on the waterfront.’ And I truly believe that. We go out of our way to try to provide topnotch customer service in every facet that we can. I understand from many, many deployments and working alongside the operators and non-supply personnel that one of the most frustrating things that can happen on a ship when you have a requirement or you have need is to be told ‘no.’ We try to get our customers exactly what they need, when they need it – otherwise we as a ship will not succeed. We work very closely with every level of our chain of command to make sure information is flowing, because any time information for a requirement stops we run the risk of delaying a mission operation, or a test cycle, or something that’s not happening when it’s supposed to. So we’re all leaning in to try to get us across the finish line.” Treanor has served in shore assignments where she supported systems across the entire fleet. Gerald R. Ford is not only a new ship, but it’s the first and only ship of its kind, with many new systems and technologies not found on any ship in any navy. That’s a big challenge for the Supply Department. “I had the benefit of kind of looking across the breadth of the 10 Nimitzclass carriers because I was in charge of making sure that the deployed and work-up carriers had everything they needed. That class of carriers all have the same systems on board. So along with the wholesale supply system, there’s the possibility to take something off one ship and put it on another to meet an urgent requirement. But our ship will leave the shipyard with a lot of new technologies – we call them one-off systems – which no one else has. By the very nature of them being one-off systems, they will be challenges. They will be sustainment challenges. So, we are working very closely with WSS – Weapons Systems Support Center – which used to be the old Navy ICP – Navy Inventory Control Point – where they buy all the USS GERALD R. FORD

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“There may be no greater honor than to have a school bear your name. Such recognition means all the more when it comes from an institution that you love, and when it is dedicated - not to me personally - but to the cause of public service to which I have devoted most of my life.” Gerald R. Ford October 13, 2006

The Students, Faculty and Staff of the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy express their congratulations and pride on the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).


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IN MY OWN WORDS

LT. JACK CURRAN

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST SEAMAN GITTE SCHIRRMACHER

FIRST DIVISION OFFICER

MY NAME IS LT. JACK CURRAN, from Silver Spring, Maryland. I’m a 2010 Naval Academy graduate and a surface warfare officer (SWO). This is the third ship I’ve been assigned to. I am in the Deck Department as a deck division officer, specifically First Division, so I am in charge of the anchors, all of the “rubber duckies” [abandon-ship life preservers] and the life-saving equipment, as well as the life rafts on board. I have 23 boatswain’s mates in my division, including one chief petty officer and six petty officers. I previously served aboard USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) out of Norfolk, where I was the repair officer, the VBSS (visit, board, search and seizure) officer, and then the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) officer. I qualified as a SWO on Bulkeley. My second tour was aboard USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), an amphibious ship, out of Little Creek, Virginia, where I was the anti-terrorism / force protection officer as well as a VBSS officer. I also served ashore at Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force. I’m one of the few 1110s (SWO) on Gerald R. Ford. There are plenty of surface-qualified officers, but very few who are designated as SWOs. I’m not special because of that, but I do think it is an honor to represent the 1110 community on this ship. If someone asks a pilot what he or she does for a job, they say, “I fly aircraft,” or “I navigate aircraft.” For me, it’s “I drive warships.” So that’s my job. There are non-SWOs who ask me a lot of questions because they haven’t been on a ship before, and they don’t know how the ship operates. Basic daily shipboard life is new to them. So they ask the other SWOs and I a lot of questions in regard to how things are supposed to operate and how things are supposed to run. As someone who is a qualified officer of the deck, the leadership looks to us to help train the watch teams. So in some respects, the commanding officer is really looking to you to train his other watchstanders. Our Navigation Department has had a lot of simulator time, at least two to three times a month. And we’ve been underway on other ships, like the George Washington, to get proficient. I’m a qualified OOD [officer of the deck], but a carrier is much bigger than a DDG [guided-missile destroyer] or an LSD [dock landing ship], and I had a lot to learn about air operations. On the DDG, I had to follow the carrier as “plane guard” during flight ops. Sometimes we didn’t know what the carrier was going to do. Being on the carrier has drastically changed my perspective on how the aircraft carrier operates. I remind the other watchstanders that they have a ship behind them in their blind spot, and we need to make sure we tell him what we’re doing. It’s just like using turn signals in your car. Our division is very much involved in underway replenishment. We’re been preparing for when we do UNREPS [underway replenishments] and have sent our boatswain’s mates out

Lt. Jack Curran, assigned to Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), examines digital charts while standing watch on the ship’s bridge.

to Port Hueneme, California, where they have an actual rig where we can train as both sending and receiving ship. We’ve trained there numerous times. We also get underway with any aircraft carrier that’s going out to sea – to get experience in UNREPs, line-handling, and underway watch proficiency up on the bridge. Working with my division is a great opportunity – I enjoy it every day. They’re all a bunch of motivated individuals, and we’ve been looking forward to – all the Deck Department is looking forward to – getting underway. Aircraft carriers typically have an OOD, a JOOD [junior officer of the deck], and a JOOW[junior officer of the watch]. The JOOW is typically in charge of running the checklists, the communications up on the bridge, and monitoring the bridge team. The JOOD is the “conn,” in charge of conning or driving the ship. The OOD is in charge of the bridge team and is in charge of operating the ship. I’ll be standing watch as a junior officer of the deck, [JOOD], so I’ll be driving the ship. I’ve had some underway time on the George Bush to qualify, and I’ve learned how driving a carrier is different than a surface combatant like a DDG. You have to factor in the list and the feel of the ship a lot more on a carrier. I’ve enjoyed being on this ship so far. We’ve all experienced growing pains, and I’ve had to get used to how aircraft carriers do things differently than the rest of the fleet. But crew morale and camaraderie is fantastic, and the warfighters we have on board are going to do a great job. It’s an honor and privilege to serve with them on board the USS Gerald R. Ford. USS GERALD R. FORD

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aviation parts – to make sure that we are growing into the requirement properly in terms of capitalizing on anything that may have failed here in pre-commissioning, and making sure our sustainment and level of onboard repair parts reflect the correct requirements.” Prior to getting underway for builder’s trials and acceptance trials, Treanor said about 70 percent of her sailors had never been to sea. “It will be a huge learning curve. It’s very exciting. It’s not just a ship that looks like a building that’s parked beside a pier. It’s a real ship, one that really goes to sea.” Treanor said it’s a huge honor to be a “plankowner,” a member of the ships commissioning crew. “We have worked tremendously hard to make sure that we are not thinking just about today’s requirement, but also the baton that we are going to pass to the future supply departments. That will be the legacy of the Ford’s Supply Department. And I’d like to think that we have done absolutely everything we can to make sure that we plant the seed of outstanding customer support, operations that run with integrity, that are in line with all requirements administratively, and the processes that are onboard today are the absolute most efficient they can be, even with our minimal manning. When I leave here, I’ll be handing over an operation that is sound, well integrated, with high morale, and whose motto is ‘Do the best you can do every single day to provide the customer service that people need.’”

THERE’S ALWAYS A WAY Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Romeika Dillingham is a people person, that’s why she said that being in Supply Department is the perfect job for her. “I came into the Navy as an undesignated seaman, working in Deck Department on USS Theodore Roosevelt. So when it was time for me to pick a rate, I picked logistics specialist (LS), which is combination of the storekeeper, aviation storekeeper, and postal clerk ratings. The Supply Department touches everybody on the ship. I love to talk and I enjoy people. So LS was perfect for me.” In addition, Dillingham serves as Supply Department’s career counselor. The career counselor helps sailors plan their careers and understand the options available to them, such as schools, courses, and assignments that will make them competitive for promotion. “I also help the TAD [temporarily assigned duty] personnel that come from other departments to help us with the mess decks, the various hotels services we provide, as well as hazardous materials management. They tend to be some of the most junior people on the ship, so I can help them understand how to plan their career and encourage them to take the steps they need to take. I know that they need positivity, because they’re not working with their regular division. I tell them it’s a good thing, because they get to reach out and know and network with other people outside of their rating.” Dillingham said the personnel specialists (PSs), which combine the disbursing clerk and personnelman ratings, also deal

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with everyone on the ship, from service and pay records, as well as the Navy Cash Cards. “You can have your pay deposited into whatever bank you choose, and you just transfer how much you want on your Cash Card. When we get underway and go out to sea, there’s no cash allowed on board, so everyone has to use their Cash Card for anything they want to buy.” Dillingham said Supply Department is also responsible for the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) committee, another opportunity for her to interact with sailors throughout the ship. “We’re responsible for throwing the command holiday party, the command picnic, and different functions and events throughout the year to boost morale. The command’s 2016 holiday party was amazing. We held it at the Hampton Convention Center, which was the only place around that was big enough. We had more than 2,800 people there. The theme was ‘The Great Gatsby.’ We had some great props, and everyone dressed up for the event.” As a member of the committee, Dillingham was one of the masters of ceremonies. There were prizes, and everyone went home with a USS Gerald R. Ford holiday ornament. “We had a $2,000 trip voucher, and a 75-inch TV, and an Apple® MacBook for our three grand prizes, and we gave away more than $15,000 in prizes altogether.” Even the sailors who were on watch and couldn’t attend the party had an opportunity to win the prizes. “One on duty won a 55-inch TV, and we made sure we got it to him. “They had to watch for us and we were really appreciative for it. But we still tried to make it fun for them, too.” The Supply Department frequently has to handle urgent requests. Dillingham said the department understands the importance of fulling those high-priority mission-essential requisitions. “The one thing that we’re all taught in supply is customer service. You can never go wrong with great customer service. If I know for sure that I can’t get what they need right away, I always tell them ‘I’ll see what I can do.’ “That’s when we reach out to our chiefs and officers and explain the situation. They may have a solution. There’s always a way.” Dillingham hails from Memphis, Tennessee, and has been in the Navy for six years. But she already has lofty long-term career goals. “My goal in the Navy is to be the first female Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy [MCPON], the senior enlisted member in the entire Navy. When I first came in the Navy, I was only prepared to do four years, because I just wanted to finish college. I went to University of Memphis for two years and it didn’t work out the way I planned, so that’s why I decided to join the Navy. This isn’t just a good job, it’s a great career. And my shipmates have become my family. We help each other. With the benefits, the training, the opportunities, the mission, and the people, everything about the Navy life is better than any job that I have ever had.” Dillingham knows that the MCPON does a lot to help sailors everywhere. For now, she’s going to concentrate on helping her customers who come to Supply Department. And her USS GERALD R. FORD

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FIT BOSS:

WHEN IT COMES TO BEING FIT AFLOAT, OMAR TERAN IS A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH BY EDWARD LUNDQUIST

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to see people progress. “Everyone has different motivators for life or behavior changes. It’s great to see them pass the PFT, as well as get selected for advancement and be successful in their naval career.” As more people report aboard, a larger crew means there will be more usage in the gyms and demand for the equipment. “By getting crew members certified to conduct PFTs and teach classes means more crewmembers can be served.” “Because I work with so many people, I have a very good sense of the climate and culture of the ship,” he said. The best part of the job, Teran said, is that he gets to live with the crew. He said he knows about 90 percent of them. “In my job, relationships are very important, not just fitness goals, but for diet, rest, and sleep recovery, and living aboard the ship allows me to get to know the crew well, and I can help them better.”

Hospital Corpsman Stephanie Conn, assigned to Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), and Ford’s Fit Boss, Omar Teran, provide food samples to sailors aboard the ship’s mess decks as part of Ford’s outreach event. The event was one of many scheduled throughout the month of March to promote Navy Nutrition Month.

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 3RD CLASS KRISTOPHER RUIZ

OMAR TERAN’S GOVERNMENT civilian job title may be “afloat business specialist,” but for the crew of the Gerald R. Ford, he’s known as the “Fit Boss.” Teran, a Marine Corps veteran, is in charge of physical fitness for the crew. That involves maintaining the six gyms on board and organizing classes from weight training to yoga. On the U.S. Navy’s newest and largest warship, he’s a force to be reckoned with. “I’m assigned to the ship as a permanent member of the crew by Commander Navy Installations Command (CNIC) as a Morale, Welfare and Recreation representative. I get underway with them, and go where they go,” said Teran. “My job is similar to a fitness director at a Navy facility ashore, except I go to sea with my clients.” The FITT Principle (Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type) is the basis for Teran’s fitness program. Teran said the ship’s fitness program works so that everyone can be successful. Fitness Enhancement Program (FEP) sessions include activities to promote moderately intense aerobic development, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility. “I deal with the crew in classes and on a one-on-one basis as a cardio coach and personal trainer, and I provide nutritional guidance,” Teran said. He also trains and certifies other members of the crew to help him support the growing number of Navy men and women on board. He certifies personnel to be able to conduct regular physical readiness assessments of the crew. This entails conducting body fat composition measurements and conducting the assessments, which involve calisthenics and running. Personnel who do not pass must undergo remedial training. Nutrition plays an important role in performance, weight management, and disease prevention. Each member enrolled in FEP must select a nutrition option based on individual needs. Each option must include goal-setting, long-term behavior modification, and ongoing support. The Fit Boss concept is about 10 years old, and has been adopted on many major sea commands. Although Gerald R. Ford hadn’t been underway, Teran took the opportunity to go to sea aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. “I rode the Ike when they were underway to see how they run their program. It was very informative. It was a great opportunity to see how they made the best use of space, which is often at a premium on a ship, especially when underway.” The Fit Boss gets involved with sailors who fail some portion of the physical fitness test (PFT). Teran said it’s gratifying


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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST SEAMAN CONNOR LOESSIN

customer-service efforts resulted in her being named Petty Officer of the Year for the ship. Being the first ship in its class, the Gerald R. Ford has taken longer to build than anticipated. “But for the most part, our leadership is there to encourage us. We’re getting through this together as a crew and as a family.” Meanwhile Dillingham is looking forward to commissioning, getting underway, and doing what the ship is supposed to do. “I’ve been here for two and a half years. When I came aboard, there weren’t any bulkheads or anything. So to see it to what it is now, it’s great. It’s amazing to know that we can design and build something like this. I used to ask my uncle, who is a senior chief, about the Navy, and how a ship this big – with 5,000 people – can actually float. I just could never wrap my head around it. But now that I’m here I can see how the ship is coming together, and I see the shipyard workers and the sailors working hand in hand to get this ship finished and ready for sea. It’s exciting to me.”

HAVING FUN IS A SERIOUS JOB Lt. j.g. Tara Mark has a pretty serious job. She is the ship’s Information Systems Security Manager (ISSM). “I’m an information dominance specialist assigned to the Combat Systems Department,” Mark said. “My primary duty is to protect the ship from cyberattack.” She also has a collateral – or additional – duty. She’s the Recreational Service Officer (RSO) for Ford’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) committee. When she reported to the ship in August 2014, there were just over 800 people assigned, and the command was just establishing a solid MWR committee. Today, the committee supports more than 2,800 crewmembers. And Mark is just as serious about her job as RSO as she is about cybersecurity. It’s a big job making sure the crew has fun. “Our job is to support the sailors and make sure they’re OK mentally, emotionally, and physically, in order for them to provide the support needed to continue to build and deliver this ship. Since we’re not yet commissioned, we’re not allotted the full MWR funding for our crew, so it’s very difficult for us to have a solid program. We have grown to over 2,800 sailors, and we’re establishing our programs and our advisory boards, and involving more crewmembers – enlisted, chief petty officers, and officers – to pull their ideas in. We’re asking them what they want to do for different programs, observances, holidays, and special events,” she said. Mark said MWR helps the crew celebrate events like the Navy’s birthday, Presidents’ Day, and Valentine’s Day, and incorporates a sports mentality to it to keep sailors fit while also having fun at the same time. “Our people work hard, so we want them to relax their minds and participate in safe, fun-filled events and have fellowship with the crew,” said Mark. “The commanding officer has a mission-oriented mentality, but knows that when it it’s time to play, we want to have a great time. He’s very supportive. The MWR

Lt. j.g. Tara Mark, assigned to Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), stands watch on the ship’s bridge.

officer is our supply officer, Cmdr. Treanor, and she has a mentality that we do things right and do them big.”

FUNDRAISING MWR receives a small stipend of $2.50 per sailor per quarter, to help defray the costs of providing MWR activities and services. Some of the events can be major productions. “This command has grown so rapidly, and so we have had to grow as well to maintain our MWR program and support the sailors.” To generate the money needed to hold events, Mark said the committee holds fundraisers and competitive events where people can have fun while helping build up the MWR bank account. USS GERALD R. FORD

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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 3RD CLASS CATHRINE MAE O. CAMPBELL

“We have raised money in a lot of different ways,” she said. “We supported breast cancer awareness by selling ribbons, and sold all kinds of NFL sports items for people’s favorite teams during the football season.” The Ship’s Store also contributes to MWR. “Sailors can buy things that they can’t get from the mess deck, like chips and candy and crackers and Monster drinks, and the profits are donated to MWR to help support those large events. They have these Sriracha Doritos® that I have not been able to find in supermarkets, so I definitely support the Ship’s Store. “I don’t drink coffee – but a lot of my sailors do,” she added. “We have a Starbucks on board that’s a part of the Ship’s Store, and those profits also go to MWR.” According to Mark, the MWR committee is inspected regularly, and its books are audited by CNIC. “Even as a pre-commissioning unit, we are still held to the same standards as a commissioned vessel. And during our last inspection, we exceeded those expectations by scoring a 95 on our inspection out of 100. We’ve been fortunate because we’ve passed our inspections and we have members of our committee with integrity. That’s one thing that makes us proud, because our ship’s motto is ‘Integrity at the helm.’”

ON WATCH The Ford is a first-in-class ship, so everything is new. Mark’s ISSM job includes the computer networks that pass data from radars and other sensors to the combat management system and weapons, and she helps the command’s leadership and the crew to understand the significance of cyberattacks. Mark is also a member of the bridge watchstanding team. They train using the Army Watercraft ship-handling simulators at nearby Fort Eustis, Virginia. “It’s a phenomenal trainer,” Mark said. “I’m part of the bridge team as junior officer of the deck (JOOD). Along with the OOD and junior officer of the watch, (JOOW), we practice in those simulators conducting events such as getting underway,

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Lt. j.g. Brandon Shields, assigned to Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), talks with inspectors from Afloat Training Group Norfolk during a search and rescue (SAR) assessment. Passing the SAR certification is a crucial milestone for the ship’s completion that moves Ford one step closer to delivery.

replenishment at sea, man overboard, and other evolutions. We will be the first bridge watch team that will pull this vessel out to take her to sea and get ready for commissioning.” To prepare, Mark and her team have been underway on the USS John C. Stennis in Bremerton, Washington, to get shiphandling experience. “I’ve been underway on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the USS George H.W. Bush, both homeported here in Norfolk, just basically getting familiarized with the shiphandling. We did flight ops, replenishment at sea, transiting in and out of port, and other evolutions. Coming alongside was pretty awesome. But our vessel is the first of the Ford class, and it’s a lot different than the Nimitz class. So while we’re getting valuable experience, it’s a first step, because our bridge sits 140 feet farther aft than the Nimitz class, and learning our blind spots and everything is going to be different.” Mark said she likes being on the leading edge. “It’s a first for everyone. Our bridge watch team has come a long way and we have some pretty outstanding sailors that are standing the watch up here. I’m very happy to be a part of that team.”

DECK FORCE Lt. j.g. Brandon Shields is a surface warfare officer and division officer in charge of Third Division, and is a search and rescue swimmer as well. “We have about 21 personnel in Third division. All of our sailors are designated boatswain’s mates, which is different than a lot of other deck departments that typically have a lot of undesignated sailors.” “We’re in charge of all the small boats on board, and we’re responsible for the fantail – which is the after part of the ship,” Shields said. “We have two 7-meter RHIBs [rigid hull inflatable USS GERALD R. FORD

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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 3RD CLASS CATHRINE MAE O. CAMPBELL

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boats]. We currently have two qualified coxswains, and we’ll be looking to qualify another three to four after we get underway.” As part of the Deck Department, Third Division is also very involved in any anchoring evolutions, underway replenishments, and special evolutions. Shields said his sailors have taken advantage of opportunities to get underway on other carriers to work on their bridge qualifications, conduct UNREPS and anchoring, and completing their PQS [professional qualification standards]. “We do coxswain training here, and send people to Norfolk to drive boats over there. We do simulator training at least once or twice a month.” Shields is also a qualified search and rescue (SAR) swimmer, which is unusual for an officer. “There was a shortage of SAR swimmers when I reported aboard, and the ship needed to send somebody to SAR school. I was available, and I swim a lot, so my boss let me go. You get a lot of training, which is really helpful, including a lot of lifesaving skill sets. I’m one of just a handful of officers in the Navy who are qualified as rescue swimmers. Usually they are enlisted personnel. I was the first on Gerald R. Ford to get qualified. Now we have multiple SAR swimmers on board, but it was a rare opportunity to be the first on a first ship.”

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Lt. j.g. Michael Helvey, assigned to Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), instructs sailors to man the rails as the ship returns to Norfolk after conducting builder’s sea trials. The first-of-class ship – the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years – had spent several days conducting builder’s sea trials, a comprehensive test of many of the ship’s key systems and technologies.

Shields said being surface warfare qualified and having already stood OOD watches for a full deployment on USS Fort McHenry, an amphibious ship, has helped him on Gerald R. Ford, especially with bridge watchstanding duties. “For some of the bridge watch team members, this is their first ship, and their first time standing bridge watches. This ship is bigger than Fort McHenry, and has different systems, so it’s challenging, but all the basics are still the same – the forces at work, the shipping and other contacts, the reporting – and having done it before, I have a good idea about what I need to learn to be able to do it on this ship. It takes a while to get used to it and be comfortable with it.” There are more officers, and many different specialties represented, but overall he said it’s a very good wardroom. “It doesn’t make any difference if you’re a SWO or an aviator. Coming from a ship that was almost all SWOs in the wardroom, this has given me a completely different perspective on the aviation side of the Navy. We’re comfortable talking to each other, and we all get along pretty well.” USS GERALD R. FORD

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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 3RD CLASS CATHRINE MAE O. CAMPBELL

Shields said that while the ship was being built the crew didn’t get the training opportunities they normally would have when underway. “I know that when we get out to sea, they’ll be ready to execute the mission. I’ve got a great group of sailors. They come to work every day, work hard, they all have a positive attitude. I really enjoy working with them. They’re a good group of individuals.”

COMBAT SYSTEM PROVIDES LAYERED DEFENSE The USS Gerald R. Ford and her embarked air wing and escorting ships represent a formidable striking force. The carrier’s future aircraft can reach distant targets ashore, at sea and in the air with an array of sophisticated weaponry. The ship itself has the newest combat systems technology to defend itself against aircraft and anti-ship cruise missiles. They are maintained and operated by CS6 Division (air surveillance) and CS7 Division (self-defense weapon systems). According to Chief Fire Controlman (FCC) Nicholas Bowlin, who leads CS6, the Gerald R. Ford ’s sensor suite is radically different from a traditional Nimitz-class carrier. “The different radars used for air traffic control, surface search, air search, navigation, and self-defense have been replaced by the dual-band radar [DBR]. We’ve got two radars integrated into the same system – the MFR [multifunction radar], the AN/SPY-3 X-band multifunction radar, and VSR [volume search radar], the AN/SPY-4 S-band volume search radar. We’re the only ship that has it.”

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Master-at-Arms Shawn Kirby, assigned to Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), leads his section in guard mount. Guard mount is a term used in security to signify a shift turnover and muster.

The MFR provides target illumination, harbor navigation, surface search/over-the-horizon tracking, and weapon control. The 3-D VSR handles air traffic control functions and volume air search. Each of the radars has three array faces, with each face providing 120 degrees of airspace coverage. One of the big advantages of the phased array radars over rotating radars is faster frame refresh rates. “We’ll be able to see today’s threats, but also future threats,” Bowlin said. According to FC1 Clinton Higdon, the ship is protected by a layered defense, with the RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM), the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM), and the Close-in Weapons System (CIWS). ESSM has a range in excess of 25 miles, while RAM can hit targets up to 9 miles away. For closer targets – within 2 miles – there’s CIWS. “ESSM is a semi-active missile, which means it needs to be told where to fly by seeing the reflection of the MFR radar on the target. It uses a proximity fuse, so we don’t have to hit targets straight on the nose,” said Higdon. “It has to get close enough that when it detonates its fragmentation warhead it will destroy the target.” The CIWS is so accurate, the Navy sent truck-mounted versions to Iraq and Afghanistan to protect forward operating bases against rockets, mortars, and artillery shells. “Between SeaSparrow, RAM, and CIWS, I think we’re pretty well covered,” Bowlin said. USS GERALD R. FORD

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Capt. Richard McCormack, commanding officer of Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), explains how the ship’s flight deck works to Dr. C. Brown, Development Test and Evaluation, during a tour of Ford’s spaces. The purpose of the tour was to show the ship’s technological innovations.

CALLING THE SHOTS Lt. j.g Mike Helvey is one of the Tactical Action Oficers (TAOs) on board. He served as an enlisted aircrewman aboard helicopters before getting commissioned as an aviation operations specialist. The TAO is responsible for the tactical employment and defense of the ship, and fighting the ship on behalf of the commanding officer. That requires a thorough knowledge of the capabilities of the ship’s sensors and combat systems, including weapons and aircraft, and gathering all the data from those sensors, including information from the aircraft and other units in the strike group, helping create the COP – or common operational picture. Helvey said that as that COP changes, he can step up the ship’s ability to respond to threats. “As things progress, we go through our doctrine and procedures and pay greater attention to what’s happening in a particular situation.” He also has to keep up with all of the advances in capabilities and technologies of both friends and potential adversaries. “There’s a lot to remember because every country has different systems, such as radar emitters, jamming capabilities

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and features on their missiles, for example, that are constantly evolving,” he said. To develop and maintain their skills, Helvey said his Combat Direction Center (CDC) team trains in simulators at the Surface Combat Systems Center (SCSC) at Wallops Island, Virginia, colocated with NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, where the Navy has a prototype of the Ford’s unique radar.

SECURITY DEPARTMENT IS THE SHIP’S COMMUNITY POLICE FORCE A lot of what an aircraft carrier does – launching aircraft, turning screws, and feeding the crew – is geared toward being underway. After all, ships belong at sea. By contrast, Gerald R. Ford’s Security Department is busiest when the ship is in port, with the department focused on protecting the ship and her crew from any threats. “The ship is divided into zones, and when we’re underway we patrol those zones to ensure good order and discipline,” said Master Chief Master-at-Arms (SW/AW) Jack Mickle III. “We like to have a presence. Like any police department, the more you show your face, the less crime will happen.” “It’s not us against the crew,” Mickle said. “It’s about being a part of the crew, and letting them know that we’re here to support them. The best way to accomplish that is to get out and about

U.S. NAVY PHOTO TAKEN BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 3RD CLASS MATTHEW R. FAIRCHILD

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and show them. Our masters-at-arms [MAs] are assigned to patrol their zones, which is their ‘community,’ and to get to know those sailors who live or work in their zone. The more time they spend there, the better able they are to know if something’s not normal.” That could be a person, a suspicious package, flooding, or a space that’s supposed to be locked but isn’t. “In some respects, we are first responders. If someone calls in an emergency, we’re probably the first to arrive because we’re already on patrol around the ship. We might arrive at a medical emergency before the hospital corpsman does. We may need to stop bleeding, perform CPR, or immobilize a broken limb before the medical team arrives,” said Mickle. “We work very closely with the corpsmen and the damage controlmen [DCs].” In the event of a fire or flooding, the DCs would set the primary boundary, and we would set the perimeter outside of that and render assistance in a supporting role. Security has a supporting role for most drills, when the ship is underway,” Mickle said. “We’re all connected. We talk to each other.” Mickle reported aboard the command in 2013 when there were only 250 crewmembers. “We moved on board in August of 2014. We had our offices and the basics of what we needed. We’ve come a long, long way since then. We currently have 72 rated MAs who have attended the school and have the professional training. “We’re very fortunate to have a large cadre of MAs,” Mickle said. There are also 100 crewmembers who are on TAD from other departments. Security Department TAD personnel attend a Security Force Academy before standing security watches. “They require a lot of training, and they’re only with us for a year, so there’s a lot of turnover.” Mickle said, “But I’m glad to have them.” The department has a total of 172 enlisted, and two officers who are designated as 6490 security officers. Because the department is usually less busy at sea, schedules are adjusted so the MAs have time to work on their warfare qualifications when underway. “This is a great opportunity for sailors to earn three different qualifications – aviation, surface, and information dominance – in one tour. When advancement selection boards look at service records, those qualifications make a difference,” Mickle said. The Security Department personnel are armed when they are on patrol, and also carry pepper spray, expandable batons, and handcuffs. To maintain firearms proficiency, the department hopes to get the Fire Arms Training Simulator (FATS), a huge screen with active “shoot/don’t shoot” scenarios. “It uses an inert training weapon with plastic bullets fired with air pressure so you get the sensation of the recoil, and if you run out of ammo, you’ve got to reload,” said MA1 Benjamin Staley from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the department’s training petty officer. “It’s very realistic.” The security force members must know all of the pre-planned response to different situations. “We conduct weekly training and drills such as responding to a suspicious package or an active shooter,” Staley said.

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In addition to firearms safety and marksmanship, MAs are trained on non-lethal weapons, take-downs, and mechanical advantage control holds, where the subject’s momentum and joints are manipulated to a “more agreeable manner.” “We need to train continuously or we will lose those skills,” said Staley. Monthly training in the simulators produces improved results over personnel who conduct live fire training just twice a year. Simulators deliver a cost savings, too, in ammunition and wear and tear on the weapons. During duty days, MAs stand watches at entry control points such as the quarterdeck and the pier, manned machine gun positions, and armed roving patrols. When on watch, MASN Shawn Kirby of Rathdrum, Idaho, said he has to know the commanding officer’s watch-standing principles, the specific standard operating procedures (SOPs) and pre-planned responses (PPRs) for the post he’s standing, and the 11 general orders for a sentry. He must also know the six priorities of “integrity, forceful backup, level of knowledge, procedural compliance, a questioning attitude, and incentive to want to be on the ship.” Watchstanders rotate between the fixed posts and roving patrols. “This is a brand new ship, with a brand new crew. We get to build the ship that we want, and that includes the feeling or the morale that we have. We have a high degree of professionalism with the crew and the shipyard workers. We’ve always been a very positive command overall,” Mickle said. “You can feel the vibe.”

A HIGHER PURPOSE According to the ship’s commanding officer, Capt. Richard McCormack, many of the men and women aboard today have been a part of the crew since 2013 and have seen the ship evolve from bare steel to an asset that will serve the nation for decades to come. “I could not be more proud of Ford sailors and the effort and skill they have put into getting this warship ready for delivery to the fleet,” McCormack said. “The role of ‘plankowner’ is an important one. Getting a ship ready for service is a challenging business, and it is a challenge Ford sailors have risen to meet head on. No matter where they go in their career, they will always remember the experience and teamwork that goes into going from a ‘Pre-Commissioning Unit’ to a ‘United States Ship.’” And for the crew of Gerald R. Ford, they have a higher purpose because of the constant inspiration provided by the ship’s namesake. “‘Integrity at the Helm’ means taking care of, and looking out for, our shipmates. It is at the forefront of all that we do,” said McCormack. “It means that we operate – both in and out of uniform – with great character, that we do not take the easy way out, and that we make an ongoing commitment to give our best in all that we do.” USS GERALD R. FORD

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Aircraft assigned to Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) land on the flight deck of Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).

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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 3RD CLASS CATHRINE MAE O. CAMPBELL

BY USS GERALD R. FORD PUBLIC AFFAIRS AIR DEPARTMENT Ford’s Air Department is divided into five divisions charged with the primary mission of this great ship: to safely launch and recover aircraft. This involves operating and maintaining the newest Electromagnetic Launch and Recovery System, Advanced Arresting Gear, Visual Landing Aid, and aircraft fueling systems. Air Department sailors also ensure the safe movement and security of assigned aircraft in the ship’s hangar bay and on the flight deck, as well as perform the operation and maintenance of the ship’s aircraft fueling system and air control tower, and to provide flight deck and hangar bay firefighting capabilities. Additionally, the department laid more than 70,000 square feet of non-skid on the hangar bay. The department also outfitted and maintains fully operational aircraft elevators.

AIRCRAFT INTERMEDIATE MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENT (AIMD) Ford’s Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department is divided into five divisions that provide intermediate maintenance support, enhancing combat capability by safely providing quality products, services, and skillsets to the warfighter on board.

The department provides services that meet the Naval Aviation Enterprise’s aircraft “Reach for Tomorrow” goals with improved value and efficiency. The department provides integrated offflight deck repair, in-service I-level scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, inspections/modifications, rework of existing aviation end items, systems, components, and support equipment. Ford’s aircraft intermediate maintenance department is committed to unparalleled support and to upholding the highest standards of quality, ensuring Ford becomes the world’s greatest and most technologically advanced aircraft carrier in the world.

ADMIN The Administration Department is divided into six divisions and is one the most diverse departments on board Ford. This dynamic operation assists and provides customer service of multiple administrative functions to more than 2,600 sailors. Additionally, the department is responsible for handling the ship’s separations and reenlistments, gains and transfers, instructions and notices, letters and memorandums, and is entrusted with ensuring each sailor receives accurate pay and allowances. The educational service and career counselor offices assist crewmembers in areas such as education, advancement, and career USS GERALD R. FORD

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The Board of Trustees and Staff of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation sends wishes for “fair winds and following seas” to the Officers and Crew of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) on the occasion of the ship’s commissioning.


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information. The drug and alcohol program, together with the equal opportunity adviser, provides important training to ensure Ford sailors adhere to Navy policies that foster morale and esprit de corps.

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION 3RD CLASS MATTHEW FAIRCHILD

COMBAT SYSTEMS The Combat Systems Department of Ford maintains the highest level of combat systems readiness, with major systems to include the phased array Dual Band Radar, the Machinery Control and Monitoring System, and the Consolidated Afloat Network and Enterprise Service, which is an evolving enterprise information environment covering Unclassified, Secret, and Top Secret domains. Additionally, the Combat Systems Department is responsible for the operation and maintenance of all surveillance, navigation, and air traffic control radar suites, the Ship’s Self Defense System, Cooperative Engagement Capability, Close-In Weapons System, NATO SeaSparrow Missile System, Rolling Airframe Missile System, all ship’s internal and external communications systems, Electronic Keying Material System, the Host Base Security System, and the Non-Classified/Secure Internet Protocol Routing Network, as well as a variety of secure and non-secure network software that supports all of these systems.

COMMAND RELIGIOUS MINISTRIES DEPARTMENT (CRMD) Ford’s Command Religious Ministries Department supports sailors and their families by offering religious ministries, training and individual counseling. The department helps demonstrate Ford’s spiritual, moral, and ethical maturity by building a more transparent, courageous, and compassionate community, cultivating mission readiness by strengthening spiritual well-being and increasing resilience for personnel and families. Ford sailors can seek individual, confidential guidance from a chaplain at any time. The Command Religious Ministries Department offers weekly non-denominational services in addition to weekly Bible study and life skills group classes. The department provides suicide intervention, financial counseling and relief funding, command responses to all American Red Cross messages, personality assessments, etc., and also oversees the command’s community relations program. Finally, the department worked with the Navy general library to stock and provide a fully functioning library for the crew of Ford.

DECK Boatswain’s mates represent the keepers of tradition in today’s Navy and aboard this state-of-the-art warship, with many new first-generation systems. The Deck Department carries forward the heritage and traditions from the days of wooden ships and iron men, executing anchoring, boating, replenishment, and mooring evolutions.

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A Northrop Grumman X-47B UCAS descends past an F/A-18E Super Hornet as it traps aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt in August 2014. A manned/unmanned mix of aircraft looks likely for the future carrier air wing.

Deck Department sailors assigned to Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) Deck Department, pose on a rigid hull inflatable boat while underway in the Atlantic Ocean.

As the oldest rate in the Navy, boatswain’s mates are the caretakers of the ship’s forecastle, which not only houses Ford’s two 15-ton anchors, but is also used for special ceremonies, religious services, and large meetings. The department maintains and operates seven underway replenishment stations for transferring food and fuel, the ship’s 13 mooring lines, two rigid hull inflatable boats, boat davits, fantail, stern dock, 100 50-man abandon ship life rafts, and the department works to preserve the exterior hull.

DENTAL The Ford Dental Department ensures the operational dental readiness and provides the highest quality dental care possible in support of the crew, embarked air wing, and staff. The department provides annual dental exams and emergent care, preventive dental cleanings and fluoride treatments, operative and restorative dentistry, endodontics, prosthodontics through an onboard dental laboratory, and oral and maxillofacial surgery. The Ford Dental Department is the first carrier that is capable of fabricating and delivering all ceramic restorations in the same day. Dental Department personnel augment the Medical Department response during general quarters and mass casualty scenarios. Dental officers and dental corpsmen man battle dressing stations, repair lockers, main medical and coordinate the walking blood bank.

ENGINEERING The Engineering Department provides the power and propulsion support to prepare Ford for strategic operations. Auxiliaries, damage control, repair, electrical, and the 3M divisions cover the major types of shipboard repair, emergency response, and USS GERALD R. FORD

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H.M. Hillman Brass & Copper Wishes the Crew of the Newly Commissioned USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN78) Fair Winds and Calm Seas

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Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Belen Mendoza, assigned to PreCommissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), performs routine maintenance on shipboard equipment.

services that enable the ship to function. The department operates 24/7 year round, whether in port or out at sea.

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST SEAMAN APPRENTICE GITTE SCHIRRMACHER

INTELLIGENCE The Intelligence Department provides intelligence, cryptologic warfare, and meteorology/oceanography support, with intelligence specialist, cryptologic technician technical, cryptologic technician collections, cryptologic technician maintenance, aerographer’s mate, and yeoman ratings. The department has six divisions: Intelligence administration, intelligence ships signals exploitation space, electronic warfare module, meteorology and oceanography, and damage control. The department is an information warfare organization that collects, analyzes, and disseminates information critical to warfighters, and also administers physical and personnel security requirements for authorizing access to classified material.

LEGAL The Ford Legal Department, consisting of the Command Judge Advocate and legalmen, assists the commanding officer to maintain good order and discipline within the command, to provide necessary ethics advice, drafts, and submissions to request acceptance of gifts to the command. The department also provides limited legal assistance services to the ship’s company. The department assembles cases for captain’s mast; prepares restriction, extra duties, confinement, military protective, and convening orders; prepares and prefers charges for courts-martial; and processes administrative separations. The Command Judge Advocate’s ethics advice covers myriad topics to include fundraising, conflicts of interest, and the operation of non-federal organizations aboard the ship. Finally, CVN 78 legalmen assist members of the ship’s company with notarial services, special powers of attorney, and basic issues with the Service Members’ Civil Relief Act.

MEDIA Ford’s Media Department produces historical and operational documentation to tell the Navy’s story by utilizing photojournalism, video journalism, audio recording, news-gathering, writing, multimedia, graphic design, publishing, social media, and

public affairs expertise to support the crew and inform the public of the capabilities of this, the world’s newest and most technologically advanced aircraft carrier. The department sends captured imagery to the Pentagon and the Defense Imagery Management Operations Center and later to the U.S. National Archives for future generations to study, and emergent products may be used to brief the president and Congress. The Media Department uses new technology, such as a stateof-the-art video production suite/recording studio and is the first Navy ship on the waterfront with the capability to broadcast live from mostly anywhere on board.

MEDICAL The Medical Department is responsible for the overall health and well-being of the more than 2,600 Ford sailors and nearly 6,000 when the strike group deploys. The Medical Department specializes in corrective and preventive medicine ranging from sick call to surgery. In addition to aviation and radiation medical exams, the department offers a full medical lab, a pharmacy, and X-ray support as well as physical therapy and psychological services.

NAVIGATION Ford’s Navigation Department is responsible for the training and qualification of underway and in-port watch standers. The team ensures that equipment is well maintained and that navigational charts and publications are up to date. The navigation team’s primary responsibilities include the continual and accurate plotting of the ship’s course and position, visual communication with other ships in the area, and – most importantly – safe and effective navigation.

OPERATIONS Ford’s Operations Department trains and fights across multiple warfare domains and is the keystone to CVN 78’s warfighting mission. From the Combat Direction Center and the Surface Undersea Combat Center, tactical action officers, operations specialists, and sonar technicians fight and defend the ship against surface, air, and subsurface threats. Air operations officers and air traffic controllers direct and control carrier air wing aircraft from the Carrier Air Traffic Control Center. In the ship’s Meteorological Operations Center, aerographer’s mates forecast the ship’s weather, and the air transfer officer and logistics specialists coordinate logistical flights. Cryptologic technicians and information specialists conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations, and strike operations coordinates and USS GERALD R. FORD

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NUCLEAR POWERED USS GERALD R. FORD CVN78 BWX Technologies, Inc. congratulates the U.S. Navy on the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford and is proud to have manufactured her reactors.

www.bwxt.com © 2017 BWX Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved.

Congratulations Shipbuilders and Crew! Joe and Donna Calvaruso


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schedules the ship’s short- and longterm evolutions. The department continually trains to hone and refine warfighting skills, creating a solid legacy of tactical excellence that will endure through the life of this warship.

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Culinary Specialist Seaman Adrian Palmer prepares plates of food for Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) sailors taking part in a March birthday meal celebration on the ship’s mess decks.

REACTOR The industrious sailors of the Reactor Department’s eight divisions work night and day to keep the lights on, provide the ship with fresh drinking water, and prepare the engines to take Ford to sea. The newly designed nuclear propulsion plant is the first new surface ship nuclear propulsion system in more than 40 years and is the first major component of the ship to be fully completed. Significant changes include a new reactor design, new engine room layout, reduced watchstanding and a 13,800 volt electrical distribution system. Ford sailors are the first to operate and maintain these unique systems that are on the cutting edge of nuclear technology. The fruit of the department’s hard work, long hours, and intense studying has resulted in the successful turnover of all major systems needed for the ship to generate her own electrical power and propulsion.

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 1ST CLASS PATRICK GRIECO

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SAFETY Ford’s Safety Department commits to setting the highest standards for shipboard safety. The department works hard daily to promote and build a proactive safety culture that will last the life of the ship. It supports the ship’s operational readiness through the management of 21 Navy Occupational Safety and Health programs, ranging from hearing conservation to gas-free engineering. The Safety Department maintains robust hazard identification and mishap reporting programs, gaining knowledge from past mishaps in order to prevent them in the future. The Command Safety Council and Enlisted Safety Committee, organized and run by the department, supports the promotion of and adherence to safety across the ship. The primary goal is to create, demonstrate, and promote policies that eliminate injuries and reduce on- and off-duty mishaps.

SECURITY Ford’s Security Department enforces the Uniform Code of Military Justice, uniform regulations, and the urinalysis program while maintaining good order and discipline. Additionally, the security department implements and exercises anti-terrorism measures in order to detect, deter and mitigate internal and external threats. In doing so, the security department ensures the safety and security of the Ford and its crew.

SUPPLY Supply Department is the third-largest department on board the carrier. Supply is responsible for all services that support the care, feeding, quality of life, and mission accomplishment of every department on board as well as for the embarked air wing. Organized into 12 divisions, the Supply Department provides individual support services including food, pay, postal operations, laundry, barbershops, and the ship’s store as well as shipwide support services including Morale, Welfare and Recreation, hazardous materials, all ship and aviation repair parts as well as parts for the reactor department.

TRAINING The Training Department prepares Ford sailors for combat readiness through coordination of the integrated training team and the shipwide training evolutions. In addition, the Training Department facilitates the command indoctrination program and provides training to all personnel in such critical areas as damage control, maintenance, and material management and basic command programs. The travel office also coordinates all temporary assigned duty travel and acts as the school quota control coordinator for the ship. The Training Department’s management of sending sailors to required schools ensures Ford sailors are proficient in their rates, fully trained on legacy and first-in-class systems and meet operational requirements.

WEAPONS The Ford Weapons Department consists of five divisions tasked with the safe, orderly movement of ordnance on board and the safe handling, stowage, assembly and disassembly, testing, and inspection of all conventional small arms weapons. The department features 11 advanced weapons elevators, which will be used to transport missiles, bombs, rockets, torpedoes, mines, ammunition, demolitions, explosives, flares, and other cargo between the weapons magazines, weapons handling areas, hangar deck, and the flight deck. New technologies provide higher elevator platform speeds, reliability, efficiency, and weight capacity and less maintenance than Nimitz-class systems. USS GERALD R. FORD

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The Carrier Air Wing: Today and Tomorrow BY ERIC TEGLER

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A Northrop Grumman X-47B UCAS descends past an F/A-18E Super Hornet as it traps aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in August 2014. A manned/unmanned mix of aircraft looks likely for the future carrier air wing.

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U.S. NAVY PHOTO

IF YOU’VE HAD THE good fortune to attend the commissioning of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), you have a great mental picture of the size and scope of this national asset. Now, look at it again in your mind’s eye and consider that the ship is set to serve until 2067. If the next 50 years are anything like the last, there will be tremendous change in that time. The Ford itself will be a point of reference as the people who sail in her and the world around her inevitably change. Amid it all will be changes in the way CVN 78 is used and the way she fights, most notably in the aircraft she carries. The carrier air wing that the Ford takes on its first deployment in 2021 will likely look different than the air wing it deploys with just a decade later.

TODAY’S AIR WING What is an air wing? Basically, it’s an operational organization composed of several aircraft squadrons and detachments of various types of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. An air wing is literally the air force on an aircraft carrier, equipped and trained to conduct air operations while embarked. The various squadrons that comprise it have different, complementary (and sometimes overlapping) missions. They provide most of the striking power and electronic warfare capabilities of the larger carrier strike group (CSG) within which the carrier sails. The carrier strike group includes other ships like cruisers, destroyers, and frigates, sometimes even submarines. The Navy currently operates nine carrier air wings for 10 active aircraft carriers in the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific fleets. Like other combat units, air wings function in operational cycles,

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Aircraft of Attack Carrier Air Wing 14 (CVW-14) aboard USS Constellation (CVA 64) during a deployment to Vietnam from April 29, 1967, to Dec. 4, 1967. The range of aircraft includes Douglas A-4C Skyhawks, Douglas RA-3B and A-3D Skywarriors, Grumman A-6A Intruders, Douglas A-1 Skyraiders, North American RA-5C Vigilantes, Sikorsky SH-3 Sea Kings, and McDonnell Douglas F-4B Phantom IIs. Other CVW-14 aircraft not pictured included Grumman E-2A Hawkeyes and Grumman C-1 Traders.

revolving between deployment on the carrier, stand-down, carrier qualification, and tactical training evolutions. The air wings that deploy on current Nimitz-class aircraft carriers have their origins in the post-World War II period. With the advent of the Cold War and nuclear weapons, the U.S. Navy sought to leverage its relatively unchallenged dominance of global seas to conduct nuclear strike missions from carriers. Though missile technology was rapidly developing and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) were on the horizon, aircraft remained the primary means of delivering nuclear weapons. Getting those aircraft in range of their targets and near enough to strike quickly favored basing them on aircraft carriers. Even with the arrival of ICBMs in service, nuclear-capable air wings offered the advantage of mobility. Fixed in their silos, ICBMs were difficult targets, but they weren’t going anywhere. While the nuclear mission became central to the aircraft carrier, the smaller regional conflicts that became a hallmark of the Cold War contest for global influence began to shape the composition of the air wing, which played a vital role in providing fighter, attack, and electronic warfare aircraft for use in conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. Up until 1975, the United States fielded anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft carriers with their own specialized aircraft. When those smaller aircraft carriers were retired, airborne ASW USS GERALD R. FORD

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A combined formation of aircraft from Carrier Air Wings CVW-5 and CVW-9 head to the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). The formation included E-2C Hawkeyes, F/A-18F Super Hornets, and EA-18G Growlers from the “Golden Hawks” of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112, the “Liberty Bells” of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 115, the “Tophatters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14, the “Dambusters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 195, the “Shadow Hawks” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141, and the “Wizards” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133. While this image doesn’t include other aircraft common to present-day air wings, such as F/A-18C Hornets, the MH-60R and MH-60S, and F/A-18Fs, the much more homogenous composition of an air wing today is clear.

capability, and the aircraft that provided it, were integrated into the carrier air wings serving on the contemporary generation of multimission large-deck carriers. Changes in technology, aircraft design, and strategic and tactical imperatives meant that air wings underwent noticeable changes over several decades. For example, during its 1966-67 deployment to Vietnam on USS Enterprise (CVN 65), Carrier Air Wing 9 (CVW-9) was composed of seven squadrons and four detachments. An impressive variety of aircraft were on hand, including two A-4C Skyhawk squadrons, one A-6A Intruder squadron, two F-4B Phantom squadrons, one RA-5C Vigilante squadron, and five

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detachments, including A-3/EA-3 Skywarriors, E-2A Hawkeyes, and SH-2A Seasprite helicopters. By the 1980s, a carrier air wing normally consisted of nine squadrons: two F-14 fighter squadrons, one E-2C airborne early warning squadron, one EA-6B electronic warfare squadron, one S-3 ASW squadron, one A-6 medium-attack squadron, two A-7 light-attack squadrons, and one helicopter squadron, for a total of about 90 aircraft. But the mix of aircraft in a typical air wing continued to change. When CVW-9 deployed aboard USS John Stennis (CVN 74) in 1999, its strength included three F/A-18C Hornet squadrons, one F-14A Tomcat squadron, one E-2C Hawkeye squadron, one S-3B Viking squadron, one detachment of EA-6B Prowlers, and a squadron of SH-60F/H Seahawk helicopters. The mix of aircraft still varies, but the number of types has been significantly reduced with the addition of more multirole aircraft to the fleet. The trend is evident in current air wings. In the 50 years between CVW-9’s Enterprise and recent Stennis deployments, the air wing went from nine aircraft types to five – from roughly 70 aircraft and 2,000-plus personnel to about 64 aircraft and 1,700 personnel.


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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 3RD CLASS JAROD HODGE

U.S. MARINE CORPS PHOTO BY LANCE CPL. ANDY MARTINEZ

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Air Wing 9 returned from its deployment to the Pacific in August 2016 with four F/A-18E/F Super Hornet squadrons, one EA-18G Growler squadron, one E-2D Hawkeye detachment, and two MH-60R/S Seahawk/Nighthawk helicopter squadrons. Each aircraft type and squadron have different jobs, though some, like the Super Hornet, can do multiple overlapping missions. The single-seat F/A-18E is the air wing’s primary strike aircraft, capable of performing precision bombing and ground attack missions. It also acts as a fighter/interceptor, defending the carrier and the CSG from enemy aircraft, missiles, and ships. Super Hornets are used for tactical reconnaissance as well, and serve as the carrier’s airborne tankers. The two-seat F/A-18F can perform all of the above missions but is the preferred platform for the airborne forward air-controller mission because of its two-man crew. The pilot and the weapons systems operator (who sits in back) are more effective in surveying a complex battlefield, identifying targets and painting them with lasers for bombs. That’s why F/A-18Fs were the first aircraft used to strike Daesh, also known as ISIS, in Iraq in 2014. The EA-18G Growler is the electronic warfare variant of the Super Hornet. Like the F/A18F, it is a two-seat airplane and, in fact, it’s 90 percent common with the -F. But it carries dedicated electronic attack equipment, including wideband receivers and high- and low-band tactical jamming pods. The Growler also carries two AMRAAM or HARM missiles for attacking enemy surface-to-air missile sites and other defenses. Growlers accompany Hornets and Super Hornets on missions into contested airspace, jamming enemy radars and communications.

LEFT: An EA-18G Growler flies above Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, during exercise Northern Edge 2017. The Growler replaces the EA-6B jammer in U.S. Navy service, and is based on the F/A-18F airframe.

The E-2D Hawkeye is the carrier’s airborne early warning and control airplane. It acts as an airborne quarterback for the air wing, using its powerful radar, sensors, and five-man crew to detect air and surface threats, orchestrate strike missions, and link data between strike aircraft, ABOVE: E-2C Hawkeyes and between strike aircraft and the CSG. The assigned to the “Liberty Bells” of Carrier Airborne twin-turboprop aircraft with a big, flat-disc radar Early Warning Squadron antenna reminiscent of the Air Force’s AWACS (VAW) 115 perform a formation flight in front airplane, is literally an airborne combat informaof Mount Fuji. The E-2C, tion center, operating alone at stand-off ranges the airborne early warning from surface targets and the carrier itself. and command and control aircraft for the carrier air Rotary-wing aircraft are essential to the air wing wing, is being replaced by and the aircraft carrier. Helicopters perform a wide the upgraded E-2D Hawkeye. range of missions, from search and rescue (SAR) and ASW to anti-surface, reconnaissance, and resupply. The MH-60R Seahawk is the primary ASW platform for the CSG, searching for submarine and other underwater threats. MH-60Rs also detect and intercept surface threats, from enemy ships and signals intelligence vessels to small armed craft. The Seahawk can neutralize such threats with the Mk.54 air-launched torpedoes and Hellfire air-to-surface missiles it carries. Ship replenishment, SAR, logistics support, medical evacuation, logistics support, and even communications relay are some of the other tasks the MH-60R takes on. The MH-60S Knighthawk tackles these as well. It adds the airborne mine countermeasures mission, protecting the carrier strike group from mines and other passive in-water threats. The MH-60S’ large cargo door suits a variety of logistics and SAR missions, and special operations warfare roles. The air wing is commanded by the “CAG” or commander carrier air group – a term derived from the historical carrier air group that preceded the carrier air wing. The CAG is usually a Navy captain or Marine Corps colonel, a naval aviator, or naval flight officer. The CAG oversees a command staff of about 20 officers and 20 enlisted personnel who manage the operational and administrative functions of the squadrons and detachments that make USS GERALD R. FORD

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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS JOHN PHILIP WAGNER, JR.

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS JAMES R. EVANS

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up the air wing. The CAG is also the primary interface between the air wing and the ship’s crew, working hand in hand with the carrier’s captain and senior staff. The CAG reports to the CSG commander, typically a rear admiral, and serves as the strike group’s strike warfare commander, responsible for all offensive strike operations, including Tomahawk missiles. Each squadron has its own commander and staff, broken up into departments (maintenance, weapons, personnel) with dedicated department head officers. Individual squadrons function within the overall air wing team, accomplishing both its overarching and many individual missions. The structure makes the air wing a mini-air force at sea. While it can operate independently and has its own supply chain, the air wing routinely operates as an important component of a regional combatant command like U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, most notably Afghanistan and Iraq. When in-theater, the air wing operates jointly with other U.S. services and with the forces of American allies as well as other regional militaries. The air wing has evolved substantially over the last 75 years, but that evolution will continue as long as the Ford is in the fleet.

TOMORROW’S AIR WING Because we can already see the forces shaping tomorrow’s air wing – from global and regional competitors to advances in technology and energy – we can preview some of the changes that future CVWs that deploy on the Ford will incorporate. Foremost among these will be the integration of autonomous, unmanned aircraft. In 2013, the Navy made history by autonomously launching and landing the Northrop Grumman X-47B drone from an aircraft carrier at sea. While the X-47B proved that unmanned aircraft could operate alongside manned aircraft on the deck and in limited operations, it signified a fundamental change in possible future air wings.

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LEFT: An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, and an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to VFA-113, join a formation of aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 during a mission flown from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). The F/A-18C “legacy” Hornets are slowly being phased out as F/A-18E/Fs and F-35Cs take their place on carrier decks. ABOVE: An MH-60R Seahawk helicopter from the Battle Cats of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 73 prepares to land aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter from the Red Lions of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 15 is chained down. The two variants based on a common platform simplify logistics and maintenance for the Navy.

Full-size drones could not only be used in the air wing to keep naval aviators out of harm’s way – potentially executing strike and interdiction missions – they could free up manned aircraft for more complex, specialized missions. They could also relieve the burden on aircrew and aircraft in performing long-duration intelligence and reconnaissance sorties and in tasks like providing aerial refueling. Air wings with unmanned aircraft might also regain some of the stand-off range that carrier strike groups have lost. The lengthening reach of new anti-ship missiles, the proliferation of highly capable regional submarines and new strike aircraft fielded by potential adversaries along with the literal creation of new sea bases potentially force American aircraft carriers farther away from targets to remain survivable. Simultaneously, the aircraft fielded by carrier air wings have comparatively diminished strike ranges, shrinking on average to 1950s distances. Regaining range is central to the adoption of the Navy’s first operational unmanned carrier aircraft, the MQ-25 Stingray. Though its design has yet to be finalized (or even its prime contractor), the Stingray is envisioned primarily as an aerial refueling tanker, set to debut some time in the 2020s. It will not only extend the range of strike aircraft like the Super Hornet, its role as the go-to tanker will free-up F/A-18E/Fs to fly strike missions instead of tanking. The MQ-25 will also teach the Navy and its air wings a great deal about the benefits and limits of unmanned autonomous carrier aircraft. USS GERALD R. FORD

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Fox Valley Metal Tech congratulates our Navy, Newport News Shipbuilding and their suppliers, and the men and women who will sail USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).

Providing custom, complex and critical fabricated metal products for 15KV Switchboards, 450 Volt Load Centers and EMALS and AAG aircraft launch and recovery systems, Fox Valley Metal Tech is proud to support USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), contributing to Integrity at the Helm, below and on the flight deck.

May God bless this ship and all who sail her!


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LOCKHEED MARTIN PHOTO BY ANDY WOLFE

An F-35C from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron VX-23 prepares to trap aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) during developmental testing.

Sooner still, the Navy will begin learning about its newest fighter, the F-35. Marine Corps F-35Bs are already operational, and the Navy carrier-landing variant, the F-35C, is due to be formally operational in 2018. That means that when the Ford makes its first deployment, the chances are quite good that F-35Cs will be part of the air wing it takes to sea. The Joint Strike Fighter will give the air wing an airplane that shares a significant level of commonality with its counterparts in Marine and Air Force service, enhancing its ability to operate in joint-force situations. The F-35 also brings the first significant stealth capability to a carrier air wing, allowing it to strike in contested airspace with a better chance of success and survivability. The F-35C’s exceptional ability to land consistently aboard the carrier will streamline air wing operations and efficiency. And the suite of avionics and sensors that the F-35C carries will offer air wing commanders new tactical options at sea. While it won’t strictly be a part of the air wing, the forthcoming CMV-22B Osprey carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft will be as essential to the air wing’s operations as the current C-2 Greyhound. The COD version of the tilt-rotor Osprey is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy beginning in 2020, meaning it too could be serving the first air wing that goes out with the Ford. As a COD, the CMV-22B will perform all the cargo and personnel transport tasks the C-2 has done and add one more crucial to future air wings. It will be able to carry the F-35’s F135 engine, bringing spares to the carrier, a task the C-2 cannot accomplish. Owing to its tilt-rotor verticallanding capability, the CMV-22B could also land on other Navy amphibious and logistics ships. The new aircraft that will enter the air wing will naturally replace older types. Within the next decade, the Navy’s air wings will retire the EA-6B Prowler, F/A18C/D Hornet, E-2C Hawkeye, and SH-60F/

HH-60H Seahawk helicopters. The new generation of aircraft are expected not only to be more operationally effective but more energy efficient. They’ll also rely on a more varied mix of energy. The Navy’s Great Green Fleet initiative has the carrier strike group as its centerpiece. Throughout 2016 a variety of carrier strike group ships have deployed using alternative fuels, including nuclear power for the carrier and a blend of advanced biofuel made from beef fat and traditional petroleum for its escort ships. These biofuels have been certified as “drop-in” replacements that require no engine modifications or changes to operational procedures. Experiments with similar biofuel drop-in replacements for the JP-5 aviation fuel, which air wings use to power all of their aircraft, have been underway for several years. The Navy has tested a biofuel blend produced from camelina seeds in its Super Hornets, MH-60S Seahawks, and MV-22 Ospreys. Preparations are underway to use biofuels for half of the air wing’s fuel requirements by the early 2020s. Biofuels are intended not only to diversify the source power for air wing aircraft but to reduce its overall fuel bill. The combination of individual aircraft, energy, and operating procedures improvements being applied is expected to yield carrier air wings capable of operating with fewer aircraft and personnel while maintaining the same or greater levels of combat effectiveness and power projection. These goals align with those of the Ford itself, which is supposed to be capable of launching more aircraft per day with fewer personnel than the Nimitz-class carriers at a reduced overall cost. The environment that the Ford will operate in, in the 2020s and 2030s, could involve very different threats, technologies, and capabilities from those seen today. Its future air wings will have to adapt as they did prior to World War II, during the Cold War, and in the era of terrorism and unpredictable regional conflicts. The Navy is already recasting itself as more of a long-range, blue-water strategic force, and its air wings will reflect that. Take a look at the Ford’s flight deck again using your imagination. In as little as 20 years, it will look very much the same. And a lot different. USS GERALD R. FORD

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Carriers in War and Peace BY DWIGHT JON ZIMMERMAN

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U.S. NAVY IMAGE BY JOHN BATCHELOR

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Sopwith Camels tied down on the forward flight deck of HMS Furious on the way to attack the German Zeppelin sheds at Tondern, July 1918. The Tondern raid was the first attack by wheeled aircraft flying from the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, in this case a former battlecruiser converted by adding a hangar and flight deck forward of the bridge and later another flight deck aft. The British lost one man killed, but destroyed two German Zeppelins and a balloon.

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SpartanNash salutes the U.S. Navy as it commissions the USS Gerald R. Ford As the leading distributor of grocery products to U.S. military commissaries, SpartanNash sees firsthand the sacrifices our servicemen and women make to protect our freedoms every day. SpartanNash has more than 700 associates who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and, as a veteran-friendly employer, we are committed to hiring, training and retaining veterans, Reservists, Guardsmen and their families. MDV, SpartanNash’s military division headquartered in Norfolk, Va., exists to serve our American heroes and their families, at home and abroad, delivering a “taste of home” to our military personnel. Patriotism is at the heart of what we do. From Gerald R. Ford’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich. -- where our corporate headquarters have been located for 100 years -- to his birthplace in Omaha, Neb. -- where SpartanNash owns and operates retail grocery stores and a distribution center -- our ties to the 38th president and his namesake aircraft carrier run deep.

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FOR ALMOST 70 YEARS, the pre-eminent symbol of a nation’s sea power has been the aircraft carrier. Today, 11 nations are members of the aircraft carrier fraternity, including China, whose first carrier is the former Russian Varyag, refitted, updated, and now renamed Liaoning, with another building. But only the United States has more than three aircraft carriers in active service. And when the decks of the carrier’s cousins the amphibious assault ships (LHA and LHD), are included, the United States has on hand some 25 warships capable of launching squadrons into harm’s way. From a humble beginning in World War I using converted vessels equipped with cranes for their sea-launched aircraft to today’s specialized superships utilizing steam-powered catapults that fling multi-ton supersonic aircraft off a non-skid, low solarabsorbing flight deck, the carrier has taken the fight to distant enemy shores, conducted reconnaissance, battled enemy fleets, defended supply convoys, supported amphibious operations, conducted humanitarian missions, defended the international laws of free sea travel, defused regional military tensions, and recovered astronauts – in short, the aircraft carrier has proved to be more versatile than its early advocates imagined. Naval aviation was still in its infancy when, on Sept. 5, 1914, just one month after the outbreak of World War I, the Japanese navy conducted the world’s first sea-based naval operation against an enemy installation. For two months, until Nov. 6, the seaplane carrier Wakamiya, converted from a transport ship, launched seaplanes that bombed German communications installations on the Tsingtao peninsula and ships in Qiaozhou Bay during the siege of Tsingtao operation. The seaplanes conducted almost daily reconnaissance and air strikes during the operation – making a total of 49 attacks in which 190 bombs were dropped – and were instrumental in causing the Germans to surrender on Nov. 7, 1914. On Dec. 25, 1914, the British Royal Navy Air Service launched the world’s second sea-based naval aviation operation against an enemy installation. The target was the German Zeppelin base at Cuxhaven, located at the mouth of the Elbe River. At the time the only German aircraft capable of reaching British soil were the lighter-than-air Zeppelin dirigibles. The threat of large fleets of German dirigibles bombing English cities had caused panic throughout the country. To counter the threat, the Royal Navy planned a pre-emptive raid. Three seaplane tenders, the forerunners of the aircraft carrier, supported by a combined surface and submarine escort, would steam to a point in the Heligoland Bight, about 40 miles off the German North Sea coast. There, each tender would launch its complement of three planes, each armed with three 20-pound bombs. The mission called for the seaplanes to conduct reconnaissance of the installations and, if possible, bomb them. On the morning of the raid, the engines of two of the seaplanes failed to start. The remaining seven aircraft, fighting fog, low cloud cover, and anti-aircraft fire, successfully completed their mission. Though damage was slight, the raid clearly demonstrated that air attacks from ship-launched planes were possible. And as Flight, the official publication of the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom noted, because all the ships

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on the mission wound up fighting the enemy, for the first time in history a naval attack was “delivered simultaneously above, on, and from below the surface of the water.” The British soon added additional seaplane tenders to its fleet and went a step further by converting the battlecruiser HMS Furious into the world’s first aircraft carrier. But, despite the strategic promise that ship-based naval aviation offered, the technology was too primitive for it to make a major contribution to the war effort. Most action came in the form of patrols, particularly in providing convoys aerial protection against U-boat attack. The only other significant naval aviation attack against land installations occurred in July 1918, when the Furious launched a sevenplane raid on the Zeppelin base at Tondern (now the Danish city of Tønder), heavily damaging it. By war’s end, all of the major sea powers had a naval aviation arm of some sort, but Great Britain was the only nation possessing what could be considered a carrier fleet. The U.S. Navy’s formal introduction to naval aviation officially began in 1910, when civilian stunt pilot Eugene Ely successfully flew his Curtiss biplane off a wooden platform constructed on the light cruiser USS Birmingham. Shortly thereafter a department of aeronautics was established within the Bureau of Ordnance. The Navy sent pilots to Europe during World War I, but they operated from land-based airfields and seaplane bases. During the interwar years, the “war to end all war” mentality and the Great Depression had enormous short-term impact on all military branches. But, crucially for naval aviation, the greatest long-term impact came from the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 (also known as the Five-Power Treaty), the first of three naval treaties during this period. Signed by the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, and Italy, the document was what today would be called an arms limitation treaty. It was the first treaty to regulate the size, type, and number of warships a nation could build and possess. The impact on the U.S. Navy was enormous. New battleship construction ground to a halt, and two battlecruisers then under construction were converted to what would become the aircraft carriers Lexington (CV 2) and Saratoga (CV 3). The effect in Japan was equally profound. A battleship and a battlecruiser under construction were converted to the carriers Kaga and Akagi, respectively. Two other carriers, Shoho and Zuiho, were based on a flexible design that allowed for conversion to tankers, submarine tenders, or aircraft carriers. Shoho was launched in 1934 as a submarine tender before being converted to a carrier in 1940. Zuiho began service in 1934 as a high-speed oiler and was converted to an aircraft carrier shortly before the outbreak of World War II. It is the irony of naval aviation that before it had a “father,” it had what amounted to a “crazy uncle” in the form of airpower visionary and maverick Army Brig. Gen. William “Billy” Mitchell. Shortly after the end of World War I, Mitchell embarked on a high-profile campaign to create an independent air service, one that would usurp the Navy’s traditional function as the nation’s first line of defense. As Mitchell saw it, just as the Army was responsible for land warfare, and the Navy responsible for sea warfare, the new air service would be responsible for war waged USS GERALD R. FORD

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ABOVE: An aircraft recovers aboard USS Langley (CV 1), in 1925. Langley, converted from the collier Jupiter, was the U.S. Navy’s first aircraft carrier. Note the landing signal officer on the flight deck.

in the air. This meant that in addition to land-based airfields, the air service would also “own” all aircraft carriers. Mitchell’s high-profile efforts caused even the conservative members of the Navy’s “Gun Club” to close ranks in support of naval aviation. In February 1921, the Bureau of Aeronautics was formally established, with Rear Adm. William A. Moffett, considered the father of naval aviation, as its first chief. Though committed to fleets built around battleships, the U.S. Navy moved aggressively in studying how best to use naval air power. In 1922, the Navy commissioned its first carrier, the USS Langley, a converted collier. From 1923 to 1940, the Navy conducted Fleet Problems I-XXI, a series of exercises that historians regard as being pivotal in the development of U.S. carrier doctrine. Due to a dearth of carriers (the Langley did not participate until Fleet Problem V in 1925), surrogates were initially used, with battleships taking the place of the carriers and their catapult-launched spotting planes becoming “attack squadrons.” Langley’s impressive performance in Fleet

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RIGHT: From their earliest days, aircraft carriers showed their utility in peace as well as war. When the city of Tacoma, Washington, suffered a severe drought that cut power from hydroelectric sources between December 1929 and January 1930, USS Lexington tied up to a pier and supplied more than a quarter of the city’s power until rainfall refilled the city’s reservoirs.

Problem V, an attack on the Hawaiian Islands, caused the Navy to accelerate the completion of the Lexington and Saratoga. Fleet Problem VI (1926), an attack on the Panama Canal, saw the first use of the combat air patrol designed to protect the fleet from aerial attack. Fleet Problem VII, slow convoy escort in the Caribbean, demonstrated the need of carriers to have freedom of maneuver and freedom of action in employing aircraft. Fleet Problem IX, an attack on the Panama Canal and called “the most influential American naval exercise of the 20th


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century,” included for the first time the fast carriers Lexington and Saratoga. It was designed to validate through the use of actual carriers and their squadrons earlier lessons inferred by the use of surrogates. Fleet Problem X inspired the creation of carrier battle groups, in which cruisers and destroyers are assigned to protect a carrier and the group trains as a team. Fleet Problem XII (1931), marked the beginning of the fast carrier era by attempting to solve the “carrier versus battleship” debate then in vogue. It was also notable for the recommendation that a carrier fleet commander be stationed on the aircraft carrier, which had not been done before. The most important result of the exercise was the recommendation of a series of design changes for future fast carriers. In 1932, two military exercises were conducted against military installations on Oahu – the Army/Navy Grand Joint Exercise 4 and Fleet Problem XIII. The latter focused on the use of aircraft in anti-submarine warfare and underscored the vulnerability of submarines to air attack, as had been revealed by the British in World War I. It also examined the pros and cons of specialized carriers (having only one type of aircraft) or “mixed-use” carriers (ones possessing fighter, dive bomber, and torpedo bomber squadrons). Fleet Problem XIV (1933) was another battleship-versuscarrier exercise, and it demonstrated that bugs remained in developing carrier doctrine. Fleet Problem XVI (1935) saw the participation of the Navy’s fourth carrier, the USS Ranger (CV 4). This exercise was notable for its use of new technologies, such as the automatic pilot, then becoming available. Fleet Problem XVIII (1937) attempted to answer the question of whether or not a carrier battle group should operate independently or as part of the larger, battleship-based fleet. Results were inconclusive.

The flight deck aboard USS Yorktown (CV 5) during a lull in air operations while participating in Fleet Problem XX, February 1939. The planes are Grumman F2F-1 fighters, of Fighting Squadron Five (VF-5). The large black Y painted on Yorktown’s stack for identification purposes echoed the vertical black stripe on Saratoga’s stack and the horizontal black stripe on Lexington. The Fleet Problems were pivotal in the development of U.S. Navy carrier doctrine as well as in determining the best size and configuration for future aircraft carriers.

Fleet Problem XIX (1938), was another attack on Oahu. Much later, studies would reveal numerous similarities between the Navy-only Fleet Problems and combined Army-Navy Grand Joint Exercise 4 operation that targeted Oahu with the Japanese attack in 1941. Fleet Problem XX (1939) conducted shortly before war broke out in Europe, was designed to determine how large a fleet the Navy would need in the Atlantic to protect the nation’s strategic interests there. Fleet Problem XXI (1940) was devoted to refining carrier warfare tactics, including the coordination and planning of scouting and screening. Taken as a whole, what is most remarkable about the Fleet Problems is the forward thinking of the planners and ship captains and how they overcame an incredible array of logistical, technological, and theoretical problems. Lacking sufficient aircraft carriers, they creatively substituted battleships and cruisers as surrogates and innovatively devised practical paradigms to expand the handful of catapult-launched scout planes into attack squadrons. In addition, they refused to be intimidated by the limitations of the immature aviation technology and imaginatively looked past the fragile, underpowered, and under-armed aircraft and weapons systems they had to work with. When World War II began for the United States in 1941, the country faced a maritime strategic reality of enormous complexity and danger. The possibility of having to fight a two-ocean war was no longer an exercise of war game imagination, but a dread USS GERALD R. FORD

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KCG Congratulates the United States Navy on the Launching of the CVN 78, USS Gerald R.Ford Service DIsabled Veteran Owned. Systems Driven. Service Centric. Over the last 15 years, Klett Consulting Group has supported not only CVN 78 Class Aircraft Carrier Program, but the US Navy CVN Program by providing support and solutions in cyber security, systems engineering, and systems architecture. KCG continues to aid both the government and commercial sectors within the realm of cyber security, enterprise architecture, and systems engineering. www.kcg-inc.net I (757) 721-5040 I 2488 N. Landing Rd Suite #111 Virginia Beach, VA 23456


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Aircraft prepare to depart the Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carrier Shokaku for the first wave of strikes on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941. In front are Mitsubishi A6M fighters, followed by Aichi D3A dive bombers, and Nakajima B5N torpedo bombers.

realization of its inevitability. To meet that commitment, the United States had only seven fleet carriers (Lexington, Saratoga, Ranger, Yorktown, Enterprise, Wasp, and Hornet), and a total of eight aircraft carriers of all types, ranked third in naval airpower behind Japan and Great Britain. The situation in the Pacific in the opening months of the war was particularly dire. On Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese Imperial Fleet launched one of the greatest attacks in naval aviation history. The Japanese fleet under Vice Adm. Chuichi Nagumo that contained six aircraft carriers achieved total surprise over the U.S. military bases on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The primary target was the naval base at Pearl Harbor. When the second wave of Japanese squadrons retired, the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet had been gutted. The heart of the fleet, its battleships, were either sunk or badly damaged. The only silver lining in the carnage that left 2,345 personnel killed was that Nagumo had rejected launching a third strike to knock out the fuel storage, maintenance, and dock facilities. That, and the fact that the fleet’s carriers were at sea when the attack occurred, gave the U.S. Navy the opportunity to recover. In the short term, the tactical situation shifted heavily in favor of the Japanese. But Adm. Isokoru Yamamoto, the planner of the attack on Pearl Harbor, knew the clock was ticking against Japan. When the decision to go to war was made, he replied that he would “run wild” for six months to a year. After that, he had “utterly no confidence” in what would follow. His prediction was uncannily accurate. Japanese ascendancy in the Pacific would come to a fiery end within seven months. America’s first important counter-thrust occurred on April 14, 1942. In the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack, President Franklin Roosevelt had urged the Joint Chiefs of Staff to quickly come up with a retaliation operation against the Japanese home islands. Initially such an operation was thought impossible; the short range of Navy dive bombers would place the precious carriers too close to Japanese air bases. But when it was determined that specially modified Army Air Corps B-25 Mitchell medium bombers could be launched from a carrier deck, the operation later known as the Doolittle Raid, named after the Army Air Corps commander of the operation, Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, was born. On April 13, the Hornet, carrying 16 B-25s on its flight deck, and her escorts rendezvoused with Vice Adm. William Halsey’s

Task Force 16, built around the Enterprise. The plan called for the Hornet to launch the bombers when the carrier was about 550 miles off the Japanese coast. After the bombers had hit their targets they would then continue to China where they would land on airfields under Nationalist Chinese control. Unfortunately, Japanese patrol ships discovered the fleet when it was still about 700 miles off the coast. Despite the extreme range, the decision was made to launch, and all 16 bombers successfully took off from the Hornet. Tactically, the raid caused little damage, but strategically its impact was enormous. American morale received a tremendous boost. It also caused top Japanese leaders to change the direction of future operations. The destruction of the American carriers assumed high priority. The Imperial Japanese navy saw its first opportunity to achieve that goal in the Southwest Pacific, with the New Guinea offensive designed to capture the strategic harbor of Port Moresby. Thanks to the fact that the Japanese codes had been cracked, Adm. Chester Nimitz, commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, was aware of the Japanese plans and he ordered Rear Adm. Frank Jack Fletcher and Task Force 17, built around the carriers Lexington and Yorktown, to stop the offensive. The result was the Battle of the Coral Sea. It began on May 4, 1942, and was not only the first carrier-versus-carrier battle, but the first time that both sides fought without either fleet being in sight of the other. When the battle ended on May 8, in terms of ships lost, the Japanese had won a tactical victory, with the light carrier Shoho, the destroyer Kikuzuki, and the minelayer Okinoshima sunk and the fast carrier Shokaku damaged. The Americans, however, had lost the Lexington, the destroyer Sims, and the oiler Neosho sunk USS GERALD R. FORD

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and the Yorktown damaged. But strategically, the Americans had scored a major victory. The planned seaborne invasion of Port Moresby was canceled. Also, the damage to Shokaku and the loss of most of Zuikaku’s aircrews meant that these two carriers would be unable to participate in the next great sea engagement of the war, the Battle of Midway. For the Japanese, the primary purpose of the assault on Midway was to lure the surviving ships of the U.S. Navy, particularly the carriers, into a trap where they would be destroyed. Yamamoto prepared a complex plan composed of eight fleets. Three of the fleets were assigned the diversionary mission of capturing the Aleutian islands of Attu and Kiska. The remaining five fleets steamed toward Midway. The heart of the attack was the First Carrier Striking Force under the command of Nagumo. It included the four fleet carriers Hiryu, Soryu, Akagi, and Kaga. Against the massive Japanese force that also included 11 battleships and 23 cruisers, Nimitz could only assemble a force composed of three carriers (including the crippled, hastily repaired Yorktown), eight cruisers, and a handful of destroyers. Not only was the U.S. Navy outnumbered and out-gunned, many of the Navy pilots had never seen combat, and their squadrons were composed of generally inferior aircraft. They were going up against some of the finest squadrons in the Imperial Japanese navy who were flying modern warbirds. As Walter Lord wrote in his classic account of the battle, Incredible Victory, the Americans “had no right to win. Yet they did.” Through a combination of knowledge of the Japanese plans, determination, courage, luck,

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An Army Air Forces B-25B Mitchell medium bomber takes off from the flight deck of USS Hornet (CV 8) at the start of the Doolittle Raid, April 18, 1942. The two white stripes on the deck denoted the track for the left main landing gear and nose wheel of the bomber to follow during launching.

dedication, skill, and heroic self-sacrifice, the squadrons of the Enterprise, Hornet, and Yorktown sank all four Japanese carriers, turned back the assault on Midway, and stopped further Japanese expansion in the Pacific. The cost to the U.S. Navy was high. The damaged Yorktown was further wounded and was eventually scuttled. Torpedo squadrons flying obsolete TBD Devastators were virtually wiped out. But the strategic initiative now shifted over to the Americans. Nimitz and his staff began planning for the first offensive action in the war. Their target was a Japanese airstrip under construction on an island in the southwest Pacific that no one had heard of and whose name was difficult to pronounce: Guadalcanal. If the Japanese succeeded in completing the airstrip, their aircraft could sever the sea lanes that connected Australia to the United States. The Guadalcanal campaign began when the 1st Marine Division assaulted the island on Aug. 7, 1942, and captured the airstrip, which was christened Henderson Field in honor of a Marine pilot killed in action at Midway. The first carrie-versus-carrier engagement of the campaign was the Battle of the Eastern Solomons on Aug. 24-25, 1942. Squadrons from the Enterprise and Saratoga dueled with squadrons from the carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku and the light carrier Ryujo. Though the Enterprise was heavily damaged in the battle, USS GERALD R. FORD

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ABOVE: USS Yorktown (CV 5) Bombing Squadron 5 (VB-5) SBD-3 aircraft prepare to take off during the Battle of the Coral Sea, April 1942. ABOVE RIGHT: USS Yorktown (CV 5) is hit by a Japanese aerial torpedo during the Battle of Midway, June 1942.

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aircrews. When combined with the earlier aircrew losses at Coral Sea, Midway, and the Eastern Solomons, Japanese aircrew quality never recovered. U.S. Navy operations increased in 1943 as more warships, including the new Essex- and Independence- class carriers, began entering the fleet. This growing strength was reflected in the increasing number and range of raids on Japanese island bases up and down the Pacific, from Rabaul to Truk and elsewhere. The high point that demonstrated how much had changed from the early months of the war occurred when more than 100 warships, including 17 carriers and 12 battleships (some salvaged from Pearl Harbor), participated in Operation Galvanic, the amphibious assault of the Tarawa atoll.

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it ended in an American victory, because the Japanese both lost more ships (three sunk including the Ryujo), and reinforcements intended for Guadalcanal were temporarily turned away. The Japanese later got a measure of revenge when a submarine torpedoed and sank the Wasp on Sept. 15 while she was escorting a support convoy to Guadalcanal. The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands Oct. 25-27 was the next carrier-versus-carrier battle. This time two American flattops, Hornet and the repaired Enterprise, squared off against four Japanese carriers, the Hiyo, Shokaku, and Zuikaku and the light carrier Zuiho. When the battle ended, only one American carrier remained afloat in the theater, the Enterprise. On the Japanese side, the Shokaku and Zuikaku were both damaged, but afloat. Again, however, the Japanese had lost many trained

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RIGHT: A damaged Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless scout bomber of USS Enterprise’s Bombing Squadron Six (VB-6) recovers aboard USS Yorktown (CV 5) on June 4, 1942, during the Battle of Midway. The aircraft, damaged during the successful attack on the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga that morning, landed on Yorktown as it was low on fuel. It was later lost with the carrier.


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Then, in 1944, two pivotal battles irrevocably established American naval might: the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June and the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October. American amphibious landings on Saipan caused the Japanese to respond with Operation A-Go, which called for the Japanese fleet under Vice Adm. Jisaburo Ozawa to destroy the American fleet and disrupt the landings. This time, though, it was the Japanese fleet that was outnumbered. Ozawa had 55 ships, including five fleet and four light carriers and 473 aircraft. Adm. Raymond Spruance’s Fifth Fleet had 112 ships, including seven fleet and eight light carriers and 956 planes. Even though 300 landbased aircraft from Japanese airfields in Guam and Tinian helped balance the odds, the Americans held an additional advantage. Too many of Ozawa’s squadrons had a majority of “green” pilots while American pilots were all well trained and experienced. This carrier-versus-carrier battle began on June 19. When it concluded on June 20, Ozawa had lost three carriers sunk and more than 600 planes (carrier and land-based) destroyed. One American fighter pilot commented that the battle reminded him of a turkey shoot back home, thus giving the engagement its nickname “The Marianas Turkey Shoot.” The battle was notable for one particular act of courage. The last American air attack on June 20 occurred so late in the day that night had fallen by the time the squadrons returned to the fleet. Despite the danger of attack by enemy submarines and night aircraft, Vice Adm. Marc Mitscher, commander of Task Force 58, ordered his flattops to be illuminated and the escorts to fire star shells to help guide the aircraft. The risky move paid off. Out of 216 aircraft in the strike, 116 landed

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A Curtiss SB2C Helldiver in the upper landing circle of USS Yorktown (CV 12), the Essex-class replacement for the Yorktown lost at Midway. With new, more capable aircraft carriers and aircraft being produced in great number, as well as a stream of new pilots, the tide truly turned in the Pacific War.

safely. Of the remainder, 20 never returned and 80 either ditched or crash-landed. No ships were attacked. In the fall of 1944, the Japanese navy was in desperate straits. Because almost all its experienced pilots had been killed in action, its remaining aircraft carriers were hollow shells. When Gen. Douglas MacArthur landed troops on the Philippine island of Leyte, the Japanese high command decided to risk everything in one titanic knockout blow named Sho-Go (Operation Victory). Three fleets were organized. One, under Ozawa, was built around four aircraft carriers, all but empty of pilots and aircraft. Its sole purpose was to act as a decoy to lure Adm. William Halsey’s powerful Third Fleet, with its 16 carriers, away from the landing beaches. When that happened, two powerful surface fleets built around battleships and heavy cruisers would attack from the center and south, blast their way through the Seventh Fleet under Vice Adm. Thomas C. Kinkaid, basically an amphibious support fleet that included battleships raised from Pearl Harbor and small, thin-hulled escort carriers. At first, things worked out the way the Japanese hoped. Once Halsey’s aircraft spotted Ozawa’s fleet, the aggressive commander commenced pursuit. Though the Second Fleet, under Vice Adm. Kiyohide Shima, failed to reach the landing beaches, it succeeded in drawing away the bulk of the Seventh Fleet. When the third Japanese fleet, under Vice Adm. Takeo Kurita, approached, only three escort carrier task forces, Taffy 1, Taffy 2, and Taffy 3, stood in its way. Kurita had under his command USS GERALD R. FORD

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WE SALUTE YOU Those who serve stand out. Our hometown hero stood as a shining example of dedication— to his faith, family, community and country. On the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford, we pay tribute to your sense of bravery, duty and diplomacy. From the Gordon Food ServiceŽ family to yours, congratulations.

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four modern battleships, including the gigantic Yamato and its 18-inch guns, six heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, and 11 destroyers. Despite the overwhelming odds, the aircraft and ships of the Taffys put up such a spirited defense that Kurita thought he was fighting a much larger force. At the moment when he was at the threshold of his objective, Kurita lost his nerve and ordered his fleet to retire. MacArthur’s troops were saved. It was the last Japanese fleet action in the war. While the carrier war in the Pacific produced some of the most famous naval aviation battles in history, the Battle in the Atlantic is notable for the almost total obscurity of its naval aviation action. Exceptions include the Ark Royal’s participation in the sinking of the Bismarck, where its Swordfish torpedo bombers damaged the German battleship, allowing for the British surface fleet to sink it, and the British attack on the Italian naval base at Taranto in 1940, which influenced Japanese tactics for the attack on Pearl Harbor. The biggest reason for the relative anonymity of naval aviation’s contribution was the nature of the primary enemy threat: German U-boats. This greatly simplified the Allied response. With the exception of the Ranger, which because of design limitations remained in the Atlantic, and the Wasp’s participation in resupplying the British at Malta, American fast carriers did not participate in the Atlantic or Mediterranean theaters. Initially, anti-submarine warfare protection of convoys was provided by British and Dutch merchant aircraft carriers, converted bulk grain carriers and tankers capable of carrying three or four Swordfish torpedo bombers. Nineteen merchant aircraft carriers saw service before being phased out by the arrival of U.S. escort carriers. American light and escort carriers arguably became the most versatile warships to see service in World War II. They did it all, from anti-submarine warfare, convoy escort, amphibious landing support, ferrying squadrons, and training, to the spectacular defense of landing beaches during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. In August 1945, the United States Navy was the largest in the world, with a fleet that included 105 aircraft carriers and 24,000 aircraft. Though naval aviation had made a pivotal contribution to Allied victory in World

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FM-2 Wildcat fighters of composite squadron VC-5 prepare for launch from the flight deck of the U.S. Navy escort carrier USS Kitkun Bay (CVE 71) during the Battle of Samar on Oct. 25, 1944. In the distance, Japanese shells are bracketing USS White Plains (CVE 66).

War II, its future proved less than secure in the postwar world. As a result of the across-the-board military drawdown, budgets were slashed and carriers were mothballed. In the new nuclear age, the now independent Air Force renewed its attack on naval aviation, asserting the supremacy of its nuclear-capable strategic bombers. The “revolt of the admirals” following the cancellation of construction of the supercarrier USS United States resulted in a pause in further cutbacks that many powerful figures in politics thought was only temporary. Then came the Korean War. In retrospect, the overall weakness of America’s military when North Korean forces poured across the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950, did much to save naval aviation. The only readily available rapid-response aviation force was the Essexclass carrier Valley Forge, which, together with the British light carrier Triumph, began air operations against North Korean airfields, railroad, and transportation facilities on July 3, 1950. By August, three more carriers had arrived, the first wave of ships that were either re-assigned or swiftly brought out of mothballs. During the next several weeks, air operations focused on supporting the cornered troops defending the Pusan perimeter in the southeastern tip of the Korean peninsula. Then, on Sept. 15, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, supreme commander of the United Nations forces, launched his strategic counterstroke, Operation Chromite, the amphibious landing at Inchon. To support the landing, Commander Naval Forces Far East Vice Adm. C. Turner Joy assembled six carriers, the greatest concentration of naval airpower since World War II. This operation would prove to be the high point of the Navy’s contribution in the war. USS GERALD R. FORD

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Congratulations to USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Welcome to the Fleet

University of Maryland University College would like to welcome USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) to the fleet. Thank you for your commitment, dedication and service—today and every day. We are proud to have served the higher education needs of our servicemembers and veterans since 1947. Today, we continue our dedication to the military by serving our men and women on land and at sea. We offer online classes and more than 140 classroom and service locations throughout the world, including military installations in the Hampton Roads area. At UMUC, serving the military is in our DNA.

Learn more about how UMUC serves the military at military.umuc.edu.

Copyright © 2016 University of Maryland University College


NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND

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Because the North Korean navy was a small littoral force containing only 45 vessels, the U.S. Navy was able to quickly establish control of the seas. And, as the North Korean air force was equally small, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force aircraft were able to establish air supremacy within a few short weeks. The carriers became mobile airfields, stationing themselves for weeks off the coast of North Korea and conducting strategic air strikes deep within the country, close air support, and other missions, including patrolling the waters between China and Taiwan to ensure that the war would not spread into that region. Equally important, the carriers’ success caused Congress to reverse its ship-cutting course and authorize the construction, in 1951, of the Forrestal and three more supercarriers. The next significant carrier action, the Vietnam War, would prove to be more frustrating. During the Vietnam War, carriers of the Seventh Fleet for the most post part fought from fixed geographic locations in the South China Sea; Yankee Station off the coast of North Vietnam, and Dixie Station off the coast of South Vietnam. The Seventh Fleet conducted around-the-clock bombings of logistics facilities, fuel and supply depots, power plants, bridges, and railroads in Laos, North Vietnam, and after 1970, Cambodia. In the first year of the war, carriers launched 31,000 sorties. On average, three carriers remained on station at any one time. For a seven-month period from June 1972 to January 1973, this was more than doubled when seven carriers were assigned to the theater. In summer 1972, carriers launched an average of 4,000

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F9F Panthers launch from USS Bon Homme Richard (CV 31) off Korea, one of them an F9F-2P reconnaissance aircraft just becoming airborne.

sorties a month, amounting to 60 percent of all missions supporting ground operations. The carriers participated in a number of operations, including the episodic Rolling Thunder, and naval air operations succeeded in disrupting enemy supply efforts to a point where they caused a scale-down in the strength and duration of a number of ground offensives. One important contribution was the search and rescue service provided by carrier-based helicopters that retrieved hundreds of downed aviators on shore or at sea. Ultimately carrier successes were undercut by a failed strategy, restrictive rules of engagement, and the unpopularity of the war. In consequence, no decisive results were achieved, at a cost of 859 Navy aircraft lost and 620 pilots and aircrew members captured or killed. The carriers’ last mission in Vietnam proved to be not combat but humanitarian. Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of American and South Vietnamese personnel in 1975, included the participation of the Enterprise, Coral Sea, Midway, and Hancock. The postwar period became another one of reduction and realignment for the Navy. Strategic commitments, including NATO obligations and the concept of a three-ocean Navy, were reassessed. The Middle East and its oil fields became a growing priority for the shrinking forward-deployable assets. But budget cutbacks forced new shipbuilding programs to be extended or slashed. By 1977, the Navy was reduced to 459 ships and did USS GERALD R. FORD

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ABOVE: Attack Squadron VA-55, VA-212, and VA-164 A-4F Skyhawks of Carrier Air Wing 21 prepare to launch from the flight deck of USS Hancock (CVA 19) for a mission over North Vietnam May 25, 1972.

DOD PHOTO

RIGHT: A Sea Harrier FRS.1 descends to the flight deck of the light aircraft carrier HMS Invincible (R05) during a 1990 exercise. The STOVL Sea Harriers aboard HMS Invincible and HMS Hermes in 1982 made it possible for the United Kingdom to take back the Falkland Islands seized by Argentina.

not have sufficient assets to fulfill the requirements of a threeocean Navy. When President Jimmy Carter proposed further cuts, including the cancellation of the Nimitz-class carrier program, he touched off what one historian called the “great carrier war.” Led by Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. James Holloway III and his successor, Adm. Thomas Hayward, the Navy, together with congressional allies on both sides, successfully defeated the president’s attempt to eliminate additional attack carrier construction. Things improved for naval aviation following the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan in 1981. John Lehman was appointed Secretary of the Navy, and during his seven years in office, he oversaw the creation of the “600-ship navy” and developed what was called the Maritime Strategy which was, as historian Robert Love, Jr., noted “predicated on a strong peacetime forward-deployed heavy attack carrier force that could both take the offensive in a general war and provide the president with a quickdraw intervention option in a regional crisis.” Carriers were put to great use in the 1980s. In 1981, aircraft from the Nimitz and Forrestal were involved in the Gulf of Sidra Incident. Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, in violation of international law, claimed the gulf as Libyan territorial water

and announced a “line of death” for any vessel or airplane that crossed it. Reagan sent carrier groups into the gulf to enforce the international rights of passage laws. A confrontation ensued in which two Libyan jet aircraft were shot down. In 1982, Great Britain and Argentina fought in the Falklands War. Sea Harrier aircraft from the carriers HMS Invincible and HMS Hermes, which the British government had been on the verge of either selling or scrapping, were indispensible in amphibious operations to liberate the British South Atlantic islands seized by Argentine forces. The following year, the United States launched Operation Urgent Fury, the invasion of Grenada, to liberate American students held hostage. In addition to participation by the carrier Independence, the campaign saw the USS GERALD R. FORD

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GERALD R. FORD GERALD R. FORD CVN78 CVN78

Today we honor the mighty Today we honor the USS GERALD R.mighty FORD

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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY CMDR. JOHN R. “LITES” LEENHOUTS

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first major operational use of amphibious assault ships (Guam and Saipan). The U.S. Sixth Fleet returned to the Gulf of Sidra in 1986 as part of Operation El Dorado Canyon in order to punish Libya for its support of terrorists, and to once again enforce the international right of freedom of navigation. Three years later, in another incident in the gulf, Navy Tomcats once again shot down two Libyan fighters. The “peace dividend” implied by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War in 1989 proved illusory. The eight-year Iran-Iraq War that ended in 1988 set the stage for a new crisis in the following decade. On Aug. 2, 1990, Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait. The American-led international response, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, was the largest military operation since the Vietnam War. Six aircraft carrier battle groups participated in the campaign. Coalition victory in Operation Desert Storm also resulted in a watershed bureaucratic victory for naval aviation. Cmdr. James Paulsen observed, “Following Desert Storm, the Air Force recognized the aircraft carriers’ contributions and the independence they offer to global presence. In light of the restrictions of deployable basing rights, the Air Force reversed its 50-year stance against the need for naval aviation.” The importance of this independent capability, free of interference by a host country, was underscored in Operation Enduring Freedom, where carrier-based aircraft from a total of four carrier groups proved to be the only practical air support for the campaign against the Taliban. Operation Iraqi Freedom

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An Attack Squadron 72 (VA-72) A-7E Corsair aircraft heads for its target in Iraq with a load of eight Mark 82 500-pound bombs during Operation Desert Storm. The aircraft is also armed with an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile on its fuselage cheek-position hardpoint. VA-72 was based aboard the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) in the Red Sea.

saw the deployment of six carrier groups, and an unprecedented use of carrier-based night operations. As a result of its recent successes, and the development of new technologies that further enhance the versatility and capability of aircraft carriers, former CNO Adm. James L. Holloway III, noted that today, “The U.S. carrier fleet is at a historic peak in its capabilities as the principal element of American sea power.” The terrorist attacks by al Qaeda that culminated with the 9/11 strikes and the subsequent proliferation of terrorist groups, most recently that of Daesh (also known as ISIS), confronted the United States and other traditional nation states with the challenge of how to conduct successful operations in the new world of asymmetric warfare. As it turned out, U.S. Navy carriers have made an important contribution in the Global War on Terrorism. Post-9/11 carrier operations included Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Inherent Resolve, and Freedom’s Sentinel, amongst others. In May 2011, the carrier Carl Vinson supported Operation Neptune Spear and was used to conduct the burial at sea the body of 9/11’s mastermind, Osama bin Laden. Increasingly the U.S. Navy has seen the role of its carriers expand to assist in humanitarian efforts. A partial list of operations in this century include the dispatch of the Abraham Lincoln to Sumatra in 2005 in response to devastation caused by a USS GERALD R. FORD

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tsunami in the Indian Ocean, domestically the USS Harry S. Truman’s assistance to Gulf Coast communities hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Ronald Reagan’s help in the Philippines in 2008 in the wake of Typhoon Fengshen, and in 2010 the Carl Vinson’s assistance to Haiti as part of Operation Unified Response. China’s increasingly aggressive action in the South China Sea caused the U.S. Navy in May 2016 to send the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group there for its entire seven-month deployment. Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, and other nations of the Pacific Rim believe that only the presence of the U.S. Navy can provide security and stability in what has become the globe’s most hotly contested maritime region. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Russia has announced plans that it will add to its naval arsenal by building a fleet that will include amphibious assault ships and aircraft carriers. Experts estimate that it will be 10 years before the first carrier is commissioned. To prepare for the many existing and new challenges, Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander, Naval Air Forces, initiated Naval Aviation Vision 2016-2025, a roadmap “ensuring Naval Aviation possesses the readiness, capabilities and capacity to deliver on the five essential functions outlined in the maritime strategy … All Domain Access, Deterrence, Sea Control, Power Projection and Maritime Security.” He added that it is a strategy that “is mirrored as well in our carrier and amphibious fleet as we move into the more lethal, affordable and survivable Ford-class carrier and the America-class amphibious assault ship.”

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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY LT. KEN KOELBL

An F/A-18 Hornet from the “Mighty Shrikes” of Strike Fighter Squadron Nine Four (VFA-94) aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) carries a strike payload including AIM-9 “Sidewinder” missiles and JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) ordnance during a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in November 2001.


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Congratulations from Grand Valley State University. Grand Valley is proud to share a hometown with President Gerald R. Ford and to count him as a true friend of the university. A GVSU honorary doctoral degree recipient, President Ford’s leadership and public service influenced the course of our nation. Like the ship that bears his name, his impact is far reaching. That’s the Laker Effect.

gvsu.edu


The Jeep Carriers

Eight U.S. Navy Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers and six Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat fighters on the flight deck of Sangamon-class escort carrier USS Santee (CVE 29) during Operation Torch in November 1942.

U.S. NAVY

BY DWIGHT JON ZIMMERMAN

ESCORT CARRIERS, NICKNAMED “baby flattops” and “jeep carriers,” were slow, thin-skinned, small, and cramped. Their crews, in a sarcastic reference to the classification “CVE,” called them “Combustible, Vulnerable, and Expendable.” On top of that, at first, the U.S. Navy high command didn’t want them. In 1940, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Harold Stark believed advances in aircraft technology made escort carriers impractical, so development was stopped. President Franklin Roosevelt overruled them and demanded a crash program converting merchantmen into carriers for use in anti-submarine warfare (ASW). Of the nearly 150 aircraft carriers built by American shipyards during the war, 122 were escort carriers. Designed more to be easily mass produced rather than as the most efficient warships, they were based on existing hulls originally planned for C-3 merchant ships, tankers, oilers, and fast transports. Many were supplied under Lend-Lease to the Royal Navy. Because they were both slow and roughly half the size of fleet carriers, they didn’t usually have enough wind over their short decks for combat-loaded aircraft to safely reach flying speed, so CVEs had catapults installed to assist in launching aircraft. With few exceptions, the U.S. Navy’s escort carriers, too slow to operate with the fast carrier task forces, worked anonymously: ferrying aircraft, protecting convoys,

providing tactical air support for amphibious landings, even taking soundings of uncharted ocean depths for the Navy’s Hydrographic Office. Even though escort carriers helped provide air support for Operation Torch, their primary mission in the Atlantic was ASW, initially defensively operating as escorts in or near convoys and later offensively in independent hunter-killer groups. The U.S. Navy’s most successful ASW escort carrier in that theater was USS Bogue (CVE 9), namesake of the second largest escort carrier class built in the war. Bogue entered service in February 1943 and served as the flagship for six ASW task groups that conducted operations from April 20, 1943, to Aug. 24, 1944. Bogue and her escorts sank 13 enemy submarines and received the Presidential Unit Citation, which noted “. . . Bogue and her escort vessels were largely instrumental in forcing the complete withdrawal of enemy submarines from supply routes essential to the maintenance of our established military supremacy.” Escort carrier workload in the Pacific was more varied. Initially they shuttled aircraft to Australia and island outposts throughout the Pacific. USS Chenango (CVE 28) and USS Suwanee (CVE 27), both veterans of Operation Torch, were the first escort carriers to see combat action in the Pacific, engaging Japanese forces in the Battle of Rennell Island, the last major naval battle of the Guadalcanal campaign. USS GERALD R. FORD

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T H E

THIS PHOTO: A U.S. Navy Vought F4U-1 Corsair of Fighting Squadron VF-17 landing on the deck of the escort carrier USS Charger (CVE 30), probably during carrier qualifications. Carrier-landing a Corsair on the deck of an escort carrier was no easy feat.

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A Northrop Grumman X-47B UCAS descends past an F/A-18E Super Hornet as it traps aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt in August 2014. A manned/unmanned mix of aircraft looks likely for the future carrier air wing.

NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND

U.S. NAVY NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NAVAL AVIATION

BELOW RIGHT: The U.S. Navy Sangamon-class escort carrier USS Chenango (CVE 28) operating in the Pacific in 1944.

One escort carrier captain who envisioned an expanded role for escort carriers was Nassau skipper Capt. Austin K. “Artie” Doyle. A Naval Academy graduate (1920), Doyle earned his wings in 1922 and spent most of the interwar years flying fighters. He was assigned to USS Nassau (CVE 16) in August 1942, his first ship command. When not drilling his crew, Doyle was peppering his boss Vice Adm. John H. Towers, Commander, Air Forces, Pacific Fleet, with memoranda containing suggestions regarding escort carrier doctrine and tactics. “[Escort carriers] are so cheap and are so easily constructed that they are bound to be our shock troops in the Pacific,” Doyle wrote in one memorandum. To increase efficiency and firepower, he recommended they operate in tactical groups of four to six ships, with each escort carrier assigned a specific air capability: the faster and larger Suwanee class armed with dive and torpedo bombers and the smaller Bogue class (which included the Nassau) carrying fighters. This put him at variance with official Navy doctrine that emphasized independent operations for carriers, each carrying a complete air group of several different aircraft and thus USS GERALD R. FORD

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RIGHT: Escort carriers served not only the U.S. Navy, but the Royal Navy as well, through Lend-Lease. Here, HMS Avenger (D14) is underway in 1942, with six Sea Hurricane IIC fighters lined up on her deck.

NATIONAL ARCHIVES

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BELOW RIGHT: USS Anzio (CVE 57) rolls heavily while trying to maintain course and speed during a typhoon east of the Philippines, Dec. 17, 1944. Escort carriers could be lively in heavy seas. Note the TBM Avenger and FM-2 Wildcat heavily lashed to the flight deck.

maintaining their asset of tactical maneuverability. It was the fear of anchoring his fleet carriers to the Marine beaches following the landings at Guadalcanal that contributed to Vice Adm. Frank Jack Fletcher’s decision to withdraw his carriers out of range of Japanese air attack two days after the Marines had landed. The Nassau’s only combat action came in May 1943 with Operation Landcrab, the recapture of the Japanese-held island of Attu. Initially responsible only for air protection of the fleet, because of poor weather conditions in the Aleutians and long distance separating the assault beaches from Army Air Force bases in Amchitka and Dutch Harbor, Nassau also provided close air support for the troops. In his official report to Pearl Harbor and the Pentagon submitted on June 5, 1943, Doyle wrote, “The Army Air Corps couldn’t get over [the target], or when they did, couldn’t get under [the overcast]. Their effort was negligible … I think the ACV [escort carriers were designated ACV, or auxiliary aircraft carriers, until July 15, 1943] is ideally suited for amphibious operations due to their flexibility and availability in numbers.” Doyle’s success in Landcrab caused the Navy to rewrite doctrine and make escort carriers responsible for close air support for amphibious assault troops. Escort carriers lost their anonymity forever in October 1944, when “Taffy 3,” containing six escort carriers (CVE 70 Fanshaw Bay; CVE 63 St. Lo; CVE 66 White Plains; CVE 68 Kalinin Bay; CVE 71 Kitkun Bay; CVE 73 Gambier Bay) and a handful of destroyers and destroyer escorts, successfully defended the U. S. Army landing beaches on Leyte against the battleships, cruisers, and destroyers of the Japanese Center Force in the Battle of Samar Island. As naval historian Samuel Eliot Morison wrote in his official history, “In no engagement of its entire history has the United States Navy shown more gallantry, guts and gumption than in those two morning hours between 0730 and 0930 off Samar.” Doyle would later captain the fleet carrier USS Hornet and retire from the Navy with the rank of admiral on the retired list.

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E VO LU T I O N

Aircraft Carrier Evolution THE GERALD R. FORD IS THE CURRENT CHAPTER IN A CARRIER STORY that began more than a century ago, on Nov. 14, 1910, when an intrepid aviator named Eugene “George” Ely strapped bicycle inner tubes across his chest as a crude flotation device and, so equipped, flew his Curtiss pusher aircraft off a temporary deck rigged over the bow of the cruiser Birmingham. Two months later, on Jan. 18, 1911, he landed on the cruiser USS Pennsylvania, whose fantail had been partly covered by a temporary deck equipped with what we might now call arresting gear ropes. Senior U.S. officers were impressed; they understood that aircraft could change naval warfare by giving fleet commanders much wider vision. However, landing-on and flying-off decks at both ends of a ship were seen as an excessive sacrifice. Instead, work proceeded on a catapult whose fixed track would cover the after guns of a large cruiser. Several ships were so modified, carrying large seaplanes that would land alongside when they returned. At about the same time in 1911, other navies were experimenting with launching aircraft from ships. Several, most notably the British, converted merchant ships into primitive aircraft carriers during World War I. The British in particular demonstrated that carriers (and shipboard aircraft in general) had become a necessary part of fleets. They seemed so important that the Royal Navy chose to complete a new battleship, HMS Eagle, as a carrier (her sister ship was the battleship HMS Canada). The “large light cruiser” Furious received first a flying-off deck forward (in place of one of her two 18-inch guns) and then a flying-on deck aft. She was the scene of the first British carrier landing, in 1917, but the air eddying around her superstructure caused serious problems, including the death of the first carrierlanding pilot. The British also laid down a cruiser-size carrier, HMS Hermes. The first ship to be designed as a carrier from the outset, she showed her importance to the Royal Navy in that the resources she consumed could alternatively have gone into a heavy cruiser. At the same time, all British capital ships were fitted with flying-off platforms for fighters. Naval aviation clearly mattered. The Germans used Zeppelins for scouting; in August 1916 a Zeppelin’s warning saved their High Seas Fleet from interception by the British Grand Fleet. The lesson the British took was that they had to take fighters to sea to shoot down Zeppelins (which were outside the range of ships’ guns). This was not too different from the later understanding that

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it took carrier fighters to destroy enemy bombers, ships’ anti-aircraft weapons generally driving them off or dealing with missiles they launched. The British seem uniquely to have appreciated the offensive potential of their sea-based aircraft. By 1918, it seemed clear that the German fleet would remain in harbor, tying down the British, preventing them from using their sea power offensively. Airplanes offered a unique way to get at the Germans despite their unwillingness to go to sea. In 1916, the British began to develop torpedo bombers. In 1918, they had enough carrier decks, either ready or in prospect, to plan a recognizably modern carrier raid on the German fleet in harbor. They revived the idea in the 1930s when they had to face war against Italy, and they executed just such a raid against the Italian fleet base at Taranto in November 1940. It in turn may have helped inspire the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which had much the same aim. American naval officers attached to the British Grand Fleet were well aware of the potential of this new kind of warship. They reported home extensively. Too, during World War I, British naval constructor Stanley Goodall was attached to the U.S. Navy. He brought with him plans for British carriers, and he helped frame the first requirements for a U.S. carrier. Like several other navies, the U.S. Navy was determined to experiment with this new kind of sea power. The first U.S. approach was to convert the large collier Jupiter into an experimental carrier; she was commissioned as USS Langley in 1922. Affectionately nicknamed the “covered wagon,” Langley was slow, and she had limited hangar capacity. U.S. naval aviation might well have gone nowhere but for two lucky breaks. One was legal. After World War I, the United States and Japan were building large new battle fleets. Many thought that prewar naval rivalry between Britain and Germany had helped touch off World War I. The U.S. government sought a way to stop the building race with Japan (and, to some extent, with Britain) by calling a naval disarmament conference in November 1921. The resulting Washington Treaty canceled most of the new battleships and battlecruisers then on order. One clause allowed each signatory to convert two of them into carriers. Because the hulls being built were so massive, the carriers that resulted (in the U.S. case, Lexington and Saratoga) were far larger – and far more capacious – than any carriers that might have been designed as such at this time, when carrier aviation was so largely experimental.

NATIONAL ARCHIVES

BY NORMAN FRIEDMAN


NATIONAL ARCHIVES

A I R C R A F T C A R R I ER E VO LU T I O N USS Langley (CV 1) in Pearl Harbor, May 1928, showing the influence of Capt. Joseph Reeves, with 34 planes packed onto her little flight deck. Reeves developed tactics and procedures that would allow large numbers of aircraft to be operated from aircraft carriers.

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NATIONAL ARCHIVES

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The same treaty allowed each of the large navies what might seem an unusually large carrier tonnage, given that such ships were still experimental. It happened that the British demanded this tonnage because their own experience showed that a fleet required a large carrier-borne air arm, and that they believed – as it happened, wrongly – that no carrier could operate many aircraft. This clause made it possible for the U.S. Navy (and also the Japanese) to build carrier arms powerful enough to dominate the early months of the Pacific War. Ironically, the British found themselves saddled with experimental carriers they had begun during World War I. Even though they knew these ships were obsolete, they doubted that a cash-strapped British government would willingly replace them. Thus the Royal Navy could not begin its own massive carrier-building program until the overall tonnage limitation lapsed in 1937. This effort proved too late; it was overtaken by World War II. Without any overhang of obsolete tonnage, the United States built the carrier Ranger as the first of five that it hoped would give it the best compromise between carrier capability and total aircraft numbers (it was thought at first that relatively small carriers were best). Indeed, it seemed, before they had been completed, that the big Lexingtons would be white elephants. They turned out to be anything but, partly because the U.S. Navy concluded that carriers would have to operate individually (a conclusion overturned during World War II). Ranger turned out to be too small to be very useful. Before she was completed, U.S. designers were working on a new ship about 50 percent larger: Yorktown. She and her sister ship Enterprise were followed by a third, improved, ship, Hornet, once the interwar limitation had lapsed. These were extremely successful ships. Enterprise fought in every Pacific battle, surviving the war. The others were sunk

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USS Lexington (CV 2) recovering aircraft in 1932. Unlike British practice, U.S. Navy carrier practice was not to strike each aircraft below to the hangar before recovering the next, allowing much more rapid operations. Navy practice was also to allow a large deck park forward, and overall to keep the bulk of the air group on the flight deck. The big Lexington and Saratoga, with their ability to operate large numbers of aircraft, had a strong influence on the American carriers to follow.

in 1942, but only after they had helped destroy the Japanese carrier force at Midway. Hornet demonstrated the reach of carrier air power when she launched Army B-25 bombers to strike Tokyo in April 1942. Although damage was limited, this raid is widely credited with convincing the Japanese that they had to destroy the U.S. Navy’s surviving carriers, the result being the Battle of Midway – which proved fatal to four of their carriers. Moreover, U.S. industrial capacity could more than replace the four (of seven prewar) carriers lost in 1942, whereas Japan’s could not replace her losses. Newly built U.S. warships dominated the Pacific War from 1943 on. The other lucky break was that the U.S. Navy of that era tested its ideas on the game floor of the Naval War College, i.e., not only at sea. Thus the ships and aircraft involved could adopt whatever characteristics seemed relevant to future warfare. Officers could see what the aircraft of the future (rather than existing relatively primitive ones) might contribute to a naval battle. The games showed how important it was to operate aircraft rapidly. Capt. (later Adm.) Joseph Reeves took this lesson with him when he assumed command of the aircraft of the Battle Force, which at the time meant mainly the few assigned to Langley. At the time, U.S. naval aviators followed the British practice of stowing each airplane in the hangar before the next landed onto the carrier, much as aircraft on land would be taxied to their hangars to USS GERALD R. FORD

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A I R C R A F T

U.S. NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND

clear a runway. That made for slow operation and limited numbers (hence the British insistence on large numbers of carriers at Washington in 1921). Reeves asked his pilots to land on much more quickly. He understood that aircraft capacity depended on the tempo of air operations, so this was also a matter of how much airpower he could pack into his small ship. Reeves found that airplanes did not need the whole deck on which to land. Instead of being stowed below, they could simply be wheeled forward, protected from landing aircraft by a wire barrier. In this way aircraft could be taken on board much more quickly, and they could be massed more easily for attack. Langley ultimately operated about four times as many airplanes as she had before Reeves arrived. The contrast between Reeve’s view and that of the Royal Navy deserves comment. The difference may have been that the Royal Navy surrendered its aircraft to the new Royal Air Force in 1918. When it decided to run tests to see how many aircraft a carrier could operate, it deferred to the expertise of the pilots, who naturally had little interest in risking a crash into parked aircraft as they landed. They were much less interested in providing the mass of aircraft that a fleet commander might want. Reeves had a much broader outlook. He needed numbers, and the pilots were naval officers responsible to him. Their instincts as pilots were secondary. The new method of operation demanded tight discipline and careful control; it was no accident that U.S. officers visiting British carriers in the 1930s were struck by the looseness of their practices. Nor, probably, was it coincidental that U.S. naval aviators understood, and accepted, that theirs was a very dangerous business (the British view was quite different).

A Fairey Albacore torpedo bomber is struck below to the hangar deck aboard HMS Indomitable in 1940. The armored flight decks of Royal Navy aircraft carriers were admired by U.S. Navy personnel, but exacted a price in shortened flight decks and cramped hangars below.

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On board U.S. carriers, the number of aircraft depended on the size of the flight deck, on which all of them would be parked before taking off, or after having landed. The U.S. Navy therefore favored long flight decks. It thought of carrier hangars mainly as places where aircraft could be repaired. The British tended instead to emphasize hangar capacity. When they could not get enough on a relatively short hull, they developed double-level hangars. Before World War II they became interested in armoring the hangar, which included part of the length of the flight deck. U.S. carriers could not have accommodated a similar degree of protection, the theory being that their light wooden flight decks could simply be repaired at sea. Indeed, the U.S. Navy adopted light flight decks in its later prewar carriers specifically because flight deck damage was common in war games; hence it was vital to be able to repair a carrier’s flight deck within hours rather than weeks, and in a combat area rather than at a base. The light deck design explains why the carrier Enterprise was able to fight in all the Pacific carrier battles, despite suffering damage. When carriers of both navies suffered kamikaze hits in 1945, many U.S. officers were impressed by the British designs, commenting that they simply hosed off what was left of the kamikaze and resumed operations. They did not notice a price the British paid. During World War II they were compelled to adopt U.S. style flight deck practices in order to operate enough aircraft, but their designs made for short flight decks. Shorter flight decks made for many more aircraft missing arresting gear wires and bouncing into (or even over) barriers – and many more dead pilots. U.S. carriers were not nearly so dangerous. Given Reeves’ innovation, the two much bigger U.S. carriers Lexington and Saratoga operated about 100 aircraft each. With such numbers, they could demonstrate the full potential of carrier aviation, to an extent far beyond what the British, who had invented the carrier, could imagine. For example, during her first big fleet exercise in 1929, Saratoga made a surprise attack on the Panama Canal, showing that carriers could extend the reach of the fleet beyond attacking other fleets. The evolving U.S. strategy for a war against Japan, which was considered the most likely enemy, involved seizing island bases as the fleet moved west. Carrier aircraft could provide the Marines with the edge they needed when going ashore. One consequence was

USS GERALD R. FORD

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that all U.S. naval fighters were designed to carry bombs. By 1929, U.S. strategists understood how important carriers would be in such a war, and they began to discuss converting merchant ships – particularly fast liners – to swell carrier numbers. Large carrier capacities justified a large naval air arm, with considerable effect on the U.S. aircraft industry. Naval officers realized that carriers and naval aviation had a future as bright as that of the battleships, which were then the core of the fleet. It helped that Congress passed a law requiring that commanders of carriers and other naval aviation activities be aviators. By the late 1930s, the Navy’s General Board, responsible for advising the Secretary of the Navy and formulating U.S. warship building policies, was asking when aviation technology would mature to the point that carriers would replace battleships. By that time, the main brake on U.S. carrier building was the treaty structure of the interwar years, the irony being that the 1921 treaty had provided an unusually large allowance for the time. That was because, even though the Washington Treaty lapsed in 1936, the pre-World War II U.S. naval buildup was based on a legal requirement to maintain a modern fleet of the size imposed by the treaty (a 1938 law, passed in response to Japanese aggression in China, increased treaty ratios by 20 percent). Looking back, the interwar U.S. carrier force may seem inadequate, but to contemporary observers the U.S. Navy was the most air-minded in the world. After their defeat, a senior Japanese

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admiral said that in developing their own carrier air arm, the Japanese had followed the U.S. lead. The foundation built between the wars made it possible for the U.S. Navy to shift toward a carrier-centered World War II fleet. Thus the very successful wartime Essex class, 24 of which were eventually built, was in effect an enlarged and expanded version of the prewar Yorktown, which was unusually large for its time because Lexington and Saratoga had demonstrated the value of massive numbers of aircraft on board each carrier. As the United States came closer to war in 1941, work began on converting merchant ships into escort carriers, inspired to some extent by British experience. Once the war began, it seemed urgent to convert warships under construction into carriers. Projects to convert battleships were considered but rejected as grossly inefficient. However, nine new light cruisers became the Independence-class light carriers, fast enough to serve alongside the larger Essexes. Neither Britain nor Japan could build carriers at anything like this pace. The priority accorded carriers became clear early in 1942, when projected battleships were canceled due to a perceived shortage of steel. Carriers were not. The huge prewar U.S. naval air establishment was relatively easy to expand to train tens of thousands of new pilots and other personnel. It also trained the senior officers to command a much-expanded carrier fleet. By the end of the war, the U.S. Navy had more than 100 carriers, compared with the seven of

U.S. NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND

USS Essex (CVA 9) takes spray over the bow while steaming in heavy seas, Jan. 12, 1960. A Grumman TF-1 Trader COD plane is readied for launch from the angled flight deck. Several Douglas AD-6 and AD-5W Skyraider and Douglas F4D-1 Skyrays are parked behind the island. The large size of the Essex class allowed them to be heavily modernized with angled decks, steam catapults, and other innovations that allowed the operation of heavier, faster naval aircraft as they were developed.


U.S. NAVY NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NAVAL AVIATION PHOTO

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the 1941 fleet. Most of them were quick and relatively inefficient conversions of merchant ship and cruiser hulls, but they provided needed air support in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. These ships showed just how flexible naval aviation could be. Before World War II, the main role of naval aircraft was to defeat the enemy’s fleet. Prewar fleet exercises did show valuable potentials for supporting amphibious landings and for attacking enemy shore installations (the U.S. carriers often raided the Panama Canal, Pearl Harbor, and Los Angeles), but they were secondary. By 1945, with the Japanese fleet essentially destroyed, U.S. carriers raided Japanese targets, including Tokyo itself. The Navy staff pointed out that carriers could mount strategic attacks comparable in volume to what the Army Air Forces delivered using its heavy bombers. In the Atlantic, small carriers proved invaluable in fighting German U-boats. At the end of the war, the Navy commissioned the first of three large Midway-class carriers. Compared to the wartime Essex, they were longer and had armored flight decks, but they were intended to operate the same type of aircraft (it took a much larger hull to accommodate the sort of armor the British had on their carriers and embody U.S. requirements). Modern carriers like Gerald R. Ford were born in the aftermath of World War II. With the defeat of Japan, it seemed unlikely that the United States would soon again face a major sea power. It seemed likely that the Soviet Union would be the next enemy. What would the Navy’s role be in a war against that land power? The Soviets had had the world’s largest submarine fleet in 1941, and many argued that the main future naval role would simply be to fight a future Battle of the Atlantic. Would the big carriers

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A U.S. Navy North American AJ Savage of Composite Squadron VC-6 “Fleurs” launching from the aircraft carrier USS Midway (CVA 41). In the background are two Grumman F9F-6 Cougar fighters from Fighter Squadron VF-174 “Hell Razors.” The Midway-class carriers were larger than the Essex class, and introduced armored flight decks. The big AJ Savage was designed to be a carrier-borne nuclear bomber.

even feature in such a war? The new U.S. Air Force, founded in 1947 but clearly nascent in 1945, argued that they would be useless. Its strategic bomber men contended that the future of war belonged to long-range bombers armed with nuclear weapons. The main role of the U.S. Navy in such a war should be to defeat Soviet submarines that would threaten supply to the overseas bases from which bombers would fly. To this, one Navy rejoinder was that if the Soviets adopted the new kinds of submarines the Germans were introducing at the end of the war, the best countermeasure might well be attacks on their bases – air attacks mounted by carriers. Even before the end of World War II, the U.S. Navy convened a panel of experienced officers to ponder the future of the carrier, which it now saw as its primary weapon. They soon concluded that the main value of a future carrier would lie in its ability to deliver heavy bombs, for example to destroy enemy submarine bases. Many must also have remembered the enormous impact of the 1942 carrier raid on Tokyo. Unlike land bombers flying from fixed bases whose location an enemy knew, carrier aircraft could come from almost anywhere. For example, the threat of such attacks would force the Soviets to spread out their air defenses and thus to pay much more heavily for any level of defense they wanted. This sort of leverage might reduce the resources available for any attack into, for example, Western Europe. The U.S. USS GERALD R. FORD

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A I R C R A F T

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U.S. NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND

USS Forrestal (CVA 59) underway during her initial “working up” period in March 1956. Forrestal, with assigned Air Task Group 181 (ATG-181), was underway for her shakedown cruise to the Atlantic Ocean from Jan. 24 to March 31, 1956. Designed with all that had been learned from previous classes of aircraft carriers, and embodying the postwar innovations of the angled deck, steam catapults, and optical landing systems, Forrestal was the first of the “supercarriers.”

Navy unsuccessfully urged its value as a flanking force, but when he became the first NATO supreme commander in 1950, Gen. (later President) Dwight D. Eisenhower took much the same approach. He likened Western Europe to a peninsula down which a Soviet army might try to surge, the carrier-supported Navy on its flanks. Throughout his presidency, he saw the mobility of U.S. sea power as the best counter to the massed manpower that the Soviets and the Chinese could deploy. It happened that a carrier-based heavy bomber could also drop atomic bombs, but that does not seem to have been the key consideration in 1945-46. Because the bombs in question were about four or five times as heavy as those carried by existing carrier bombers, the carrier of the future would have to operate much larger aircraft. It would have to be much larger. By 1948, a massive new carrier, more than twice the size of the wartime Essex, had been designed. Although the keel of this USS United States was laid in 1949, it was cancelled almost at once, a victim of tight funding and, it was said, a campaign by the Air Force to preserve its monopoly on heavy (i.e., atomic) bombing. However, the Navy had already received authorization to use such weapons in war, and by 1949, it was close to having a rudimentary atomic attack capability on board the Midway-class carriers, in the form of large Neptune patrol planes, normally land-based. A carrier nuclear bomber, the Savage, was being developed. In effect the largest such airplane that could operate from existing carriers, it did not approach the capability that had been planned for the new carrier. Meanwhile, work began to modify existing Essex-class carriers to operate jets. That involved new catapults and provision for jet fuel. However, the earliest naval jet fighters could operate even from the unmodified ships still in service in 1950. The Navy had always argued that the value of the carrier lay in its flexibility. That was dramatically demonstrated in June 1950, when U.S. and British carriers provided much of the critical air support when the North Koreans invaded South Korea, overrunning airfields. Later, jets operating from the U.S. carriers challenged the Russian-supplied (and often -operated) MiG-15s supporting the Chinese and the North Koreans. The project for a big carrier was revived, although at least in theory it was a flexible tool of limited war rather than a strategic weapon. The first of the

post-World War II carriers, USS Forrestal, was a slightly reduced version of the abortive supercarrier of 1949 – USS United States. Attempts to shrink the postwar carrier fleet were reversed, warbuilt Essex-class carriers were returned to service, and others were modernized specifically to operate jets and Savages. By 1954, moreover, nuclear weapons were small enough to be carried by fighters. There was no longer any question that U.S. carrier aircraft launched from around the periphery of Eurasia could devastate the Soviet Union and its allies. They formed an important part of any nuclear offensive the United States would mount. Entering office in 1953, the Eisenhower administration much preferred the deterrence carriers could help exert to deploying U.S. troops in sensitive places like Vietnam. Thus, when the French were being defeated there (at Dien Bien Phu), the only U.S. support even considered was a carrier air strike (which the administration rejected). Given the value the carriers had shown in Korea, a new carrier was authorized each year between 1952 and 1958, culminating in the nuclear-powered Enterprise. Because her plant was a prototype, she was followed by the nonnuclear America; another nuclear-powered aircraft carrier would be authorized when experience had been gained with her. Then new carrier construction lapsed, money going into the crash program to build strategic missile submarines. They took over the carriers’ strategic nuclear mission, but not their mission in support of the United States in crisis areas around the world. The great lesson was that the crisis mission was paramount. Thus Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, a skeptic, felt compelled to approve a new carrier given the experience of valuable carrier strikes in Vietnam. As the U.S. Navy had argued immediately after World War II, simply by expanding the area from which attacks could come they enormously complicated an enemy’s task of air defense. At the end of the Vietnam War, only carriers could come to the rescue of the American merchant ship Mayaguez, which had been seized by Cambodians. By that time, the United States no longer had air bases in the area. Administration after administration found that it faced surprise crises in which carriers were the only available air bases. That is why Gerald R. Ford and two sisters have been authorized. They are, in effect, third-generation nuclear carriers, the second generation being the 10 Nimitz-class carriers. The new carriers and rebuilt Essex- and Midway-class ships were viable in the face of modern land-based aircraft because of two innovations adopted from the British: the steam catapult and the angled deck. They are why the new Forrestal could remain on the front line through several generations of naval aircraft of increasing sophistication and performance. She and her improved sister ships (in all, eight carriers) set the very successful flight deck design that we still see in Gerald R. Ford more than 60 years later. USS GERALD R. FORD

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DTN PROUDLY supports the

uss gerald r. ford (CVN 78)

and its crew

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With Pride & Love, from the family of CAPT Thomas G Ford (Dec.) Beloved brother of President Gerald R Ford

Godspeed to the Captain & Crew of the USS Gerald R Ford


A I R C R A F T

Carriers were successful because they were, in effect, the first modular warships: They could operate successive generations of naval aircraft without needing radical reconstruction for each change. As it happened, the outer limits on size, landing speed, and takeoff speed set by the postwar nuclear bombers sufficed for later aircraft such as the F-14 Tomcat fighter and the A-6 Intruder bomber. The current F/A-18 Hornet is smaller than either, and the coming F-35 is still within these limits. The Navy has tested a large carrier-capable unmanned airplane, the X-47B, and it is often said that the electric catapults of the Ford are particularly adapted to the broad range of aircraft weights and stall speeds associated with a new generation of aircraft. As the Ford is commissioned, the Navy is considering a project for a production unmanned carrier aircraft. In a very broad sense, a carrier is a broad flight deck and an open hangar deck ready for whatever aircraft she can launch. She still needs to carry specialized support equipment for each new airplane, but that entails far less effort than the sort of reconstruction surface warships need to accommodate new weapons. The most important internal change to accommodate a new generation of aircraft was the installation of computer combat direction systems, which began in the 1960s. It radically changed carrier/air group capability, but again, it was relatively easy to accommodate from a physical point of view. The same basically modular ship has supported multiple generations of air weapons, of self-defense weapons (beginning with 5-inch guns and now using short-range missiles), and of radars. Thus the same ship has offered dramatically different capability over the years. That Gerald R. Ford resembles the Forrestal of 60 years earlier does not reflect conservatism. The U.S. Navy has periodically looked at radical alternatives. They included different flight deck arrangements, a smaller carrier, and a carrier equipped only with STOVL (short take off and vertical landing) aircraft, which would be so much smaller that it could be built in larger numbers. The first look at flight deck alternatives came as early as 1955, when the first nuclear carrier, USS Enterprise, was being designed. A Forrestal-like arrangement was selected instead of exotica such as two-level flight decks and decks with the carrier island in the center (with an angled deck on either side). The flight deck has been modified over the years, with the island pushed aft, but such changes look cosmetic alongside the more radical ones evaluated. Gerald R. Ford differs from Forrestal in being nuclear-powered. Carriers were an obvious possibility when the U.S. Navy adopted nuclear power, beginning with eight reactors in USS Enterprise, completed in 1962. They offered enormous advantages, but at a high price. Thus the first carrier to be built after Enterprise was completed, John F. Kennedy, reverted to conventional steam power. While that ship was being built, the naval nuclear reactor organization strove to cut the cost of a nuclear plant by cutting the number of separate reactors a carrier needed. The next carrier, Nimitz, needed two rather than the eight of Enterprise, making for many fewer special personnel and a simpler overall design. Gerald R. Ford introduces a new reactor design that might not need to be refueled over the ship’s 50-year projected life.

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Carriers are expensive, so periodically it is suggested that smaller ones should be built. Such proposals have failed for several reasons. First, any carrier needs certain basic equipment, such as her combat direction system and radars. Hull steel is relatively inexpensive. Shrinking a carrier saves surprisingly little money. On the other hand, a smaller carrier operates fewer aircraft, and the cost per airplane can rise dramatically. Moreover, carriers typically operate one by one. That makes it unwise to cut the number of aircraft they can accommodate. Current carrier air wings are smaller than earlier ones, the argument being that the emptier flight deck makes for faster turnaround and hence for more sorties per day and more targets hit per day. However, the large flight deck can still be filled if a carrier must make a more concentrated attack. That would be impossible on a smaller carrier. The question right now is whether the basic hull adopted three decades ago in the Nimitz-class should be enlarged, not shrunk. Periodically it is suggested that the future really lies with much smaller carriers operating STOVL aircraft. Other navies have certainly taken that route. This option seems first to have been suggested in 1955, in connection with a hoped-for STOVL fighter that could operate both from carriers and from large surface ships, and thus could be distributed through a fleet. That would have reduced carriers to attack aircraft, which at the time seemed not to demand so much in the way of catapults and flight decks (it seemed that long-range nuclear attack could be assigned to fleet missiles). Technology developed the wrong way. The STOVL then expected never materialized, and it turned out that a new generation of fighters required every bit of carrier capability provided in the first place for long-range bombers. The STOVL idea returned about 1970, inspired by the success of the British Harrier jump-jet. The U.S. Navy seriously considered building a small carrier it called a Sea Control Ship, which was conceived either as a more affordable replacement for big carriers or primarily as a means of dealing with submarines in mid-ocean. The main question was whether a high enough performance STOVL could be built, and the answer at the time turned out to be no. Spain built a Sea Control Ship (and a smaller version for Thailand), but the U.S. Navy did not. The current F-35B does offer high STOVL performance, but no revived Sea Control Ship was proposed. It may be true that a small ship can support a few F-35Bs, but a few such aircraft offer relatively little striking power. The smaller the ship, the less it provides each airplane, for example in terms of weapons and maintenance capacity. In order to provide as much net striking power as a single large carrier, the U.S. Navy would have to build several times as many small ones, and the overall cost would be far higher. So would vulnerability: It takes a large hull to absorb damage. The Russian, Indian, and Chinese navies all operate catapultless aircraft with ski-jump flight decks. No viable STOVL airplane being available to them, they use the ski-jumps to launch conventional aircraft. With sufficient power, a jet can take off from a ski-jump – but its payload is severely limited. As a consequence, the Chinese in particular seem determined to build catapult carriers in the future. USS GERALD R. FORD

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T H E

PA D D L E

W H EEL

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C A R R I ER S

The Paddle Wheel Aircraft Carriers BY DWIGHT JON ZIMMERMAN

U.S. NAVY PHOTO

USS Wolverine (IX 64) on sea trials in August 1942. The disturbed water amidships is from the motion of the port sidewheel.

IN THE WAKE OF PEARL HARBOR, with six fleet carriers in combat, and 13 additional fleet carriers and scores of escort carriers on order or under construction (with more to come), the U.S. Navy needed thousands of pilots and tens of thousands of deck crews qualified for carrier operations. Training these student pilots in the basics was relatively easy using landbased airfields. But the only way for them to be carrier qualified was to train on aircraft carriers. And that was the problem. The solution was the paddle wheel carriers Wolverine and Sable. The six existing carriers couldn’t be spared for training. Even if one were, it would be vulnerable to submarine attack. Anticipating such a need and situation in early 1941, Cmdr. Richard F. Whitehead, aviation aide at the Great Lakes Training Center at Glenview Naval Air Station north of Chicago, offered to the Bureau of Ships the answer: Convert Great Lakes steamers into aircraft carriers and conduct pilot and deck crew training in the secure waters of Lake Michigan. The Bureau of Ships ignored him. The idea re-surfaced following Pearl Harbor and landed

on the desk of Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Ernest J. King. Orders were cut and on March 2, 1942, at a cost of $756,000, the Navy requisitioned from the Cleveland and Buffalo Transit Company the passenger ship Seeandbee. It was joined on Aug. 7, 1942, by the Greater Buffalo. The Navy’s “Corn Belt Fleet” was born. The Seeandbee and Greater Buffalo were coal-burning, sidepaddle wheel pleasure cruise ships plush with luxurious amenities. More properly, they were sidewheelers, with paddle wheels on either side of the hull. The amenities, which included elegant mahogany paneling, padded furniture, and more than 400 fancy bathrooms, were the first to go as ship refitters stripped away the frou-frou in order to turn the luxury ships into no-nonsense training vessels. On Aug. 12, 1942, the Seeandbee was commissioned the USS Wolverine (IX 64), its name in honor of Michigan, the Wolverine State. The Greater Buffalo was commissioned the following year on May 8, 1943, as the USS Sable (IX 81). USS GERALD R. FORD

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T H E

U.S. NAVY PHOTO

USS Sable (IX 81) underway on Lake Michigan in 1944-45.

The flight decks for the ships were 550 feet long (about twothirds the length of a fleet carrier’s) and equipped with eight sets of arresting gear. The ships’ islands were configured to resemble those of the combat carriers, but neither ship was fitted with hangars, maintenance facilities, elevators, or catapults. Nor were the hulls armored, as they would never leave the waters of Lake Michigan. The Wolverine’s flight deck was constructed out of oak planks, similar to what was then in use on the combat carriers. In addition to its role as a training ship, the Sable functioned as a testbed. It was the first carrier equipped with a then-experimental metal flight deck. Various nonskid deck coatings, applied in checkerboard fashion, were evaluated. In addition, the Sable conducted tests of the experimental TDR-1, a remote-controlled drone made of wood and originally designed as a target aircraft. Later tests had the drones equipped with bombs and television cameras, making them the first TV-guided missiles. The success of these tests saw the TDR-1 go into combat in 1943 at Bougainville, part of a top-secret operation conducted for the rest of the war.

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A Northrop Grumman X-47B UCAS descends past an F/A-18E Super Hornet as it traps aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt in August 2014. A manned/unmanned mix of aircraft looks likely for the future carrier air wing.

The ships were docked at the Navy Pier in downtown Chicago and would leave at dawn for flight operations conducted about a mile offshore. For a trainee to be carrier qualified, he had to successfully take off and land 10 times (later reduced to eight). Traffic jams were regular occurrences as drivers along Lake Shore Drive stopped to watch. From dawn to dusk, seven days a week, weather and wind conditions permitting, the Corn Belt Fleet trained pilots and deck crews. Trainees were required to keep their cockpits open in the event they crash landed in the water and had to escape a sinking plane, which made flights during the winter particularly grueling. “I remember those Great Lakes flights very well in the open cockpit that winter. Coldest I ever was in my life,” recalled President George H.W. Bush, who was one of those trainees. Of the roughly 120,000 landings conducted by the carriers, there were just over 200 accidents, with about 120 of them being aircraft ditching or crashing into Lake Michigan. Incredibly, only eight pilots were lost. By the time the ships were decommissioned in November 1945, the training carriers had qualified approximately 35,000 pilots, one of them being Lt. (j.g.) George H. W. Bush, the future president of the United States. USS GERALD R. FORD

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S T R I K E,

F I G H T

A Martin T4M-1 of Torpedo Squadron 2 (VT-2) circles over USS Saratoga (CV 3) as it prepares to land in the 1930s. The U.S. Navy developed its air wing concepts as well as carrier operational doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures during the 1920s and 1930s.

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Scout, Strike, Fight THE BIRTH AND EVOLUTION OF THE CARRIER AIR WING

U.S. NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND

U.S. NAVY IMAGE BY JOHN BATCHELOR

BY JAN TEGLER

AMERICAN NAVAL AVIATION WAS NEARLY THREE DECADES OLD by the time carrier-based aircraft were organized into the self-contained aerial striking forces we now know as carrier air wings (CVWs). Their emergence in the late 1930s as carrier air groups (CVGs) was the product of a decade and a half of hard work by naval aviation leaders and aviators to crystalize a concept of operations for aircraft carriers and the aircraft that equipped them. Between 1922 and 1938, naval aviation, along with America’s rapidly growing aviation industry, took on the intellectually challenging and dangerous task of pioneering the techniques, tactics, and technology that would make the aircraft carrier and its aircraft the primary instruments of U.S naval power. That legacy continues today in the nine CVWs serving aboard the nation’s 10 active aircraft carriers, and will stretch into the future with the commissioning of USS Gerald R. Ford and the sister ships of her class. But in the first two decades of naval aviation history, the creation of the CVW was as far removed from reality as the idea of aircraft-carrying ships displacing the battleship as the main element around which naval operations were organized. Even inside the comparatively tiny world of U.S. naval aviation, ship-based aircraft were not the Navy’s only airpower option, nor were they favored. On the day World War I began, the U.S. Navy had just 58 active aircraft of assorted types. When it ended in November 1918, the service had 2,107 aircraft, 15 dirigibles, and 215 kite and free balloons. Most of its aircraft were foreign-built airplanes, and following the end of hostilities, most were struck from Navy service. As the decade came to a close, the U.S. Navy operated a very small force of aircraft and did not have an aircraft carrier. Headline-making naval aviation exploits came primarily from the service’s seaplane/flying boat ranks. Curtiss F5L and NC (NavyCurtiss) flying boats made the front page with record-duration flights, and in the case of the NC-4, the first-ever successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by air. Shortly after arriving in Pensacola, Florida, in January 1914 to stand up the Navy’s first aeronautical station, Lt. Cmdr. (later captain) Henry Mustin, a man often referred to as one of the fathers of naval aviation, sent a letter to his wife detailing the challenge of finding a site for an airfield suitable for operating land planes and dirigibles.

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“Personally, I don’t approve of the Naval flying corps going in for those two branches because I think they both belong to the Army,” Mustin wrote. Mustin’s view was widely shared, and for most of the same decade naval aviator training and operations centered on seaplanes. There was, however, a group within U.S. naval aviation that recognized the potential of operating wheeled aircraft from ships. Experiments were carried out with American battleships including the USS Texas, which was modified with two flying-off platforms in 1918. But by 1920, the Navy ended experiments with battleships. The writing was on the wall – both the British and Japanese had begun construction of the world’s first warships laid down as aircraft carriers. The establishment of an aviation bureau to oversee Navy and Marine Corps aviation matters – the Bureau of Aeronautics – in August 1921 was followed by the commissioning of America’s first aircraft carrier, the USS Langley (CV 1), in March 1922. For two years, Langley operated in an experimental role as naval aviators made the first takeoffs and landings aboard the ship and hashed out the basics of successfully flying on and off an aircraft carrier. The real work toward the development of a concept of operations for the aircraft carrier and the sculpting of the first “carrier air group” didn’t get underway until 1925.

ADM. JOSEPH MASON REEVES AND THE ANNUAL FLEET PROBLEMS EXERCISES When then-Capt. Joseph Mason Reeves assumed his post as commander, aircraft squadrons, battle fleet, and arrived in San Diego to take command of the Langley, the Navy had one functional aircraft carrier. But the men of Fighting Squadron 2 (VF-2), the Navy’s first carrier-based squadron, and their Vought VE-7SF fighters were capable only of takeoffs and landings from the “Covered Wagon,” as the former collier had been nicknamed. “This command lacks a coordinated set of fleet-plane tactics and has no conception of the capabilities and limitations of the air force,” Reeves observed. Reeves, already an expert on naval ordnance and gunnery, applied the lessons he’d learned as head of the tactics department at the Naval War College to the fleet’s first aviation asset, and set out to write the book on carrier aviation. Appalled to learn that the Langley could put only six aircraft in the air at one time, his first challenge was to dramatically increase the ship’s sortie rate. This led to a host of developments, from more numerous arresting wires and a flexible barrier allowing aircraft to be move safely forward (in front of the barrier) for launch while landings continued, to modifications of the way aircraft flew around the carrier, the way they moved on its deck, and how they were transported between the main deck and hangar deck. Reeves and his executive officer Cmdr. (later Adm.) John H. Towers organized the specialized system of deck crew functions still in use today, with colored vests identifying crewman and their

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purpose (ordnance, arresting gear, fueling, etc.) and created a flight control officer billet, tasked to launch aircraft at safe intervals. He also schooled pilots in combat doctrine, and his staff and pilots were central in formulating a plan for the most appropriate types of aircraft that would populate the decks of aircraft carriers. Adm. Reeves’ innovations and refinements were put to the test in the famed annual Fleet Problems Exercises (1923-1940) between 1925 and 1929, which, in the late 1920s, also included the aircraft and pilots of the newly commissioned USS Lexington (CV 2) and USS Saratoga (CV 3) as well as the Langley.

TACTICAL REFINEMENT AND AIRCRAFT DEVELOPMENT By the time Adm. Reeves left his position as commander, aircraft squadrons, battle fleet, in 1929, U.S. naval aviation had progressed to a point that put it at the forefront of aircraft carrier operations worldwide. Debate continued, however, over the optimum composition and organization of aircraft types that would fill the decks of America’s carriers. In 1934, the Navy’s war instructions emphasized the importance of seizing the offensive in fleet engagements. Carrierbased aircraft were central to that goal, with planners putting the highest priority on the location and destruction of enemy aircraft carriers. The age of air power had clearly arrived, and the forward-looking war games conducted at the Naval War College predicted that airplanes would take a leading role even in naval engagements. Floatplanes and flying boats, including the famed Consolidated PBY Catalina continued to play a role in naval aviation that lingered until after World War II. But ship-based single-engine aircraft gained primacy. Interestingly, the U.S. Army also had a role in declining seaplane operations. In 1931, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William V. Pratt made an agreement preventing the Navy from flying long-range land-based aircraft. This carving-out of Army turf discouraged the Navy’s use of multi-engine aircraft. Meanwhile, the invaluable annual Fleet Problems exercises and less frequent Grand Joint Exercises of the 1930s helped naval aviation identify the roles and missions required of carrier aircraft. By the middle of the decade, the decks of America’s carriers were populated by aircraft devoted to four primary missions: scouting, bombing, torpedo attack, and pursuit. Arranged in mission-specific squadrons – VS (scouting), VB (bombing), VT (torpedo), and VF (fighter) – the aircraft launching and recovering from the seven aircraft carriers in service by the late 1930s included the 250 mph Douglas SBD Dauntless, which equipped both VS and VB squadrons. Capable of carrying a 2,250-pound bomb load, the “Scout Bomber Douglas” built upon the performance of 1930s predecessors, including its direct ancestor, the Northrop BT-1, and the Curtiss SB2U Vindicator (the Navy’s first monoplane scout bomber). USS GERALD R. FORD

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COMMISSIONING OF THE USS GERALD R. FORD (CVN 78)

WE SALUTE THE UNITED STATES NAVY. Congratulations to the Captain and Crew on the Commissioning of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) into the United States Navy. Chemical Bank is honored to support the commissioning of this ship, and the leadership demonstrated by its namesake, Gerald R. Ford, the 38th President of the United States.


U.S. NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND

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VT squadrons employed the 200 mph Douglas TBD Devastator. Able to carry a 1,000-pound bomb load or one Mark XIII torpedo, when introduced in 1935 the Devastator was thoroughly modern – the first all-metal naval aircraft and the first monoplane to be procured in any numbers, with a fully enclosed cockpit, semi-retractable landing gear to protect the aircraft in wheels-up landings (a design feature copied by the A-10 Thunderbolt II decades later), and hydraulically folding wings. Unfortunately, such was the pace of prewar aircraft development that it was obsolete by the time World War II began. Fortunately, Grumman’s faster, longer-ranged TBF/TBM Avenger was soon to replace it. This 275 mph torpedo bomber had docile handling characteristics and could carry the Mark XIII torpedo or a 2,000-pound

load of bombs. Forward firing aircraft rockets were also carried later in the war. VF squadrons relied on Grumman’s 260-plus mph F3F biplane fighter initially. In service by 1936, the F3F was obsolete almost as soon as it was operational, and was replaced beginning in 1939 by the 321 mph Brewster F2A Buffalo. The Buffalo was the Navy’s first monoplane fighter. But the F2A also lacked performance compared with contemporary foreign fighters. Early models lacked armor to protect

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The flight deck aboard USS Saratoga (CV 3) circa fall of 1941. Grumman F4F-3 Wildcats of VF-3 “Felix the Cat” are in the foreground (one wearing the two toned gray scheme approved in October 1941); Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless scout bombers and Douglas TBD-1 Devastator torpedo bomber aircraft are parked beyond. This was the trio of aircraft types with which U.S. Navy aircraft carriers entered World War II.

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Congratulations to the Captain and Crew on the Commissioning of

USS Gerald R. Ford CVN 78 into the United States Navy Mr. and Dr. J.C. Huizenga


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U.S. NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND

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the pilot as well as self-sealing fuel tanks. The addition of these features, as well as better armament and greater fuel capacity, added weight, degrading the fighter’s performance further as new models were introduced. Fortunately, Grumman’s F4F, initially a loser to the Buffalo in the contest to provide the Navy with a new fighter, was kept in development by the manufacturer and the Navy, and with a new engine and aerodynamic improvements aided by windtunnel data from the NACA’s Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, was much improved and put into production. The 318-330 mph F4F Wildcat followed the Buffalo into service, joining active units in 1940, and a good thing, because the Buffalo proved a failure. Equipped with self-sealing fuel tanks and significant armor, the rugged Wildcat wasn’t quite as nimble as early model Buffalos and was easily outmaneuvered by Japan’s Mitsubishi A6M Zero, but its strength, ability to absorb battle damage, and heavy armament made it a formidable foe.

DAWN OF THE AIR GROUP AND WORLD WAR II The types described above were the aircraft the Navy would begin to formally organize into CVGs in 1937. These were not the numbered CVWs we think of today. Prior to World War II, CVGs were identified by the carrier they were assigned to. For

Four Grumman TBF torpedo-bombers and 11 Douglas SBD-5 scout bombers fly in formation, with USS Enterprise (CV 6) below, during a strike on Palau on March 30, 1944. By this time new, more capable aircraft had entered the fleet, but the “Slow But Deadly” Dauntless carried on successfully throughout the war.

example, the VB, VS, VT and VF squadrons assigned to the USS Enterprise (CV 6) were referred to as the “Enterprise Air Group.” The USS Saratoga’s (CV 3) aircraft were the “Saratoga Air Group.” Air group squadrons were numbered according to the carrier’s hull number; thus Enterprise’s squadrons were known as Bombing Squadron 6 (VB-6), Scouting Squadron 6 (VS6), Torpedo Squadron 6 (VT-6) and Fighting Squadron 6 (VF-6). “CAGs” (carrier air group commanders), in the form of the most senior officer of the embarked squadrons, led the CVGs, reporting as a department head to the ships’ commanding officers. Change came following the attacks on Pearl Harbor. In early 1942, air groups were given a numerical designation tied to their parent carrier’s hull number – CVG-3 was CV 3’s air group. This practice was short-lived, however, due to the hectic nature of the Pacific war in 1942. Squadrons and personnel were frequently deployed wherever they were most needed, be it another carrier or an airfield, such as Guadalcanal’s Henderson Field. Squadrons from Saratoga and Yorktown, for example, were assigned to Enterprise for short periods, and squadrons from the damaged USS GERALD R. FORD

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USS Antietam (CV 36) underway off the east coast of Korea, while operating with Task Force 77 during the Korean War. She has Air Group 15 embarked. Typical of the air groups of the era, she has a mixed group of propeller-driven and jet aircraft, including AD Skyraiders, F9F Panthers, and F4U Corsairs.

Enterprise and Saratoga were transferred to Henderson Field to continue the fight there as part of the “Cactus Air Force.” Air Group 10’s “Fighting Ten” was formed around airmen of Lexington Air Group’s VF-2 after the ship was sunk at Coral Sea (May 1942). This near constant shuffling of aircraft and pilots led to squadrons receiving mail at the Fleet Post Office address rather than their assigned (and frequently changing) aircraft carrier. As this policy spread, squadrons started identifying themselves with their air group number. By 1943, as American aircraft production geared up and additional squadrons were formed, air groups started to receive random numbers. At the beginning of the war, CVGs commonly consisted of four type-squadrons with 18 aircraft per unit, for a total of approximately 72 airplanes per air group. Again, changes came quickly, however. VS squadrons were soon eliminated and combined/expanded into VB squadrons. Additionally, a massive increase in the number of aircraft in the Navy inventory was accompanied by a stunning jump in the number of aircraft carriers in service. In 1941, the Navy had 1,774 combat aircraft on hand. By 1945, 40,912 combat aircraft were in service. Moreover, the Navy had seven fleet carriers and one escort carrier when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Less than four years later, the Navy had commissioned 102 carriers of all classes. The surge in the number of aircraft carriers was accompanied by a variety of new classes, from the Essex-class (CV) and Midway-class (CVB) fleet carriers to light carriers (CVL) and escort carriers (CVE). In 1944, air groups received designations matching the type of carrier they were assigned to – CVG, CVBG, CVLG, and CVEG, respectively. The number of aircraft/ squadrons in air groups also varied. Midway-class carriers were capable of operating up to 137 aircraft, while most CVEs could operate 30 to 35 aircraft.

Near the end of the war, tactical realities and improved operational efficiency allowed air groups aboard Essex-class carriers to operate with approximately 100 aircraft. The mix of types tilted heavily toward fighters that could perform in close-air support and strike roles as well as air superiority missions. In late 1944, the typical Essex-class CVG boasted five squadrons of fighters (90 aircraft), including Grumman F6F Hellcats and Chance Vought F4U Corsairs. These were the successors to the Brewster F2A and Grumman F4F. With greater speed (Hellcat at 370-plus mph, Corsair at 417446 mph), maneuverability, range, and firepower, the two new fighters outclassed their Japanese foes in most realms. They were joined on deck by an 18-plane squadron of Grumman TBF Avengers. By war’s end, all three types were being employed as night fighter/attack aircraft, and night-fighter detachments were soon followed by night-fighter squadrons in air groups.

THE JET AGE AND THE KOREAN WAR In the decade following World War II, huge changes overtook carrier-based naval aviation. In addition to a massive demobilization of personnel, aircraft and aircraft carriers, the Navy began to adopt jet aircraft and adapt carriers for their employment. By 1948, carrier air groups started rotating among the aircraft carriers, marking the end of the fixed aircraft carrier/CVG relation. First flown during World War II, the 479 mph McDonnell FH Phantom was the Navy’s first jet-carrier aircraft. Just 62 FH-1s were built, but they proved the feasibility of jet aircraft for carrier operations. The FH Phantom led directly to McDonnell’s follow-on fighter, the F2H Banshee, which debuted in 1948. The Banshee was joined aboard carriers by Grumman’s 575 mph F9F Panther in 1949. These two jet fighters, particularly the Panther, would see extensive combat during the Korean War. They could be found in CVGs with a rapidly expanding mix of other jet and propeller-driven types. Korean-era air groups typically included 70-plus aircraft in a varying combination of squadrons of: two to three jet fighter/fighter-bomber squadrons flying the Panther or Banshee, one to two piston-engine fighter squadrons flying later versions of the F4U Corsair, and an attack squadron flying the new Douglas AD Skyraider. The Grumman F8F Bearcat fighter, designed during World War II, also saw postwar service with the Navy in the late 1940s. USS GERALD R. FORD

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We proudly support the Commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford into the active Navy Fleet.

© 2017 JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. “Chase” is a marketing name for certain businesses of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and its subsidiaries (collectively, “JPMC”). 345602


MUSEUM OF NAVAL AVIATION PHOTO BY PH2C STINCHCOMB

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The newer, faster jet aircraft that began to join CVGs in the early to mid-1950s, including the North American FJ Fury (navalized F-86 Sabre), Grumman F9F Cougar, Vought F7U Cutlass, and McDonnell F3H Demon, pushed the envelope, capable of approaching Mach 1. Higher speed capability brought with it increased fuel consumption and altered aerodynamics, yielding higher landing and takeoff speeds. In response, the Navy adopted British advancements in carrier design, and by 1955, the USS Shangri-La (CV 38) was the first carrier to incorporate an angled deck, steam catapults, and the mirror landing system. With the newer, larger, angled-deck carriers came more varied/specialized aircraft types, and by the end of the decade, air groups also included VAH (heavy attack/ nuclear strike), VAP/VPF, RVAH (photographic reconnaissance), VAW (airborne early warning), VA (all-weather medium attack), VAQ (electronic countermeasures), VS (anti-submarine), and from the mid-1940s, HC/HS (helicopter) squadrons. Types as widely varied as the North American AJ Savage, Grumman AF Guardian, Grumman S-2 Tracker, Grumman F11F Tiger, Vought F8U Crusader, Sikorsky HO3S, Piasecki HUP Retriever, Sikorsky HUS-1 Seahorse, and more populated the Navy’s air groups into the late 1950s.

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A U.S. Navy Grumman A-6A Intruder from Attack Squadron VA-75 Sunday Punchers lands on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CVA 63) off Vietnam on March 2, 1968. In the background are two McDonnell F-4B Phantom IIs from Fighter Squadron VF-213 Black Lions and a North American RA-5C Vigilante from Heavy Reconnaissance Squadron RVAH-11 Checkertails. All aircraft were assigned to Attack Carrier Air Wing 11 (CVW-11) aboard the Kitty Hawk for a deployment to Vietnam from Nov. 18, 1967 to June 28,1968.

ADVENT OF THE CARRIER AIR WING In the mid-1950s, the “supercarrier” was born with the introduction of the Forrestal class. These mammoth aircraft carriers were followed in service by the first nuclear-powered carrier, the USS Enterprise (CVN 65), in 1961. The larger carriers could accommodate a new generation of supersonic fighter, attack, and nuclear strike aircraft. With many new aircraft and squadron types fulfilling an expanding range of missions, the Navy re-designated carrier air groups as “carrier air wings” (CVW) in 1963. The average number of aircraft in the CVWs of the 1960s remained at 70-75. In 1965, a typical Vietnam-era CVW might include: two fighter (VF) squadrons equipped with the Vought F8U Crusader or McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, three attack (VA) squadrons flying the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, Grumman A-6 Intruder or Douglas A-1 Skyraider, one heavy attack (VAH) squadron flying the Douglas A-3 Skywarrior or North American A-5 Vigilante, USS GERALD R. FORD

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one photographic reconnaissance (VFP) or reconnaissance attack (RVAH) squadron flying the RF-8 Crusader or RA-5C Vigilante, an early warning (VAW) squadron detachment flying the Grumman E-1 Tracer, and detachments of Sikorsky SH-3 Sea Kings or Kaman UH-2 Seasprites from a helicopter combat support squadron (HC). Anti-submarine (VS) squadrons began to be equipped with the Lockheed S-3 Viking in 1975. By the early 1970s, CVWs had introduced the LTV A-7 Corsair to VA squadrons, the EKA-3 electronic warfare/airborne tanker version of the Skywarrior and the Grumman EA-6B Prowler in VAQ squadrons, and the new Grumman E-2 Hawkeye in VAW squadrons. Essex-class carriers were adapted as anti-submarine (CVS) carriers with corresponding anti-submarine (CVSG) air groups equipped with two anti-submarine (VS) squadrons operating Grumman S-2 Trackers, one helicopter anti-submarine squadron (HS) flying Sikorsky SH-3As, one early warning (VAW) squadron with four Grumman E-1 Tracers, and a detachment of four A-4 Skyhawks for self-defense. From the late 1960s through the 1970s, a number of air wings were withdrawn from service, including CVWs 4, 10, 12, 16, 19 and 21. Air Wings 4 and 12 were stood up in 1950 as

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View of the forward flight deck of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV 42) in the Mediterranean Sea during her last deployment in February 1977. Visible are various aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 19 (CVW-19): McDonnell F-4N Phantom II fighters from fighter squadrons VF-51 “Screaming Eagles” and VF-111 “Sundowners”; and LTV A-7B Corsair II fighters from attack squadrons VA-153 “Blue Tail Flies,” VA-155 “Silver Foxes,” and VA-215 “Barn Owls.” Along with a variety of aircraft, the 1970s saw a range of colorful markings in the days before low-visibility paint schemes became the rule.

RCVWs, or readiness carrier air wings, to train fleet aviators. These were later superseded by replacement air groups (RAG) and fleet readiness (FRS) squadrons. Two Naval Reserve air wings, CVWR-20 and CVWR-30 were established in 1970. CVWR-30 was withdrawn in 1994, while CVWR-20 was re-designated as a tactical support wing (TSW) in 2007.

1980s-1990s CVWS During the final years of the Cold War and Operation Desert Storm and Operation Deliberate Force, the Navy’s air wings varied in size from 70-plus to 80-plus aircraft as Nimitz-class carriers – the first of class Nimitz (CVN 68) was launched in 1975 – proliferated. USS GERALD R. FORD

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VF squadrons saw Grumman’s F-14 Tomcat replace the F-4 Phantom II, while the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet gradually began to replace the A-6 Intruder and A-7 Corsair, bringing with it a new squadron designation – the strike fighter (VFA) squadron. The A-6, as the KA-6, was tasked with aerial refueling in addition to its attack role, replacing the KA-3 Skywarrior. S-3 Vikings, adapted to the electronic intelligence (ELINT) mission as the ES-3A, began to displace the EA-3 Skywarrior. By 1980, the RA-5C Vigilante was retired. Marine fighter attack squadrons (VMFA) with F-4s or F/A-18s could occasionally substitute for a VF or VFA squadron. In the mid-1980s CVWs might be composed of: two fighter squadrons operating the F-4 Phantom II or F-14 Tomcat or two strike fighter squadrons flying the F/A-18 Hornet, two attack squadrons of A-7E Corsairs or strike fighter squadrons with F/A18s, one all-weather attack squadron with Navy A-6E/KA-6D Intruders or Marine VMA AW A-6Es, one early warning squadron of E-2C Hawkeyes, one electronic warfare squadron with EA-6B Prowlers, one anti-submarine squadron with S-3A Vikings, and one helicopter anti-submarine squadron flying SH-3H Sea Kings. CVW-13 was established in 1984, while CVW-10 was reestablished in 1986, then withdrawn in 1988. Air wings of the 1990s saw a progressive decline in the number of aircraft types included, with the retirement of the

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Carrier Air Wing Fourteen (CVW-14) aircraft from the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) fly in formation above their carrier in the Persian Gulf during a WESTPAC deployment. The squadrons represented are: VF-11 “Red Rippers” and VF-31 “Tomcatters” flying the F-14A Tomcat; VS-35 flying the S-3A Viking; VFA-113 “Stingers” and VFA-25 “Fist of the Fleet” flying the F/A-18C Hornet; VAQ139 “Cougars” in the EA-6B Prowler; VAW-113 “Black Eagles” flying the E-2 Hawkeye; and VA-196 “Main Battery” flying the A-6E Intruder. CVW-14 was deactivated in 2013.

A-7, A-6, KA-6, RF-8G Crusader, and ES-3A Shadow. The overall number of air wings and squadrons declined as well with the withdrawal from service of CVW-13 in 1991, CVW-6 in 1992 and CVW-15 in 1995. As mentioned, CVWR-30 was cut in 1994. A mid-1990s CVW might include: two fighter squadrons of 10-12 F-14 Tomcats, including TARPS photo reconnaissance aircraft, two strike fighter squadrons with 12 F/A-18s, one medium attack squadron flying 10 A-6Es, one early warning squadron with four to six E-2Cs, one anti-submarine squadron with eight S-3As, a VQ detachment with an ES-3A for ELINT “electronic signals intelligence,” a Grumman C-2A carrier onboard delivery detachment, and a helicopter anti-submarine squadron flying either six SH-3H Sea Kings or six new Sikorsky SH-60F and two HH-60H Seahawks.

DOD PHOTO BY LT. MITCHELL

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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST SEAMAN AIYANA S. PASCHAL

Sixteen aircraft in Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1) fly over USS America (CV 66) in 2013.

THE 21st CENTURY CVW With the new century, the U.S. military as a whole and carrier aviation faced further consolidation. Driven by fiscal realities and the desire to limit the number of aircraft types in service, the Navy reduced numbers of aircraft and retired several models. By 2003, when Operation Iraqi Freedom was launched, older models of the F-14 Tomcat were being withdrawn, and by 2006, were retired. The A-6 Intruder had been out of service since 1997, with its air wing organic tanking duties being picked up by the S-3 Viking. The Viking, however, went out of squadron service in 2009. In the interim, Boeing’s new F/A18E/F Super Hornet was introduced in 2001 to replace outgoing F-14 Tomcats and fulfill other roles, including air wing organic refueling. The Tomcat, Hornet, Super Hornet, Viking, Prowler, Hawkeye, and SH-60F/HH-60H Seahawks all served in OIF and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. In 2009, the Boeing EA-18G Growler entered service, beginning the replacement of the EA-6B Prowler in the electronic warfare role. The EA-6B was retired from Navy service in 2015. The U.S. Marine Corps plans to retain its Prowlers until they are replaced by the Lockheed F-35B some time around 2020.

Meanwhile, fleet integration of the Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye began in 2015. The long-awaited Lockheed F-35C has not entered service yet, but is projected to enter air wing service in 2020. CVW-14 was deactivated in 2017, leaving the current nine active CVWs. A snapshot of the CVW in late 2016 can be illustrated with Carrier Air Wing 3, which was deployed to the Persian Gulf aboard USS Eisenhower (CVN 69). CVW-3 was equipped with three strike fighter squadrons flying the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet (VFA-32, VFA-86, VFA-105), one strike fighter squadron (VFA-131) operating the F/A-18C Hornet, one carrier early warning squadron (VAW-123) with the E-2C Hawkeye, one electronic attack squadron (VAQ-130) flying the EA-18G Growler, one helicopter sea combat squadron (HSC-7) flying the MH-60S Knighthawk, and one helicopter maritime strike squadron (HSM-74) flying the MH-60R Seahawk. Detachment 4 from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40) was flying the C-2A Greyhound with CVW-3. CVW-3 aircraft were involved in Operation Inherent Resolve, conducting strikes on targets in Syria and Iraq. USS GERALD R. FORD

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The Postwar Carrier Revolution BY NORMAN FRIEDMAN

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A Grumman S2F-1 Tracker is the first aircraft to be catapulted by steam from the USS Hancock (CVA 19), the first aircraft carrier in the Navy to be fitted with the revolutionary steam catapult.

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Individually we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean. -Ryunosuke Satoro

Fred Meijer

Gerald R. Ford

Lena Meijer

congratulates the Captain, Crew and U.S. Navy on the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford


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USS GERALD R. FORD is the latest beneficiary of a revolution that, in effect, saved carrier aviation from obsolescence in the 1950s. It was proving increasingly difficult to handle jet aircraft that could compete with the new generations of jet fighters and bombers based ashore. Yet a carrier without high-performance jet bombers could not strike valuable targets ashore, hence would not be a valuable offensive weapon. Without effective fighters she could not put up a viable defense against an enemy’s air arm. For the U.S. Navy, the critical issue was offensive. By the early 1950s, the U.S. Navy was arguing effectively that it deserved a place alongside the U.S. Air Force in the most important part of the U.S. arsenal, the nuclear force. Although carriers could not deliver nearly as many nuclear weapons as the air force, they could do so from many more directions. That alone would force the Soviets, the main target, to disperse their air defense. Thus the presence of nuclear-armed carriers in places like the Mediterranean could contribute enormously to the success of air force bombers flying from Western Europe and over the North Pole. To some extent the Air Force could offer similar flexibility using bases in places like North Africa – except that access to those bases was subject to political instability. When the Libyan king was deposed in a coup, the Air Force lost its base in North Africa – but the Sixth Fleet continued to operate in the Mediterranean. This kind of consideration made it vital that the carriers be able to operate heavy jet aircraft. Yet that capability was by no means certain in the late 1940s. At that time the key problem was to launch the bomber in the first place; recovering it back onto the carrier was considered secondary. At the time, carriers used hydraulic catapults. A system of wires and pulleys

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A U.S. Navy Douglas A3D-1 Skywarrior of Heavy Attack Squadron VAH-1 launching from USS Shangri-La (CVA 38). This was the first A3D catapult shot. Without the steam catapult, the Navy would have been unable to have a jetpowered nuclear bomber capability in the form of the Skywarrior.

multiplied the stroke of a hydraulic ram. How much energy they could handle was limited by the tensile strength of the wires involved. Hydraulics was entirely adequate for World War II airplanes weighing much less than 20,000 pounds, which could fly off at speeds well below 100 knots. Jets were always a problem. A propeller creates a stream of fast air over a wing even when the airplane is not moving, so that the airplane feels lift from the outset. Even without a catapult, propeller aircraft could take off after rolling down part of a carrier’s deck. By way of contrast, a jet engine creates thrust (a force pushing the airplane forward) but not air flow over the wing; it takes forward motion to do that. The earliest jets could barely take off if they rolled the full length of the longest carrier decks. Catapults were not merely helpful, as with propeller airplanes, but essential. As jet weight and stall speed increased, the Navy ran into the limits set by the wires used in hydraulic catapults. In 1945 the Bureau of Aeronautics began work on a new generation of much more powerful catapults. Instead of being powered indirectly, as in a hydraulic catapult, they would use some source of power to drive a piston down a cylinder. The airplane would be attached to the piston. After briefly considering alternative sources of power, the bureau fastened on explosives: the new catapult would be a kind of gun. Given the expectation that a new generation of catapults would soon be available, BuAer ordered a new generation of heavy nuclear bombers for the new USS GERALD R. FORD

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carrier then planned (USS United States). A variety of exotic designs was offered, but in the end the Bureau chose a twinengine jet, which became the very successful A3D (later A-3) Skywarrior. After a vicious interservice fight, the new carrier was cancelled, but the A3D survived because in theory existing carriers could operate it – if they were fitted with the new catapults. That was the rub. As the A3D reached the prototype stage, the gun-catapult did not. Without it, the A3D could not operate from a carrier and the Navy could not take its desired (and valuable) place in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Fortunately another navy was also attacking the catapult problem: the Royal Navy. British priorities were very different from those of the U.S. Navy; the Royal Navy was concerned more with protecting convoys around Europe from Soviet naval air attack. This was largely the legacy of experience fighting convoys through to Murmansk in the face of German torpedo bombers. Too, the Royal Air Force successfully barred the Royal Navy from any strategic nuclear role. Much more importantly, partly because its carriers were significantly smaller than those of the U.S. Navy, the Royal Navy needed a new-generation catapult if it was to operate the jet fighters it saw as its own hope for the future. The British had taken a different approach to the catapult problem. A British engineer, Cmdr. C.C. Mitchell, had been impressed by the way in which the Germans used steam to propel the catapult that launched their wartime V-1 missile. He designed a carrier catapult that was fed by steam from the ship’s boilers. The U.S. Navy’s Bureau of Aeronautics had considered and rejected steam as a power source. As the gun-catapult project stalled, the U.S. Navy’s Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Aviation ordered the Navy to test the British catapult. The Royal

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Navy made its prototype, on board the maintenance carrier HMS Perseus, available. The steam catapult solved the A3D problem and propelled the U.S. Navy into the jet age. In effect two hundred feet of steam catapult was equivalent to thousands of feet of runway ashore; the Navy could operate fighters and medium bombers every bit as powerful as those flying from land bases. Conversely, without the steam catapult, the U.S. Navy and other modern navies would have been crippled. Much later, very high-powered fighters were able to take off from ski-jumps aboard carriers, prominent examples being the Russian Kuznetzov and the Chinese Liaoning. Other carriers with ski-jumps operate vertical takeoff fighters. In both cases payload is limited by the absence of a steam catapult. With the Gerald R. Ford, the U.S. Navy is trying an alternative electromagnetic catapult, the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, or EMALS. It says a great deal for Mitchell that no other high-powered catapult has been perfected in the more than sixty years since the U.S. Navy met his steam catapult. The Bureau of Aeronautics gun catapult was never completed, nor was a proposed alternative internal-combustion version. The steam catapult made it possible to launch an airplane from a carrier, but the same airplane still had to land back on. In the 1940s the U.S. Navy (Bureau of Aeronautics) view was that the problem was simply to provide arrester gear capable of absorbing more energy. However, landing a jet airplane on a carrier was a more difficult proposition. Before jets, a pilot approaching the carrier watched a landing signal officer (LSO) signal whether his approach was good. Once he was “in the slot,” the LSO could signal him to cut his engine, and thus to stall into the deck. For

NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND

An F2H-2 Banshee making a carrier landing aboard USS Oriskany (CVA 34) in 1955 illustrates the dangers of operating jets aboard straight deck aircraft carriers. The only safety feature should the Banshee fail to trap is the barrier rigged across the deck, but if the Banshee bounces above the barrier, or the barrier fails, it will crash into the aircraft arrayed in the deck park forward. It is an all or nothing commitment to landing.


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jets, this procedure was dangerous for two different reasons. One was that a jet engine responded far more sluggishly to commands. The engine worked using the heat it generated, and cutting the throttle did not suddenly cool the engine or cut the stream of hot air and gas emerging from it. A second was that streamlined jets approached a carrier far faster than their piston predecessors. A pilot and LSO set up a cycle of observation and response, and in the case of a pistonengine airplane there was just enough time for the pilot to respond effectively. Again, the British seem to have had more interest in the problem. Their carriers were smaller, and for various reasons they had less experience with LSOs (before World War II, their pilots landed without them). They became interested in reviving pilot-controlled landing for jets. To do that the pilot needed some direct indication of whether he was on the glide path. At Farnborough, Lt. Cmdr. Nick Goodhart realized that a combination of a mirror and indicating lights could do just that. By 1952 Farnborough was experimenting with pilot-controlled carrier landing. At the time, the U.S. Navy was not particularly interested.

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The solution. A Douglas F4D-1 Skyray of fighter squadron VF-13 Night Cappers approaching the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Essex (CVA 9) in 1959. The angled deck allows the aircraft to add power and go around if the approach is too high or too low, or if the hook fails to engage a wire, all while on a trajectory that avoids the deck park of aircraft forward.

During this period the British, who had built the first Western jet aircraft, were interested in exotic jet configurations. For example, unlike a propeller airplane, a jet could land on its belly, saving the weight of landing gear. Inspired by the German Me 163 rocket fighter, which landed on a skid, Farnborough investigated the possibility of covering a carrier flight deck with a flexible rubber mat. Through the mid-1950s work on such flexible decks continued, and for a time the U.S. Navy was also interested. Ultimately the flexible deck was a dead end – but before it died it led to something vitally important: the angled deck. At a 1951 conference on the configuration of HMS Ark Royal, then nearing completion, her prospective commanding officer Capt. D.R.F. Cambell (at that time Director of Naval Aircraft Development and Production) asked whether the proposed flexible deck could be angled to one side. In that case an airplane landing on it could quickly be taken off so that another could quickly land. His next step was to ask whether a conventional carrier landing deck could (or should) be angled to one side. Cambell was aware of Farnborough work on pilot-controlled landing, and he asked whether it should be introduced in connection with the angled deck. Cambell later wrote that he had conceived the angled deck even before the crucial meeting. He was concerned that it might be difficult to recover the new Scimitar fighter-bomber on short British carriers, which did not have enough flight deck length for it to decelerate properly. At this time standard procedure in both the U.S. Navy and the Royal Navy was to park airplanes at the bow after they landed. They were protected from further airplanes landing on board by a wire (later nylon) barrier. In practice landing airplanes sometimes jumped (bolted) the barrier to crash into the airplanes parked forward, often with disastrous results. It seemed likely that the faster the landing airplanes, the greater the possibility of bolters and crashes. Angling the landing deck would end this problem, because the landing airplane would never be headed into the airplanes parked forward. If he had to, a pilot could simply apply more power and keep flying, turning around USS GERALD R. FORD

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for another attempt. As an incidental benefit, the angled deck ended the question of whether the pilot could or should cut power during an approach: he should not, because he might have to go around again. U.S. Navy adoption of the British steam catapult in the teeth of opposition by the Bureau of Aeronautics made for interest in other British innovations. Thus U.S. officers attended British discussions of the angled deck well before the British could apply their idea to their own new carriers (they did paint an angled deck on the trials carrier Illustrious to see whether pilots could land at an angle to the ship’s course). The angled deck was considered so promising that it was almost immediately tested on board the U.S. carrier Antietam. For the U.S. Navy, the angled deck could solve another problem. When it contemplated very large jet aircraft, the U.S. Navy

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decided to make the open part of the flight deck as wide as possible. The huge abortive carrier United States was to have had a flush flight deck and a retractable island. There would be only limited space for radars, so plans called for a separate ship (sometimes called a “pilot fish”) to accommodate both long-range radar and fighter control in a carrier task force. The prototype was the converted cruiser Northampton. After the Korean War broke out and funding became available, the Navy ordered another large carrier, a slightly scaleddown United States called USS Forrestal. She too would have had a flush deck, and she too was paralleled by a “pilot fish,” in this case a projected conversion of the incomplete large cruiser Hawaii. A major irony of both the United States and Forrestal designs was that both featured massive sponsons projecting from their straight flight decks. These sponsons could easily have been parts of angled decks, but that was not the intent. Rather, the idea was that they could support additional catapults. Using them, the carrier could launch bombers and fighters simultaneously.

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A Grumman F9F-8 Cougar from Fighter Squadron 91 (VF-91) “Red Lightnings” hits the crash barrier aboard the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Kearsarge (CVA 33), in 1956. The barriers that had been so successful in arresting errant propeller-driven aircraft had to be modified to safely catch the smooth, pointed, propellerless shapes of the new jets.

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Congratulations to the Captain & Crew!

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation


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ABOVE: A Douglas AD-6 (later A-1H) Skyraider of attack squadron VA-152 “Friendlies” on the starboard elevator on board the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CVA 43) off Hawaii, Dec. 20, 1961. Note the landing mirror in the background pointed aft. U.S. carriers originally operated two landing mirrors on both sides of the flight deck.

U.S. NAVY NAVAL AVIATION NEWS

LEFT: The mirror landing system is seen here on the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Randolph (CVA 15) in 1956-57. In the early iterations of the system, an actual mirror was used, reflecting the image of the approaching aircraft. The later Fresnel lens system substituted lights for the mirror.

Once the Antietam tests succeeded, the Forrestal was rapidly redesigned. An angled landing deck would carry even a large approaching bomber well clear of the usual island position on the starboard side of the ship. Given a conventional island, the ship could accommodate the radars needed to control her fighters. The elaborate and expensive “pilot fish” was no longer needed. The Hawaii conversion was cancelled. All later U.S. carriers have angled decks. The main change from the Forrestal is that the island has been moved aft, farthest so in

the Gerald R. Ford. The farther aft the island, the more space is available alongside the angled deck for parking larger and larger aircraft and, as importantly, for servicing them between flights. As Cambell suspected, the angled deck made it almost mandatory to operate jets at full power when landing, and that further complicated the task of an LSO. Although Goodhart’s mirror landing sight was conceived independently of Cambell’s angled deck, the two innovations fit together extremely well. A U.S. Navy receptive to British ideas quickly adopted the mirror landing sight. The main difference since has been to replace the mirror with a Fresnel lens. The landing sight is mounted alongside the landing path, stabilized so that the approaching pilot clearly sees whether he is on the appropriate approach path. The steam catapult made it possible to operate high-performance jets from carriers. The proof that carrier aircraft were fully competitive with those ashore was the F-4 Phantom: the U.S. Air Force felt compelled to adopt it as the best fighter of its time. Without the steam catapult, there could not have been a Phantom. Without the angled deck and the mirror (later Fresnel lens) landing sight, it could not have been operated on board carriers, because it would have suffered an unacceptable accident rate. USS GERALD R. FORD

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Congratulations on the commissioning of the USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78). May today’s success be the beginning of tomorrow’s achievements.

BUILDING FOR THE 21ST CENTURY AND BEYOND

www.triangle-inc.com


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These innovations have provided carriers with the flexibility that has made them worthwhile. In the 1950s, the U.S. Navy was interested mainly in maintaining its ability to deliver nuclear strikes despite improving Soviet air defenses. It retained a carrier nuclear strike role even after strategic missile submarines took over much of the strategic nuclear mission. It turned out, moreover, that the efforts made to accommodate heavy nuclear bombers on board carriers made it possible for the same carriers to operate heavy fighters and conventional bombers like the Grumman A-6 Intruder and the LTV A-7 Corsair II. Without the big fighters and bombers, carriers would have been unable to participate in the Vietnam War air attacks on North Vietnam. During the latter part of the Cold War, the carrier’s ability to operate heavily laden A-6s with nuclear weapons was a key element of the Maritime Strategy. At that time Soviet shore-based bombers were the greatest threat to NATO shipping in the North Atlantic. NATO escorts were unable to destroy the bombers, which had long-range stand-off weapons. U.S. strategists knew that the

ABOVE: A U.S. Navy McDonnell F-4N Phantom II fighter from Fighter Squadron VF-111 “Sundowners” being catapulted from the aircraft carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV 42) in February 1977. The angled deck, steam catapult, and optical landing system made it possible for the U.S. Navy to operate the big Phantom, which had such superlative performance that it was also adopted by the U.S. Air Force.

Soviets were obsessed with U.S. naval nuclear weapons: attacking U.S. carriers would be their first naval priority in a major war. The carriers became traps for the Soviet Badger and Backfire bombers, largely because the capability developed in the 1950s to handle the A3D made it possible for them to operate big F-14 Tomcat fighters, which could destroy the Soviet bombers. That the carriers had A-6 bombers with nuclear capability on board made them the targets the Soviets had to hit. A quarter century later the same innovations that were so important during the Cold War make it possible for U.S. carriers to operate a new generation of heavy aircraft such as the F-35 Lightning II.

LEFT: Next generation. A VF-211 F-14B Tomcat aircraft banks into a turn during a flight out of Naval Air Station Miramar, California. The aircraft is carrying six AIM-54 Phoenix missiles. The big, heavy interceptor with long-range missiles and a powerful radar that was needed to defend the carrier battle group during the Cold War would not have been possible to operate from U.S. Navy aircraft carriers without postwar aircraft carrier innovations.

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TAKING THE NAVY TO NEW HEIGHTS As developers of technology used in the launch system aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), we’re proud to celebrate this historic event with the U.S. Navy. From 1999 to 2009, the Center for Electromechanics at The University of Texas at Austin partnered with General Atomics on a successful quest by the U.S. Navy to replace its steam-powered aircraft launch systems with modern, efficient technology. The result was the revolutionary new Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System — a multi-megawatt electric power system designed to catapult aircraft with better control, improved reliability and increased operational availability.


T H E

The Sea Control Ship

U.S. NAVY

BY JOHN D. GRESHAM

THE HISTORY OF THE U.S. Navy is replete with ships that were not built, finished, or commissioned. One only need remember that the great carriers USS Lexington (CV 2) and Saratoga (CV 3) were built on the hulls of two uncompleted battlecruisers that were outlawed as a result of the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty. A more modern example is that of the so-called “Sea Control Ship” (SCS) of the 1970s. Designed to provide many of the same kinds of services as the escort carriers (CVEs) of World War II, they fell victim to bureaucratic infighting and the double-digit inflation of the times. Nevertheless, the SCS story has an intriguing ending and legacy in the context of today’s navies. The early 1970s were a time of great challenges, turbulence, and confusion for the Navy. As America began to wind down its involvement in the wars of Southeast Asia, there were also requirements to “pivot” to deal with the emergence of a growing “blue water” fleet by the Soviet Union, along with several other

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An artist’s conception of the final Sea Control Ship (SCS) design. Spain’s Principe de Asturias and Thailand’s Chakri Naruebet became very close variations on the SCS theme.

challenges confronting the Navy. These included the block obsolescence of a large portion of the U.S. fleet built during World War II, and especially the modified Essex-class carriers that formed the bulk of the carrier fleet. The man chosen to lead the Navy through these transitions was the youngest Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) ever picked to serve up to that point: Adm. Elmo “Bud” Zumwalt. Zumwalt was an extraordinary officer for his day, a surface warfare officer with combat experience dating back to World War II who also possessed an intellect rarely matched in Navy history. And while many of his personnel policies grated against the “deck plate” Navy, his work toward the interests of sailors has figured immeasurably in the character and shape of the fleet today. However, it is perhaps his work and vision in the matter of shipbuilding in which his greatest influence on today’s Navy is felt. Throughout the 1960s, Zumwalt had written about and been a supporter of what he called the “Hi-Low” mix of shipbuilding. By this, he meant building the future U.S. Navy fleet with two separate streams of shipbuilding, each focusing on a different sets of Navy roles and missions. The “high-end” ships, such as the Nimitz-class (CVN 68) nuclear supercarriers, Los Angeles-class (SSN 688) nuclear attack submarines, Tarawaclass (LHA 1) amphibious assault ships, and Spruance-class (DD 963) destroyers, were designed to project power forward and engage the Soviet fleet if required. The “low-end” ships, however, proved to be a real challenge. Designed to provide escorts for convoys during wartime, these ships would also provide “mass” to the U.S. fleet in the decades ahead. But in the early 1970s, this meant replacing several USS GERALD R. FORD

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congratulations USS GERALD FORD CVN 78

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Godspeed to the men & women of the

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).

Bellflower, CA

Norfolk, VA www.dantevalve.com


U.S. NAVY NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NAVAL AVIATION

A U.S. Marine Corps AV-8A Harrier hovering over the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Guam (LPH-9) during interim Sea Control Ship (SCS) tests in the Atlantic Ocean in January 1972. Guam was the test bed for the first operational exercise of the SCS concept with HS-15 SH-3 Sea King and VMA-513 AV-8A Harrier aircraft. HS-15, the first SCS helicopter squadron, had formed at Naval Air Station Lakehurst in October 1971. At-sea tests commenced in January 1972. The operations were significant in near-term concept development of small carrier applications in limited combat environments and in future changes in U.S. Navy force structure related to Anti Submarine Warfare Sea Control employment and operation of helicopters, notably the Sikorsky H-60 Seahawk series.

hundred warships built during World War II. These included nine carriers of the Essex class (CV 9) modified in the years after the war to be used as antisubmarine warfare (ASW) platforms (called CVSs), along with destroyers given Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) upgrades. Given the double-digit inflation of that period, and the declining defense budget that followed Vietnam, clearly a one-for-one replacement program was completely impractical. What resulted from this difficult requirement were several intriguing classes of warships, along with a number of supporting aircraft and electronic systems. The best known of these were the Oliver Hazard Perry-class (FFG 7) guided-missile frigates, of which 51 were built for U.S. service, along with 20 more for assorted allied nations. Though considered lightly armed by the standards of the day, the FFG 7s were extremely effective ASW escorts thanks to their towed sonar array and an oversized hangar and flight deck able to carry a pair of the new SH-60B Seahawk helicopters. A big part of what made them such good ASW ships was the inclusion of the Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS), which took data obtained from the SH-60B’s airborne sensors and sonar buoys, transmitted back to the ship via a secure datalink for processing, to help guide the helicopters to their targets. LAMPS was eventually deployed on three other classes of U.S. warships: the Ticonderoga-class (CG 47) guided-missile cruisers, the Kiddclass guided-missile destroyers, and the Spruance-class ASW destroyers. Along with the 46 frigates of the Knox-class (FF 1052) – originally typed as destroyer escorts (DEs)), this gave the Navy about 100 “low-mix” escorts if World War III ever broke out. Unfortunately, replacing the World War II-era CVEs and CVSs turned out to be a significantly greater problem. Initially, the Navy developed a requirement for what was called the “Sea Control Ship” (SCS), which would have two primary missions: • Intercepting and destroying Soviet maritime patrol and targeting aircraft, like the Il-38 May and Tu-95 Bear-D. • Prosecuting and sinking Soviet submarines, using targeting data delivered from the ocean floor SOSUS (SOund SUrveillance System), along with land-based sensor systems, other warships, and allied maritime patrol aircraft. Navy renderings of the final design for the SCS show a small aircraft carrier with a full-length, straight flight deck with two elevators, a hangar deck, and a large island structure on the starboard side. Some of the details of the production SCS (a total of eight were planned) would have included:

• Displacement: Approximately 17,000 tons • Length: Approximately 670 feet. • Propulsion: Two GE LM2500 gas turbines • Speed: 26 knots • Range: 7,500 nautical miles at 20 knots • Crew: Approximately 80 officers and 625 enlisted • Armament: Two Mk. 15 Phalanx CIWS The SCS complement of aircraft would have included up to five AV-8 Harrier-type (STOVL) fighter-bombers, 11 ASW helicopters, three Airborne Early Warning (AEW) helicopters, and probably two to three SH–2F Seasprite utility helicopters for plane guard duty. It clearly reflects the Cold War missions for which the SCS was designed, although the real-world operations by SCS-type vessels built by other nations eventually showed the value of a greater complement of STOVL aircraft with fewer helicopters. In 1972, the helicopter assault carrier USS Guam (LPH 9) was assigned to act as a surrogate SCS for tests that ran through June 1974. A notional SCS air group was embarked, including six U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) AV-8A Harriers, along with a mix of Navy helicopters, and the Guam operated in the Atlantic trying out SCS operations and tactics. These were successful enough that in 1973, the Navy issued study/design contracts to a pair of shipyards, and allocated long lead SCS funds into the fiscal year 1974 (FY 74) defense budget. Sadly however, this was as close as the Navy ever came to building SCSs for operational use. In 1974, Zumwalt retired, and with him went the support for low-end ships like the SCS. His successor, Adm. James USS GERALD R. FORD

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Near sisters Príncipe de Asturias (R11, left) and Chakri Naruebet (911), were based very closely on the Sea Control Ship design. While other nations did not hew as closely to the actual design, the concept of a small aircraft carrier operating helicopters and STOVL aircraft has caught on around the globe.

Holloway, was a career naval aviator who, while initially supportive of STOVL aircraft in Navy service, made killing the SCS and other low-end shipbuilding programs a priority during his tenure as CNO. In addition, the Navy’s powerful and mercurial Director of Naval Reactors Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, had long opposed the SCS due to its lack of a nuclear propulsion plant. In the end, much of the support for killing SCS probably came from an internal Navy desire to protect production of the Nimitz-class supercarriers, which themselves were experiencing vast cost overruns during the days of 1970s hyperinflation. Given the estimated cost growth of SCS to more than $130 million in 1973 dollars, Holloway had little trouble killing the program. And that might have been it for the SCS concept, except that a funny thing happened on the way to the final decade of the Cold War: Navies across the globe could not afford to buy or replace full-size fleet aircraft carriers and their air components. As a result, navies on a budget took another look at the SCS concept, and no less than five of them actually built ships of that type. The first were the four 42,000 to 45,000-ton Soviet Project 1143/Kiev-class “aviation cruisers,” which had much in common with both the SCS and another abandoned U.S. Navy concept ship, the strike cruiser. Carrying a huge missile armament for their day, the air component for the Kievs was built around Yak-38 Forger STOVL strike fighters, along with an assortment of Ka-25 Hormone and Ka-27/29 Helix helicopter variants. While the Soviet Union was using the Kievs as a first step into sea-based aviation, navies in the West were looking

at SCS-type vessels as a means of holding on to the ability to take high-performance aircraft to sea. The Royal Navy, unable to replace the old Ark Royal (R09), built the three 22,000-ton Invincible-class “through deck cruisers,” equipped with a new Harrier variant, the Sea Harrier FRS.1, along with Sea King HAS.2 ASW helicopters. Spain actually bought the SCS plans from the United States, and built a near clone, the 15,900-ton Príncipe de Asturias (R11), as well as the smaller 11,500-ton HTMS Chakri Naruebet for the Thai navy, with variants of the USMC AV-8A and later second-generation AV-8B Harrier IIs providing the STOVL punch. Finally, Italy built perhaps the best armed, equipped, and capable SCS-type vessel of all, the 11,500ton Giuseppe Garibaldi (551 – also operating AV-8B Harrier IIs). The four western designs were greatly enhanced by a British innovation, the “ski jump,” which helped expand range and payload for STOVL aircraft. The Marine Corps has operated Harriers from amphibious assault ships (LHAs and LHDs) for decades. A second generation of air-capable multirole ships more akin to landing ship docks followed, including Italy’s Cavour, Spain’s Juan Carlos I and two near sisters, Canberra and Adelaide, built for Australia. Both Cavour and Juan Carlos I embrace the sea control mission along with amphibious assault capabilities. Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy has built two America-class LHAs with well-decks deleted. Along with Japan’s two classes of helicopter destroyers and the Republic of Korea’s Dokdo, it seems the concept of a small carrier capable of operating helicopters and STOVL fighter-bombers is alive and well. USS GERALD R. FORD

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Underway on Nuclear Power IT HAS BEEN A LITTLE OVER HALF A CENTURY SINCE THE FIRST NUCLEAR-POWERED WARSHIP, the submarine USS Nautilus, signaled that she was under way on nuclear power in 1955. Carriers like Gerald R. Ford are among the main beneficiaries of the naval revolution she represented. Nuclear power can drive such a ship at full speed for years on end. It provides the sort of electric power needed for modern electronics and, in the next carrier generation, for new devices like electric catapults and, possibly, lasers and railguns for selfdefense. As a side benefit, a nuclear carrier does not suffer from the sort of smoke corrosion that used to destroy carrier radars and other electronics, not to mention carrier aircraft themselves. The U.S. Navy’s journey to nuclear power began in 1946, when two scientists at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) pointed out that a submarine so powered would have unlimited underwater endurance at high speed. There was intense interest in high underwater speed because the Germans had pioneered it during World War II. The batteries which then powered submarines offered about an hour or less of endurance at maximum speed. The Germans had partly developed a closed-cycle Walter power plant that promised 10 hours at high speed. Nothing more seemed possible because a submerged submarine had no access to air for her diesel engine. The Germans had pioneered the snorkel, through which the diesel could breathe when the submarine was at periscope depth, but a submarine could not operate at maximum speed when snorkeling, and no submariner wanted to be limited to periscope depth. At that time the only reactors in the world were used to make plutonium for atomic bombs. It was widely expected that atomic reactors would soon produce plentiful electric power, but that was a dream rather than a reality. Much of the enormous industrial team assembled to build the wartime atomic bombs (and the plutonium-making reactors) had dispersed, and the wartime bomb program run down to the point where, in 1946, the United States had no usable atomic weapons at all. Submariners were interested in new kinds of propulsion, but that generally meant various forms of closed-cycle engines, like the semi-developed German Walter plant. Surely it would be decades before nuclear power reached any sort of potential. The Bureau of Ships formed a small nuclear propulsion team, headed by Capt. Hyman Rickover.

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BY NORMAN FRIEDMAN


The nuclear-powered Task Force One underway on a world cruise known as Operation Sea Orbit, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the original cruise by USS Enterprise (CVN 65), USS Long Beach (CGN 9), and USS Bainbridge (CGN 25). They were the first three nuclearpowered surface ships in the U.S. Navy, and all of them the only ship of their class. In this anniversary cruise, Enterprise was accompanied by the guided missile cruisers USS Truxtun (CGN 35) (right) and USS Arkansas (CGN 41) (left).


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Rickover sponsored studies of various alternative power reactors from which heat might be extracted in the form of hot water or molten metal or gas. Rickover’s decisive contribution was to realize as early as 1948 that he knew enough to build a prototype power plant. That was very courageous. Money was tight, and further studies might easily have uncovered some unsuspected problem. Indeed, Rickover initially bet on liquid metal, and only later switched his main focus to water. However, his decision led to the construction of a prototype plant. Rickover further accelerated development by deciding that the landbased prototype would be matched by the prototype planned for installation in the first nuclear submarine. Changes to the prototype to solve problems as they were encountered would be duplicated in the submarine reactor. By 1950, the Bureau of Ships was designing the prototype submarine. Rickover contributed further by demanding that it be armed, as a combatant, rather than limited to power plant tests. There was already interest in arming such a submarine with guided missiles, but Rickover wanted to separate the test of the power plant from the tests of such new weapons. Rickover’s program was viable despite tight defense funds because major companies like Westinghouse and General Electric saw it as an opening into a potentially huge civilian power market. In 1948, Rickover attended a Submarine Officers’ Conference in Washington that discussed progress in the new power plants. Captains in charge of various programs complained that companies would not assign their best engineers, because it seemed unlikely that the Navy would ever build many such plants, and because they had no civilian applications. Then Rickover spoke. He had no such problems. The companies were building the necessary laboratories at their own expense. They were pushing their best people into the nuclear program. It turned out that his plant was ready years before any of the others – and it was inherently far superior, because the closed-cycle plants offered only a few hours underwater at high speed. Even in 1952, he offered weeks, and that soon extended to months and then years before a submarine had to be refueled. Rickover was interested in the potential of nuclear power throughout the Navy. His whole career had been built in naval propulsion machinery, and he had witnessed several major U.S. advances, leading up to the remarkably efficient and reliable high-pressure high-temperature power plants of World War II. Their technology had given the wartime Navy unprecedented mobility. One lesson was that new power plant technology had to be spread across the fleet if it was to offer its full potential. For example, a nuclear fleet would gain high-speed mobility, which would protect it from submarine attack (in a pre-nuclear submarine era). It would not be tied to tankers, which themselves might be attacked by an enemy. Once he felt he understood nuclear engineering, he proposed design of a range of larger and smaller plants. The smaller ones might be used to build less expensive submarines. The largest were clearly intended for carriers and cruisers. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Robert Carney approved Rickover’s program in 1954, before the prototype Nautilus went to sea. The high end of the series of reactors

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President Gerald R. Ford with Adm. Hyman Rickover at the White House. The second nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Nimitz (CVN 68), was commissioned during the Ford administration.

offered 30,000 horsepower, twice what the Nautilus plant put out. The new Forrestal-class carriers required 280,000, so eight of the high-end reactors could power a carrier, particularly if their power could be boosted slightly. Preliminary design work on a nuclear carrier began in 1955; USS Enterprise (CVN 65) was included in the FY 58 program, for the year beginning July 1, 1957. She was a spectacular achievement, but she was also spectacularly expensive to build and to maintain. Each of her eight reactors required its own operators, for example. The hull large enough to accommodate this power plant was far more massive than that of a pre-nuclear carrier. Rickover argued vigorously that all future carriers should be nuclear, but the sheer cost of the new ship was a deterrent. After one more (non-nuclear) carrier, construction of new carriers paused for a few years (it had been running one per year) when money was diverted to the crash program to build Polaris strategic submarines – another type of warship that Rickover’s new kind of propulsion had made practicable. Meanwhile Rickover’s Naval Nuclear Reactor organization strove to simplify carrier power plants. It realized that the key was cutting the number of reactors. It proved possible almost to double reactor power, so that a carrier could be built with four rather than eight, albeit with less power than Enterprise. This ship was not built. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara argued that it would still be so much more expensive than a conventional carrier as not to be worthwhile. Rickover and other nuclear supporters argued that this was an illusion. The nuclear carrier would USS GERALD R. FORD

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be far less vulnerable, thanks to her sustained speed, she would need far less tanker support (she would still need fuel for her aircraft), and she would be easier to maintain. McNamara’s decision was embodied in USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), the last U.S. non-nuclear carrier. Echoes of McNamara’s arguments could still be heard in the 1980s, in attempts to eliminate nuclear power so as to cut carrier cost. The issue was generally the purchase cost of the carrier as compared with the cost of operating her over her lifetime. At the time it was probably not imagined that the U.S. Navy would typically operate carriers for as long as fifty years, far beyond the operating lifetimes of earlier kinds of warships. That was possible partly because the sheer size of these ships limits the stress imposed by the sea. Compared to a steam plant, a nuclear plant requires a larger cadre of more skilled operators. Rickover was acutely aware that any nuclear accident would kill nuclear power for the U.S. Navy, so he insisted on high (some would say extravagantly severe) standards for those operating the plants and commanding the

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Two U.S. Navy LTV A-7E Corsairs from attack squadron VA-82 “Marauders” flying past the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in 1979. The Nimitz improved upon the design for the Enterprise, and was the first of a class of very successful nuclear-powered carriers that comprise the core of American naval power. VA-82 was assigned to Carrier Air Wing 8 (CVW-8) for a deployment aboard the Nimitz to the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean.

ships they powered. Experience suggested that for a small ship, a cruiser or a large destroyer, nuclear power entailed too high a cost in personnel. That cost was well worth paying in a submarine. A carrier and her air wing require so many highly skilled personnel that the additional cost of a nuclear power plant was bearable. If, as advocates of energy independence and conservation suggest, nuclear power will have a larger role in the future, the naval nuclear program will provide most of the new reactor operators needed. The Navy will have to compete with a livelier civilian sector, and the cost of nuclear personnel will undoubtedly rise. So, perhaps, will the cost of reactors, if the companies making them have a larger civilian role. Even in the 1950s operators were seen as a major nuclear expense, because they required so much specialized training. USS GERALD R. FORD

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Thus Naval Reactors continued to develop larger reactors that would need fewer operators. By the 1960s the U.S. Navy had not only a nuclear cruiser (Long Beach) but even a large nuclear destroyer (Bainbridge, later redesignated a cruiser). Each had two reactors. The U.S. Navy was then planning a class of Typhon missile destroyers with huge radars, which, it seemed, would need nuclear power to drive them. Naval Reactors developed a single reactor that could replace the usual pair of destroyer reactors. It never entered service, but the lessons learned made it possible for Naval Reactors to double power again (and then some) into a reactor, two of which could power

a carrier. This new reactor was available when Secretary McNamara left office (1967) and the design of another new carrier began – USS Nimitz (CVN 68). This was remarkable progress. It was little more than a decade since Rickover had received authority to develop his range of reactors. Now his organization was offering one about four times as powerful – not to mention much more fuel-efficient. Enterprise was difficult to maintain because her eight reactors were closely coupled together. Like any other nuclear ship, she had to be opened up periodically so that the reactors could be refueled. In a carrier the power plant is buried deep in the ship, beneath the flight and USS GERALD R. FORD

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The U.S. Navy nuclear-powered guided-missile cruiser USS Long Beach (CGN 9). Shown here in the 1960s, Long Beach was the first nuclear-powered surface combatant. The cruiser’s distinctive boxy superstructure housed its SCANFAR phased array radar system, also employed on Enterprise. The lessons learned from SCANFAR helped make the Aegis phased array radar system possible decades later, but nuclear power for surface combatants was abandoned.

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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS JAMES R. EVANS

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hangar decks. These decks have to be cut open to give access to the reactors; there is no way to get at the vertical fuel rods from the side. That is why other modifications to a carrier are generally held back until refueling time. Alternatively, it might be said that much of the cost of operating a nuclear ship is spent when she is refueled. Eight closely coupled reactors required a huge refueling hole and an enormous amount of special piping. Moreover, concentrating a ship’s power plant in one place makes her vulnerable to a single underwater hit. Since before World War II, U.S. design practice had been to split power plants so that no single hit amidships could immobilize a ship. Enterprise violated that requirement because of the need to concentrate those eight reactors (they shared important auxiliary machinery). With their single funnels, conventional carriers did suffer from some concentration, but they still had dispersed power plants. Since they needed no funnels, reactor plants could, at least in theory, be spread out more widely than their conventional predecessors, giving their ships better survivability. Nimitz embodied that potential. Each of her two quite separate reactors drives a pair of steam turbines. Physically separating the reactors made it possible to disperse other vital parts of the ship, such as magazines. The split power plant is less vulnerable to

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The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) pulls away from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) after taking on fuel in heavy seas during a refueling at sea. Because their escorts are fueled by the same jet fuel used to power their air wings, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers can replenish their own escorts.

attack or to other damage. It is also much easier to open up the ship to refuel two widely separated reactors. Since Nimitz, Naval Reactors has sought to lengthen the interval between fuelings, because that cuts the cost of running a nuclear ship. This is a matter of the design of the reactor’s nuclear core (new cores are designed to fit existing reactors, so in effect all nuclear carriers are upgraded over time). A reactor does not simply run out of fuel; when it is shut down there is still a good deal of burnable uranium in the fuel rods. Instead, as the fuel is used, byproducts such as xenon form in the rods. Xenon in particular can poison the reactor, because it absorbs the neutrons that drive the chain reaction powering it. Changes in core design make it possible to run longer before the rods must be removed and the material inside purged of xenon. Once enough xenon has been formed, the reactor has to shut down. The xenon poisoning problem recalls the very old problem of ships burning coal: periodically they had to turn down their boilers so that the ashes choking them could be removed. The difference is that xenon cannot simply be sloughed off and the reactor restarted. USS GERALD R. FORD

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U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 1ST CLASS ALAN GRAGG

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It has to be chemically extracted from fuel rods along with other byproducts of nuclear fission (new rods are inserted into the reactor at refueling time). The time scale is of course far longer now. The goal is a core that lasts the life of the ship, so that she is never refueled. That is being done for submarines. Current cores last 20 to 25 years, limiting a carrier to one refueling during her career. USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) was originally to have had a full-life (50-year) core, but that has apparently proven impractical. Her reactors are about a quarter more powerful than those of her predecessor USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), because she requires far more electric power than her predecessor. Rickover envisaged an all-nuclear task force with unlimited endurance. For a time, in the 1970s, there was a legal requirement that all U.S. combatants of over 8,000 tons be nuclearpowered, unless the president specifically waived that condition. The U.S. Navy built several large nuclear destroyers (later designated cruisers), but found them unsatisfactory. In contrast to a carrier, the nuclear power plant was too great a fraction of their building and operating cost. They proved cramped, and they

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Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) sailors prepare to refuel an F-35C Lightning II carrier variant on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) during initial qualifications for the “Grim Reapers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, the Navy’s F-35C Fleet replacement squadron. Since a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier requires no jet fuel for propulsion, it can devote all of the fuel in its bunkers to its air wing and escorts.

lacked anti-submarine capability (they were too noisy, because it would have been too expensive to silence their power plants). Moreover, a carrier battle group cannot be completely independent of tankers. Naval aviation is a very demanding profession. Even when a carrier is not fighting, her pilots must keep flying to maintain their proficiency. The carrier must take on aviation fuel periodically. Her gas turbine powered escorts burn the same fuel, so it is not so very difficult for the carrier to fuel them periodically. The carrier herself benefits hugely from her nuclear power plant. It turns out that carriers need layers of liquids in their sides as torpedo protection; in non-nuclear days they carried the ship’s fuel oil. Eliminating the need for the carrier’s own fuel left the layers of fuel for her aircraft (which gained more flying days between refueling) and for the escorts. This compromise has proven quite successful. USS GERALD R. FORD

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The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and Izumo-class helicopter destroyer JS Izumo (DDH 183) steam together during a combined Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and U.S. Navy exercise June 13-15, 2017. The two Izumo-class helicopter destroyers operated by the JMSDF displace 27,000 tons full load and can carry up to 28 aircraft. Two smaller but similar Hyuga-class helicopter destroyers displace about 19,000 tons full load and can carry up to 18 aircraft.

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Carriers Around the World

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS NATHAN BURKE

U.S. NAVY IMAGE BY JOHN BATCHELOR

BY NORMAN FRIEDMAN

USS GERALD R. FORD JOINS A growing world carrier community, a mixture of carriers operating conventional aircraft (as she does) and those limited to short-takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft such as the British Harrier and the new F-35B. Many navies adopted STOVL because it reduced the minimum size and complexity – hence price – of a carrier. That is, conventional aircraft require a minimum-size flight deck, which in turn sets the minimum size of a carrier. Such a carrier can accommodate at least a certain number of aircraft, although the number of aircraft will not have been a design requirement. It is possible to build a much smaller STOVL carrier, and such a ship will accommodate many fewer aircraft. For example, a large U.S. carrier can accommodate about 80 or even 100 airplanes. Many STOVL carriers accommodate about a quarter (or fewer) as many aircraft on about a quarter the size. The U.S. view has been that below a certain number of aircraft a carrier may not really be worthwhile. The lesson the U.S. Navy learned at the beginning of its carrier history was that numbers of aircraft might well be decisive. Large carriers cost a lot more, but they cost a lot less per airplane or per unit capability. Moreover, STOVL carries considerable penalties for each airplane, for example in terms of payload. The Sea Harrier was much smaller and less capable than U.S. carrier aircraft. Power is limited, as is range. Thus the Royal Navy managed to equip its subsonic Sea Harriers with the same advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) that the U.S. Navy uses, but found that the airplane lost so USS GERALD R. FORD

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much range and payload capability in hot conditions that it was not worth keeping in service. The Marine Corps’ AV-8B Harrier II that followed it (versions of which the STOVL carriers around the world operate) has some of the same limitations. The new F-35B STOVL version of the Joint Strike Fighter offers much better performance than the subsonic Sea Harrier and its derivatives, but it too pays a considerable price for STOVL operation, in terms both of the weapons it can carry and its range. Too, the Sea Harrier and Harrier were relatively small airplanes; saying that a small carrier could accommodate, say, 15 of them was not at all the same thing as saying that it could accommodate 15 airplanes the size of the current U.S. F/A-18E/F Hornet. The same deck will accommodate far fewer F-35Bs. The overall striking power of a STOVL carrier is disproportionately less than that of a conventional carrier. Thus the U.S. view has been that numbers of aircraft (and weapons) are so important that large carriers like Gerald R. Ford (CNN 78) are disproportionately more effective (and also more survivable) than the small ones most other navies have chosen to operate. Given this size, the extra cost of providing catapults and arresting gear is relatively small and is well worth paying in order to gain the performance advantages of conventional aircraft. Note, however, that current U.S. large-deck amphibious ships generally carry Marine STOVL aircraft, either the current AV-8B or its F-35B replacement. These ships are larger than nearly all foreign carriers, but they are slower and they are not primarily intended to support attack aircraft. They also currently lack any means of airborne early warning (AEW). Navies depending entirely on STOVL face a potentially difficult future. Development and production of the engine that powers the Harrier have ended, making it extremely unlikely that any successor aircraft with a similar power plant will appear (for convenience, no distinction is made between Harrier, Sea Harrier, the U.S.-built AV-8B, and the Matador, as it is called in Spanish service). The Russian program, which produced the Cold War Yak-38, also ended; the successor Yak-141 appearing only as a prototype. Again, it seems unlikely that there will be a successor, the Russian navy having opted for conventional aircraft requiring large flight decks. That leaves the U.S. F-35B, the STOVL version of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, as the only future STOVL fighter likely to appear. No country other than the United States (and even in its case, with partners) seems to have the resources to develop an entirely new STOVL combat aircraft. The F-35B is considerably larger than the Harrier it replaces in many navies, so ships will operate considerably reduced air wings once replacement has occurred. A further point is worth making. In the air-to-air role, and often also in the strike role, carriers depend on radar AEW, for example to detect targets beyond their horizon. That is no great problem for a large-deck carrier with catapults: the United States and France both use the E-2C Hawkeye. A STOVL carrier cannot accommodate such an airplane. After an unhappy experience in the Falklands, the Royal Navy mounted radars on board helicopters, and the Spanish, the Russians, and the Italians (and probably the Chinese) have followed suit. Unfortunately a helicopter

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does not offer anything like airplane endurance or altitude. A British company has proposed an AEW version of the new U.S. tilt-wing V-22 Osprey, but it is so large that taking a few on board a small carrier might well crowd out any other aircraft. At this stage, the Osprey conversion would probably be interesting mainly to the U.S. Marine Corps and to the Royal Navy. Right now, in addition to the United States, only France and Brazil (with an ex-French carrier) operate full-capacity carriers with steam catapults and conventional aircraft. France built the nuclear-powered Charles de Gaulle and for some years has considered building a second ship so as to have at least one carrier available at all times (at present this project is in abeyance due to limited funds). De Gaulle has many attractive features – for example, her integrated combat control system and her missile defense system – but she has one major drawback: She is relatively slow, because she is underpowered for her size. The French never developed a high-powered reactor for surface ships; instead, they have only one design, for submarines. De Gaulle therefore has two submarine reactors, which together produce less than a third as much power as Gerald R. Ford. Even so, the French much prefer their conventional take-off aircraft to STOVLs. They offer longer range and better carrying capacity. De Gaulle currently operates 24 to 36 Rafale dual-purpose (fighterbomber) aircraft. There are also three Hawkeye radar aircraft and two large and three small helicopters. By way of comparison, the current standard U.S. air group is 48 Hornet and Super Hornet fighter-bombers supported by six jamming aircraft and six Hawkeye radar aircraft and by 10 multipurpose helicopters. U.S. carriers can, however, accommodate up to about 80 strike aircraft. This comparison is somewhat skewed by the fact that the Rafale is much lighter than the Hornet (depending on the version, it weighs 30,900 to 54,000 pounds loaded, compared to 47,000 to 66,000 for the current Super Hornet). The new F-35 Lightning II is slightly lighter than the Super Hornet, so the comparison will remain valid. The size of the current U.S. carrier air wing reflects budgetary choices and the view that a smaller air group on a large deck can be turned around more rapidly, hence can strike a maximum number of targets. Nothing in the figures below concerning foreign carriers gives a sense of relative crowding of flight decks. The Brazilian Sao Paulo is the former French Foch, the direct predecessor to de Gaulle. She operates aircraft developed in the 1960s for carriers of about this size (18 U.S.-built Skyhawks and 16 helicopters), but is ageing. That the Brazilian navy thought it worthwhile to buy and maintain so expensive a ship suggests that it understands carriers as the core of modern naval power. The Brazilian navy announced in 2017 that Sao Paulo will be decommissioned, but it has plans for two new carriers under the PRONAE program. The Royal Navy demonstrated that STOVL aircraft would make smaller carriers viable. In 1966, the British government of the day canceled planned carriers with steam catapults, operating conventional aircraft, which would have replaced existing ships. It considered them too expensive. Existing carriers were kept in service but were not replaced. The explanation was that the USS GERALD R. FORD

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ABOVE: The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle conducts operations in the Eastern Mediterranean in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. France is currently the only other nation to operate a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

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replacements for the Invincibles – about three times their size – which are to operate the new F-35B fighter. The first ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is to enter service during 2017. She and her sister ship Prince of Wales can operate up to 40 F-35Bs plus helicopters, including AEW and ASW types. The design originally allowed for completion with either a STOVL ski-jump or catapults. Since the ship is powered by gas turbines, the catapults would have been the electric type the U.S. Navy has selected for Gerald R. Ford. The U.S. Navy offered the British the second

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY PETTY OFFICER 1ST CLASS THERON J. GODBOLD

Royal Navy would never operate far from the United Kingdom again; hence that land-based aircraft would suffice to support it. The Royal Navy never considered this argument valid, and by the time the existing carriers were leaving service, it had convinced the government of the day to build STOVL or helicopter carriers. They emerged as the three carriers of the Invincible class, now discarded. When war broke out in the Falklands in 1982, the new light carriers proved their value. Despite their small size and limited air groups, they also proved quite effective in crises such as that in Kosovo and during the enforcement of the no-fly zone in Iraq. Each ship could operate 16 Harriers, four Sea King radar helicopters, and two other large helicopters. The British found that a carrier design could improve aircraft performance even without catapults. An airplane emerging from the flight deck at an upward angle could take off with a heavier load. The three British light carriers were the first in the world to incorporate such ski-jumps, which became standard in most STOVL ships. British experience in places like Kosovo and during the support of the Libyan uprising convinced the British government that it badly needed the independent striking capacity a large carrier offered. The British therefore ordered two 65,000-ton

U.S. NAVY PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FRENCH NAVY BY FREDERIC DUPLOUICH

RIGHT: Dassault Rafale fighter bombers and Dassault Super Etendard strike aircraft on the deck of Charles de Gaulle.


ABOVE: The Royal Navy will return to operating big-deck aircraft carriers with the commissioning of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. Note that the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers have two islands, one for air operations and one for navigating and operating the ship.

UK MOD/CROWN COPYRIGHT

LEFT: Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean during an exercise in the Mediterranean. In her role as a helicopter carrier and amphibious assault ship, Ocean is designed to deliver troops by helicopter or by landing craft – the ship has six helicopters and carries four Mk5 landing craft vehicle and personnel (LCVP).

production set of catapults, but the British decided that they did not want to accept the delay involved; they chose the STOVL version of the design. It is not clear whether the ships may later be refitted as catapult carriers. Such a refit would have the considerable advantage that they would be able to cross-deck aircraft with the U.S. and French navies, aside from the better performance associated with catapult aircraft. The advent of STOVL aircraft inspired other European countries to build small carriers. Spain bought a U.S. design (for the abortive U.S. Sea Control Ship), which emerged as Principe de Asturias. Spain later built a much smaller version for Thailand as Chakri Naruebet (to operate helicopters and ex-Spanish first-generation AV-8A Harriers). The Spanish carrier could accommodate a total of 28 aircraft: 12 AV-8B Harriers, and eight large and eight small helicopters. The smaller Thai carrier (12,000 versus 17,200 tons fully loaded) was assigned six ex-Spanish Harriers and six small helicopters. Like the French, the Spanish wanted a second carrier. They hit on an innovative solution. They also wanted a major amphibious ship, because it was clear that a major naval mission would be projecting power. Such a ship would land many of its troops by helicopter, so it would have a flight deck. The Spanish solution was to build a carrier/amphibious ship with a ski-jump flight deck. This “strategic projection ship” is named Juan Carlos I, after the Spanish king. The air group includes 12 AV-8B Harriers. The Principe de Asturias was USS GERALD R. FORD

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The Sta of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum proudly salutes the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).

Grand Rapids, Michigan

University of Michigan Campus, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Woman's Army Auxiliary Corps 1942-1943 Courageous Committed Generous Driven

In Memory of

Janet G. Allkins


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LEFT: The Italian carrier ITS Cavour at sea in 2013. Cavour is an example of combining amphibious assault ship and aircraft carrier capabilities in one ship. BELOW LEFT: The Italian light aircraft carrier ITS Giuseppe Garibaldi underway during the NATO Southern Region Exercise Dragon Hammer ’90.

NAVY PHOTO BY PH1 (AW) RAYMOND H. TURNER II

NAVY PHOTO BY PH1 (AW) RAYMOND H. TURNER II

NATO PHOTO BY FLT. SGT. ARTIGUES/FRAF

BELOW RIGHT: Like Italy’s Cavour, Spain’s Juan Carlos I has both amphibious assault ship and aircraft carrier capabilities. Australia’s Canberra and Adelaide are variants of the Juan Carlos I design.

retired prematurely for budgetary reasons in February 2013 and stricken that December. Two near-sister ships were built for the Royal Australian Navy – Adelaide (in service Dec. 4, 2015) and Canberra (in service Nov. 28, 2014). Initially they were seen only as amphibious transports, but the Australian prime minister called for them also to operate F-35Bs (the Royal Australian Air Force is buying the F-35A). However, the ships are still officially amphibious units rather than dual-purpose ones, and no F-35Bs have yet been bought. STOVL also brought Italy into the carrier world. Italy built several cruisers with helicopter decks aft, then the full-deck Giuseppe Garibaldi. When she was built, the Italian air force had a monopoly on Italian fixed-wing aircraft. The law was changed, and the Italian navy bought U.S.-built Harriers and modified the ship to operate them. She is currently assigned 16 aircraft (Harriers and large helicopters). Then Italy built a second carrier,

Cavour, about twice as large. Completed in 2008, she is broadly equivalent to the Spanish Juan Carlos I, combining carrier and major amphibious capabilities, and also offering fleet flagship command facilities. She accommodates 24 aircraft, again a mix of Harriers and helicopters. Russia has one aircraft carrier, Kuznetzov, which operates conventional aircraft from a ski-jump deck (30 aircraft plus helicopters). The system is called STOBAR (short takeoff but arrested recovery). Kuznetzov is the remnant of a considerable program that once included a nuclear carrier with catapults (Ulyanovsk) and a second ski-jump ship, Varyag. Four earlier ships, beginning with the Kiev, were designed to operate Soviet STOVL fighters. Of this group, Kiev and Minsk ended up as Chinese theme parks, and Admiral Gorshkov was rebuilt for the Indian navy. Kuznetzov operates periodically with a small air group, but she probably suffered badly when the Russians lost her building yard, at Nikolaev, to Ukrainian independence. Nikolaev had been the sole refit yard USS GERALD R. FORD

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INDIAN NAVY PHOTO

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ABOVE: Then the oldest operational aircraft carrier in the world, INS Viraat (background) with the Indian navy’s newest aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. Vikramaditya is the former Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, heavily modified for Indian service. Viraat was the former British aircraft carrier Hermes, which served in the Falklands War before being sold to India. India decommissioned the Viraat in March 2017, and is building its own indigenous aircraft carrier.

UK MINISTRY OF DEFENCE PHOTO

LEFT: Royal Navy Type 42 destroyer HMS York escorts the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov in international waters close to the United Kingdom. Kuznetsov is Russia’s sole aircraft carrier, and employs a short takeoff but arrested recovery (STOBAR) system to launch and recover aircraft.

for large Russian warships. The Russians built a refit facility at Severomorsk specifically to rebuild the Gorshkov. With the completion of the Gorshkov reconstruction, it is available to refit the Kuznetzov. That the ship operates rarely (recently off Syria in support of the Syrian regime during the civil war) suggests as much. Russian admirals have said that they hope to have six carrier battle groups within two decades, but their critics have pointed out that Russia seems to lack anything resembling the necessary infrastructure either to build or to support such ships. Meanwhile, efforts to USS GERALD R. FORD

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provide Kuznetzov with carrier-suitable aircraft have provided the Russians with designs that can be exported to India (a carrier operator) and to China. India has been operating carriers since the early 1960s, when she received an ex-British light fleet carrier as INS Vikrant. Because India has two separate fleets (Eastern and Western), the Indians want at least two and preferably three carriers. Another factor in Indian thinking is a strong desire to achieve technological independence; for example, the current Light Combat Aircraft is often touted as a future Indian carrier plane. As Vikrant aged, the Indians received another ex-British carrier, the much larger Hermes, which was commissioned as Viraat. Both ships have now been discarded; the Indians now have a program to build their own new carriers. As a stop-gap, the Indians took the Russian semi-carrier Admiral Gorshkov, one of the class preceding the Kuznetzov. The Russians offered to provide the ship for free, the Indians paying for reconstruction (which proved quite expensive, the price more than tripling). The ship was provided with a ski-jump and arresting gear so that, like Kuznetzov, she can operate conventional aircraft. In this case, more than 20 MiG-29K, plus helicopters. Delivery date receded three years in 2008. The explanation was that the ship’s wiring had to be replaced (she had been immobilized by a boiler fire in 1994), and the job was proving more difficult than had been expected. Indians had complained about what they considered an extortionate price when the project was announced in 1999, but by 2008, there was apparently no question of withdrawing. One reason why was that the Russians were also ready to lease one or more nuclear submarines to India, a concession the Indians consider crucial to their own nuclear submarine program. There is some suspicion that funds intended for the carrier project were diverted to urgent but under-funded Russian national projects, such as completion of the new-generation strategic submarine Dmitri Donskoy. Vikramaditya was finally delivered in November 2013, delayed in part by boiler problems. Her air wing is 29 MiG-29Ks plus nine helicopters. As of 2016, the ship was to remain in service through 2042. In line with long-standing ambitions, India is meanwhile building a 32,000-ton carrier, the Air Defense Ship Vikrant, reportedly designed by Fincantieri in Italy. The first steel was reportedly ordered in 2007, the ship was laid down on Feb. 28, 2009, and launched on Aug. 12, 2013; as of 2016, she was expected to be in service in 2018. Like Vikramaditya, she has a ski-jump plus arresting gear. The planned air wing is 12 MiG-29K, 12 Indian Light Combat Aircraft, and 10 helicopters. Budget problems have delayed an order for a third ship, to be named Vishal or perhaps Viraat. It has been described as a nuclear carrier with catapults. In 2012, China became a carrier operator. Some years ago, the Chinese bought the incomplete carrier Varyag, at that time rusting at her Nikolaev yard on the Black Sea. She was generally described as badly stripped during the days after the Soviet collapse, worth little except for scrap. Supposedly she was intended for use as a casino in Macau. The Turks objected to towing this derelict through their straits, on the theory that she might easily go aground (but it was also claimed that the U.S. government was

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The Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning, formerly the Russian Varyag, reconstructed and modernized to become China’s first aircraft carrier. At least one more carrier is currently under construction.

unhappy with the sale). Perhaps remarkably, a senior Chinese foreign ministry official arrived in Turkey to promote the passage through the straits. By the time the hulk turned up in China (she arrived in Dalien on March 3, 2002), the Macau casino organization had disappeared. Early reports that the ship was being bought specifically to support Chinese interests in the South China Sea became far more credible. Varyag was put into a shipyard at Dalian, painted Chinese navy-style gray, and renamed Shilang. By this time, she was already a middle-aged ship, having been launched on April 12, 1988. For a time, it seemed that whatever further work was being done on her was either cosmetic or internal. Then in 2011 work sharply accelerated; the ship’s island was replaced in its entirety, and new Chinese weapons and radars were installed. As rebuilt, the carrier was renamed Liaoning. The ship was operated cautiously, but in January 2017, she and her escorts conducted live-fire exercises off Taiwan. The Chinese have certainly talked from time to time about the virtues of carriers. Before Varyag was bought, there was talk that they had built up a war chest to back their plans to gain full control of the South China Sea and its islands (which six countries in all claim). It was said that the Chinese understood that any naval USS GERALD R. FORD

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force they sent so far from home would be naked without support by the kind of organic aircraft that a carrier provides. Liaoning would certainly fit this picture. On the other hand, the Chinese see U.S. carriers as a major barrier to any takeover of Taiwan. For this reason, their media often characterize the carriers as vulnerable to the point of uselessness. When the ship was bought, it was reported that the Chinese had obtained a full data package from the Ukrainians or the Russians. A second ship, apparently a sister to Liaoning, was laid down in 2015 and is to be launched in 2017; it will probably enter service in 2022. Satellite photographs suggest that she is a duplicate of the Liaoning. No name is known, but the ship has been identified as Project 089. The Chinese share the U.S. view that ski-jumps are inefficient. Recent satellite photos show a test site for catapults, and reportedly the third ship in the class, laid down in 2016, is to have two steam catapults. It is also reported that ultimately the Chinese expect to build a pair of 93,000 ton nuclear carriers (Project 085) based on the defunct Russian Ulyanovsk. If built, these ships would be about the size of current U.S. nuclear carriers. Finally there is Japan, whose constitution would appear to bar offensive warships such as carriers. Some years ago the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force formally accepted responsibility for shipping protection out to 1,000 miles from Japan. That did not seem to change the character of the force, but it might be pointed out that no provision was made for defense against anti-shipping aircraft – which China currently operates (Japan does have Aegis ships, which might provide a back-stop against anti-ship missiles). Japan has treated submarines as the principal threat to shipping, and on that basis, has a long history of building large destroyers with extra helicopters on board. They might be analogized to the Italian helicopter cruisers, in which case the Japanese equivalent to the Italian Garibaldi is the pair of 13,500-ton (19,000 full load) Hyuga-class flat-deck “destroyers.” They are somewhat larger than the Italian ship but somewhat smaller than the British Invincibles. As such they can probably easily operate Harriers (they are currently credited with four helicopters). Japan is not

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HMAS Canberra conducts a replenishment at sea (RAS) with underway replenishment oiler USNS Rappahannock during Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016. Amphibious assault ship USS America can be seen in the background. Like Spain’s near sister Juan Carlos I, Canberra and sister ship Adelaide could operate Harrier or F-35B STOVL aircraft if desired.

currently scheduled to receive the F-35B, but presumably it, too, could operate from these ships. Although they are classified as destroyers, it would be difficult to convince an observer that they are anything but small carriers – and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force has been trying to build small carriers for some years. A cynic might suggest that the main point of building these ships is to test the reactions of neighboring countries, which often say that they fear a resurgent Japanese militarism as much as any threat. Hyuga was completed on March 18, 2009, her sister Ise following on March 16, 2011. A pair of larger (19,500 tons standard, 27,000 tons fully loaded) “destroyers” followed: Izumo (in service March 25, 2015) and Kaga (March 2017). These ships carry 14 helicopters. The use of the name Kaga suggests a carrier mission, since that was the name of a famous World War II Japanese carrier. These ships have clear flat decks running nearly their full lengths, except that at the very bow, there is a Phalanx close-in defense gun. In addition to these ships, Japan has three 8,900 ton (14,000 tons fully loaded) amphibious assault carriers with full-length flat decks, completed between 1998 and 2003. They are probably too small to operate STOVL aircraft effectively. South Korea currently operates the 14,500 ton (18,860 tons fully loaded) amphibious carrier Dokdo with a full-length flat deck. No plans for STOVL aircraft have been announced, but she would certainly be suitable to operate them. She is comparable to, but much smaller than, U.S. large-deck amphibious ships. A second ship, Marado, is to have a ski-jump, which means that she is envisaged as a dual-purpose assault ship/carrier. The South Koreans have announced plans for a larger (24,000 tons fully loaded) third ship, to be named Baeknyeongdo. As of 2016, Turkey has plans to place a carrier in service in 2032. USS GERALD R. FORD

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USS Gerald R. Ford

Plankowners • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

ASAN Abel Uriah Abarca AO3 Haneef Nmn Abdurrazzaaq MA1 Abdullah Sultan Abunuwar ETC Brian Keith Achilles AN Daniel Nmn Acosta LT Kristin Patricia Acton ABE3 Ashley Renee Adams EMN3 Cassandra Nicole Adams LCDR Chadburn Glenn Adams IC1 Krystle Jade Adams ABH2 Christopher James Adamson LTJG Travon "M" Adderly YN3 Michael Christian Addison SHSR Quinn Morgan Adrian ABHAA Daniel Lee Aguero MMFA Jose Luis Aguilar LN2 Horacio Rogelio Aguirre CTT2 Robert Joshua Aguirre MMN3 Wilson Wade Ahrens LTJG Leslie Ray Aird EMC Robert Jay Akins ABEC Theodis Louis Akins PR3 Chiderah Chiveze Akobunduehiogu HM2 Bernard Nmn Akoli ATCS Anthony Aderemi Alabi IC1 Shawn Adam Alamilla ABH1 Johnthomas Debulgado Alayon LS1 Adam John Albers STG1 Stanley Tiexeir Albuquerque AO3 Andres Moises Alcaraz ABFAA Angel Xavier Aldahondosanchez AEAR Jay Tyler Aldous SH3 Faanofoilefagao "D" Alesana AO2 Melquawn Ishamel Alexander ABEAN Quaneisha Rhonda Alexander BM3 Sierra Jessica Alexander MMC Aljohn Barcarse Alforque AOAA Christopher Nmn Ali HT2 Marion Sylvester Ali AG3 Blaine Michael Allen LS2 Kevin Andrew Allen BMSN Kristopher James Allen ABFAR Shakir Najee Allen MMN2 Thomas Nmn Allen MM2 Mary Elizabeth Allinder ITS3 David Michael Allison ABE1 Gawayne Wayne Allison AZ1 Rochelle Lynn Allison ABHAN Hazelannjoie Canlas Alona CWO2 Jerry Bradford Alston EMN1 Karl Allen Altergott LSSA Christian Jesus Alvarado NCC2 Thelma Yassily Alvarado GM2 Bruce Aaron Alvarez AD3 Brian Nmn Alvarezcastro ABF2 Adrian Carlodavid Amolo ICC Gustave Henry Anderly ABH2 Amber Leighann Anderson GMSR Brandon Terrill Anderson ABHAA Brian Patricklawrence Anderson MMC Darius Christopher Anderson AMAN Jason Donald Anderson ENC Jason Wayne Anderson EMC Justen Kelli Anderson

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CVN 78

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SHSR Justin Marcel Anderson AOAR Kirstin Misaki Anderson DC1 Michael "S" Anderson AOC Roderick Lamar Anderson AOAR Seth Ryan Anderson ET3 Kyle Thane Andrews ABFAN Neal Ian Andrews DC1 Raymond Joseph Andrezywski AT2 Giorgio Nmn Andrianopoulos AC2 Dejan Sasha Andric CSSR Mark Anthony Andujar IT3 Joel Gordon Anfinson AC3 Michael Jerico Ang MM3 Gabriel Everlasting Angus QMC Tyrone Nmn Anthony ABHAA Alexis Marie Apodaca IT2 Nicolasjesse Jas Aquiningoc ABFAR Capatra Joy Ardoin ABH3 Marcus John Arduini ABE3 Tania Marcela Arenas ABEAA John Jacob Arista AD2 Ganesh Nmn Arjun MMN1 Donald Edward Armbruster CSSN Alora Elizabeth Armstrong PR2 Erica Renee Armstrong EM2 Cameron Derek Arnold AT1 Kyle Anthony Arnold PRC Paul Joseph Arnold GMSR Ulysses Joel Aroca AOAN Jeffrey Michael Arreguin AS1 Aaron Nmn Arreola LT Daniel Robert Arsenault MMN2 Jack Edward Ashcraft CS3 Andrew Donovan Asher GMSN Robert Dean Ashman ABHAN Jacob Daniel Astacio YN2 Kenneth Nmn Atkins MA3 Eric Patrick Atkinson ABHAN Richard Ted Atwell LT Caity Marie Atwood RP2 Christopher Ryan Atwood SH2 Shiva Aaron Augustus ABEAN Cheyanne Elizabeth Aurich AZAA Delonte Gerald Austin BMSA Cody James Auth ABHAA Nuria "C" Avalos MMN1 Brandon Wesley Averill AZ3 Alex Xavier Avila IS2 Richard Allen Ayala OSC Deeric Moshae Bacchus MMN3 Odrigue Nmn Badeau MMN2 Rodney Nmn Badeau AO2 Rexxx Gregory Badorrek SH3 Carmelo Nmn Baezortiz GMSN Janae Naomi Bailey AO1 Jack Adair Bain EMN2 Douglas Nmn Bainbridge IT2 Andy Ray Baird MMC Eric Allen Baker HM2 Abraham Yakumba Bakongo ABF1 Daniel Jason Balajadia ATAN Tytravious Marshae Baldwin BMSN Jackson Noah Bales BM3 Issac Thomas Ball

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IC2 Naomi Shanece Ball EM3 Nicolas Alan Ballard LSC Anntionette Etta Banks BM3 Daniel Steven Banks HM1 Steven Taite Banner MMN1 Sandra Elise Bannister STG1 Mark Anthony Barackman HN Andrea Lynn Baracosa MA1 Kyle William Barber IT2 Nancy Nmn Barcenas MMNCM Evan Matthew Barnard EMNFN Logan Cody Baron MMN3 David Alexander Barr LS1 Lynn Tashay Barr ISSN Randy Jerald Barragan ADAA Logan David Barrett FCC Glendon David Barron ET2 Tony Morgan Barry CDR Steven Richard Barstow ABHCS Garland Garrick Barthelemy MM1 Robert Wesley Bashaw AO1 Andres Nmn Basquez FC2 Lawrence Hubert Batcheller ET3 Bryanmark Engo Batchelor LTJG Darlene Elizabeth Bates ABHAR Mariann Deartis Battee ENS William Duke Batten SH2 Monietta Jamece Batts AMC Martin Chad Bauman MMN1 Erick Arlen Baumgartner MMN2 Elliehjahenry Mana Bautista LSSA Robert Lamar Baxter AEAN Armahsee Nmn Beain EMFA Hannah Gail Beason AOC Eric Lee Beattie CWO4 David Wayne Bechtol LCDR Samuel Stephen Beck ABH2 Kevin Douglas Beets SH2 Brittany Alyshia Belcher MA1 Tulley Marc Belcourt AOAN James Darryl Bell ITC Latoya Michelle Bell CSSA Pierre Romeo Bell MA1 Briauna Eileen Bellantoni ABE1 Douglas Alexander Bellew HT3 Deondra Keely Benally ABE2 Dan Albert Benavidespacheco AOAA Marcus Nmn Bendy OSCS Michael Richard Bengtson QM3 Dejuan Antonio Benjamin OS2 Kamell Kierra Benjamin LSSA Michael Javon Benjamin ENS Mary Margaret Benke BMCS Edwin Anson Bennett ICC Matthew Michael Bennett PSC Zamone Nmn Bennett IT3 Joshua Matthew Benton EM2 Nathan Michael Beplate ETN1 Angelica Claire Berk IC2 Alex Daniel Bermudezreyes SHSR Melissa Ann Besselman AT2 Therese Mary Betita AO1 Kevin Thomas Betz PS2 David William Bevan


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CDR Jonathan "R" Biehl ETN2 Joseph Samuel Bigley CTTSR Tyler Matthew Bill EMN3 Lucas Adrian Bilodeau ABEAA Zulyra Marie Birdperez AMC Jarred Michael Bishop YN2 Joshua Lynn Bishop AT2 Austin Joseph Bissey ETN1 Matthew David Bitzer IT1 Joshua Daniel Black ABE2 William Edward Black ABHAA Renardo Omaro Blackford MM1 Lauren Marie Blackman AO3 James Eric Blackmon AOAA Kendal Larenze Blackmon SHSR Kennarye Semaje Blackshear ICFN Sabrina Briana Blake AOAR Trevor Presnell Blakeley ABHAN Hannah Jean Blend LTJG Cameron Gregg Bloom GM3 Darius Courtom Bloomfield AO2 Lincoln Cortez Blue CWO3 Michael Joseph Blum BMSA Mesigah Agbeko Bocco LCDR Carl Kenneth Bodin AZAN Christopher Charles Boggs BM3 Terry Jocelyn Bolanos AC3 William Harrison Bolger EMNC John Zachary Bolster AM1 Kyle Nels Bolte ABE3 Kyle Martin Boltik ABHCS David Allen Bonds ABH2 Miguel Antonio Bonet ABHCS Maurice Winzell Bonham IT3 Joel Christian Bonilla AO2 Neil Zedriclearis Bonnette CWO3 Rodney Costella Booker ABEC Christopher Todd Boone ABECS Christopher Scott Boothe CS3 Kyle William Borders ABE3 Amanda Eileen Borjas LS2 Jack Wayne Bortz EM1 Jason Thomas Bosch LT Justin "L" Boschetto ET3 Brett Ellington Botley MMN3 Daniel James Bourke ABH1 Kyle Bradley Bouska BMSN Carlos Manule Bowdre LS3 Austin Mitchell Bowen LSSN Caleb Alexander Bowers ABHAA Curtis Nmn Bowie ABE2 Brian Lee Bowles FCC Nicholas Todd Bowlin AN Garth Matthew Bowman MASR Michael Elijah Bowman ABEAN Nicholas Aaron Boyce LT Adam "M" Boyd ABE3 Damon Edward Boyd AOCS Jonathan Lee Boyd AOAA Kolton Rylee Boyd MA1 Eric Andre Boykin ABHAR Brent Connor Brackett ABE2 Hayden Avery Bradford AOAN Desiree Anne Bradley MMFA Patrick Cameron Bradley ET3 Quanzisha Monea Bradley ABEAN Kevin Gregory Brady AOAN William Michael Bragg ENC Christopher Lamont Bramlett FN Jason Alexander Brannin AEAN Anthony Michael Brennan MA1 Justin David Breshears ABHAN Dennis Andrew Brickie

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YN3 Daquan Ephriam Bridges ABE3 Gianni Johanna Bridges ABE2 Gregory Bernard Bridges BMSN Christopher Ryan Briggs ADCS Terry Lamont Bright ABHAN Quenton Jordan Brightwell AOAN Latal Lewis Brimage CWO3 Ernest Adrian Brinson ABHAA Parker Alan Brisbee CSSR Tyron Martell Bristol AOAN Cainnon Lee Britton CTTCS John Joseph Brock PS1 William Arthur Brockman HTFA Haley Margaret Brogan SH1 Bernice Latise Brooks MA1 Christopher Thomas Brooks CS2 Corey Lamar Brooks ATCS David John Brooks AMC Frank Lee Brooks GMSN Jacoby "B" Brooks LS1 Lisselot Maria Brooks HM1 Marcelo Augusto Brooks AO1 Ralph Sonny Brooks ETNCS Daniel John Brouillard AOC Philip Adrian Brousseau LT Sarah Joy Han Brower AOAN Adam Nmn Brown IC3 Cenise Aushaly Brown MMN2 Cody Lane Brown ABHAR David Nmn Brown EM1 Jacob Steven Brown AO1 Jeremy Alexander Brown GM1 John Michael Brown CSC Joshua Kyle Brown ABHAN Kanautica Jamil Brown HM1 Kevin Alvero Brown ABHAA Khyrie Tykel Brown ABHAA Marcus Anthony Brown AE3 Maxwell Lexi Brown MA3 Patrick Joseph Brown OSCS Quentin Emmanuel Brown ITC Rachel Rena Brown BM2 Ricky Terrell Brown AS1 Robert Michael Brown LCDR Satonya Adrina Brown YN3 Tyquan Isaiah Brown ET2 Eric Joseph Browning MMN1 Klayton Robert Brugger MA3 Timothy Edward Brunicardi MA3 Holly Rachel Bruns LSC Erin Sheree Bryant MMN3 James Truett Bryant IC1 Rosalyn Vernee Bryant ABFAN Shamiya Nicole Bryant CWO2 Scott Kent Bryson STGCS Paul Stafford Buckhalter ABE1 Nathan Blake Buckley ABH2 Christopher Keith Bullock GMC Kirt Irvin Bunn ETNC Brian William Burbick AOAA Jesse Rodger Burch AO1 Kurtis "L" Burkeybile MMN3 Ian Joseph Burley CSSA Deandre Devante Burnett YNC Caleb Lewis Burney MMN1 Trey Allen Burns EM3 Denver Remington Buro EMN2 Ian James Burrows EMN3 Matthew Douglas Burton ABHAN Sara Ann Busby AOAN Aaron Jaron Bush ET3 Quinton Daniel Bush MMN2 Kyle Joseph Buskey

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ATAA Alexandra Elizabeth Buss CS3 Anthony Ontraz Butler ABEAN Harrison Garret Butler SH2 Yolonda Latrice Butler MM3 Benjamin Jacob Byers AC3 Kiera Raye Byman ABHAA Kamil Nicole Caanenrios ABH2 Rafael Antonio Caba ABHAA Maria Steph Caballerogarcia AT3 Robert Salva Cagliostro STG2 Thomas John Cahill IT3 Joshua William Cajune ABEAN Christopher Francis Calabro AOAA Daniel Robert Caldwell AOAA Nicholas Mathew Caldwell AOAA Sarah Lydia Caldwell OS1 Michael Lee Calhoun EMN2 Ethan William Callahan AZ2 Stephen Bruce Callands ET1 Derico Shaun Callaway LT Angel Patricio Camacho AM2 Jeremiah Dane Camacho AS2 Jose Javier Camacho SHSA Daniel Christopher Camachoperez AO3 Mitchell Henry Cameron MMN2 Albert John Cammarono CAPT Paul Francis Campagna MC1 Aidan Patrick Campbell MC3 Cathrinemae Olaes Campbell ABHAA Roberto Carlos Cana ABFAN James Lee Canady AO3 Taj Marquis Cannadyjewett CS2 Konley Janice Cannalte EMN3 James Lee Canning ABH1 Vincent James Cardente ABFAN Salvador Gabriel Cardiel BMSA Brandon Lee Carlini BMSA Derrick Thomas Carlisle ABH1 Chedrick Marquis Carnegia MMN3 Guillermo Alexande Carranza ABEAA Brandon Jay Carrasquillo DC3 Brandon Michael Carrick ABEC Gustavo Nmn Carrillo MMN2 Michael Anthony Carrillo EM1 Antionio Presely Carter OS2 Brandon Lashawn Carter AC2 Kory Allen Carter MC3 Ryan Mitchell Carter ABE2 Vincheza Teranova Carter AOAN Kywon Travail Cartwright ATAA Dillon Wayne Casazza LS2 Matthew Robert Cascella LS2 Mikayla Paige Caselman OS1 Adrian Nikole Casey ABHAN Timothy Michael Cassant CS3 Alton Nmn Cassidy LTJG Michael Joseph Cassidy ADAN Pedro Wilfrido Castellanos SHSA Jessica Nmn Castillejos SHSR Luke Antonio Castillo OS1 Kareem Alexis Castle ABHAA Daniel Andrew Caton AE3 Andrew Douglas Catron FCC Theresa Marie Cayler ABHAA Santos Raul Cazares AO2 Alexander Anthony Ceballo ABHAA Arnold Nmn Ceballos ABE1 Manuel Alejandro Cedano LCDR Katharine "M" Cerezo PS3 Francisco Javier Cervantesguerrero AS1 Washington Javier Cevallos AZ3 Christopher "M" Chaides HMCS Efrain Nmn Chaidez USS GERALD R. FORD

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ETN1 Stefan Robert Chamberlain YN3 Jeffrey James Chambers AO1 Roddrecus Rayji Chames SH2 Eric Kievon Chandler AO1 William Daniel Chandler ABE1 Ae Nmn Chanthama ABHAR Jonathan Nicholas Chapman ET1 Patrick Allen Chapman AOAN Ryley Staton Chapman ITC Gregory Nmn Charles AOAN Lindsey Gina Charles LT Travis Matthew Charlton AO2 Justin Craig Charman LT Timothy Brian Charriere DC3 Levarius Rushard Chatman LSSR Ashleigh Michelle Chavez MM1 Ashley Haley Chavez AS1 Jason "A" Chavez EMC John Ulises Chavezsanchez LS1 Gregory Junior Chery ABHC Emanuel Kindell Cheston DC3 Alessandro Nmn Chicarella AO1 Maurice Joseph Childress MRFR David Nmn Chiou DC1 Gift Nathaniel Chombwe ASCS Adam Nmn Christenbery LSSR Beverly Nicole Christensen ABHAA Dylan Scott Christensen ETN1 Auston Williama Christopher FCSN Dallas Scott Chroniger MA2 Michael David Cichy LT Joel Michael Cincotta AOAA Ashten Douglas Cink AOAR Matthew Connor Cinnamon ABHAA Marc Anthonyreynaul Cinocco AOAN Mark Timothy Ciombor MM2 Adam Richard Clancy ABFAN Alex James Clark AS2 Andrew Steven Clark AOAA Brittnie Lee Clark ABE2 Dimitri Monqueill Clark AOAN Dwayne Lawrence Clark ABFAN Kyndra Marie Clark SHSR Seth David Clark IC1 Timothy Michael Clark ETCS William Lee Clay ABFAN Jonathan Patrick Clayton CWO4 William Rankin Cloaninger GMC Andrew Justin Clouse QM3 Maxwell Jordan Clyburn IT1 Frederick Nmn Cobbin CS2 Isaac Charrod Cobbs LCDR Weston Robert Thomas Coby ETC Christopher Sean Cochran CWO5 Tony Raymont Cochran YN3 Anris Frederick Cofield EM1 Mark Anthony Cogdill EMFN Christopher Garrett Coil MMFR Anthony Jermaine Cole CWO3 Michael Shawn Cole ABHAN Tyler Ray Cole ABHAR Matthew William Colella ABEAA Alicia Mae Coleman EMN3 Nicholas Maxwell Coleman HM1 Robert James Coleman ABEAA Terrel Thomas Coleman LTJG Ted Arthur Collette EMFN Christopher Thomas Collins AO2 Corey Paul Collins AO1 Jarasai "T" Collins LCDR Michael Jason Collins CS3 Vincent Michael Collins FCCM Anthony Darrin Colliver

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OS2 Michelle Nmn Colon AOC Arturo "L" Colongutierrez PS1 Kenneth Dajao Colot PSC Lovon Alisa Colter ABFAA David William Combs ABFAA Evan Lee Cometto PS1 Christopher Michael Condon ABFAN Gunnar Neil Conley AS2 Matthew Jeffrey Conley HM2 Stephanie Nicole Conn EMN2 Stewart Charles Connors AOAA Nathan Lewis Contreras CSC Brian Keith Cook MMN1 Brandon Moses Cooper ABHAN Sean Stephan Cooper AS2 Cameron Lee Copeland EMN1 Melissa Rae Corbin LS2 Zavius Norbert Corbin ABHAA Antonio Roberto Cornejopina ABH2 Antoinette Lenora Corona AOAA Moises Nmn Coronado ET3 Ona Charmayne Corprew ABF2 Ruben Mauricio Correa AOAA Justin Scott Correll ABFAN Arturo Rene Cortes ETN2 Jose Ariel Cortessantiago MMN2 Nicholas Herbert Coss ABHAA Matthew James Costin BMSA Dramane Deshawn Cotton BM2 Kevin James Cotton AZ3 Samuel Nmn Cottorosado EMFR Bethaney Jean Coughlin ABEC Anthony John Couitt AOAA Devian Alexander Coulton DC2 Mario Lynell Covington CSSN Candypauleen Lustre Cox EMN3 Shauna Rose Cox AC1 Steven Michael Cox AOC Christopher Michael Crabtree AOAN Weston Christopher Craig BMSR Chauncey Johnathon Cram ETN1 Jesse Michael Cram ABHAN Joshua Mack Cravens MASA Blair Louise Crawford LT Robert Weldon Crawford ABECS Thomas Joseph Creaturo CSSR Cameron Michael Crenshaw ABHAN Gabriel Giovando Crocker AM1 Daniel Paul Crosby MMNC Derick Coleman Cross ABFAA Thomas "B" Cross AC3 Caroline Ashleigh Crumbacker ABHAN Clemente Nmn Cruz AS2 Kenervin Duran Cruz CSSN Katherine Celina Cruzalvarez ACAN Kyle "Nmn" Cser MMN2 Andrew Brian Cullen FCCS Arthur Nmn Culley MMN2 Joseph William Cullinan ETN2 Tiara Lenae Culp LS1 Antonius Quintin Cunningham ABFAA Anastasia Elise Curiel LT John Phillip Curran LT Rodney Glenn Curry AO3 Andre Lamar Curtis LCDR Matthew Paul Cutchen ABF3 Joseph Thomas Czarny LTJG Barry Nmn Dabney CTTSN Joseph Anthony Dagostino MMN1 Dallas Nmn Dai HTFA Nicholas Jacob Dangelo ABHAA Monrejo Adducul Daniel MMN2 Christopher Camron Daniels

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LS2 Glenn Kevin Daniels ABEC Lavarest Monte Daniels EMN2 Adam Michael Dapper ABFAN Maalik Juwansharif Darden EMN1 Keith Allan Darlin AOC Justin Lee Darnell ABHAN Andre Lamont Davenport BMSA Clesean Phillip Davenport ABHAN Nelson Herbert David ABF3 Ryan Henry David ABEC Ryan Patrick David ABHAA Anthony Vern Davis CS1 Christopher Allen Davis ABFC Courtney Jamar Davis IT1 Darrell Stephen Davis MM2 Dustin Nathaniel Davis AC3 Jade Alaya Davis EMFA Kacee Tyrrell Davis AOAN Kenya Chantel Davis CDR Travis Earl Davis EM3 Destyni Diamond Dean ET3 Jeremy Michael Dean ABHAN Matthew "N" Deantonio MMN2 Marie Anna Deaton PRAN Terrance Maurice Deberry EMN1 Matthew John Debski ABEAN John Michael Defeo AT2 Mark Jasondumo Deguzman MMN1 Rene Caranto Deguzrman ABHAN Breanna Rae Delafuente MMN2 Eric Michael Delaney MCC Christopher Wayne Delano IC3 Alejandro Nmn Deleon CWO3 Kirk Charles Deleonardo AOAA Isaias Emma Delfincontreras BM2 Korey Robert Dell CSSA Jevante Ray Deloach GM2 Coren Justine Demastus ABEAA Triston Lee Demoraes LSC Taunya Lashun Demouchette AO2 Taylor Robert Denett AOAN Qwendesha Bernice Dennis ICC Matthew Brady Depauw RP2 Melissa Anne Derr ABHAN Keesean Bilal Desilva EM2 Mozart Nmn Desrosiers LSSN Anthony Michael Deubner ABHC Sean Hiakeen Devereaux ABFAN Tristen Lee Devers ABEAN Gabriel Jordan Diaz IC1 Jessica Nmn Diaz AS2 Wilmer Omar Diazlopez STG2 Gloria Gail Dibler ABH3 Harold Wayne Dickerson ETN1 Jimmie Jermaine Dickinson QMCS Daniel Renado Dickson AT2 Brooke Lurie Diel BM2 Tielor Elliot Dietrich AOAN Joseph William Dillard LS2 Romeika Vashawn Dillingham ITSN Gavin Nicholas Dills ABHAA Patrick Nmn Dimagan AS3 Megan Brook Dimperio ETN2 Casey Russell Diss AO3 Kala "S" Dixon AO2 Tiffany Nicole Dixon CS3 Samantha Kaye Doan HT3 Christopher John Doane ABHAN Brentley Alan Dobbins HM2 Kalvin Christopher Dobbs SH2 Rodney Terrence Dockery CSSN Kevin Timothy Domingo LCDR Angela "R" Domingos USS GERALD R. FORD

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EMN3 Jacob Cole Dominguez CSSN Jashaun Mortez Donaldson MMN3 Sean Thomas M Donaldson AC1 Marquil Deante Dooley AO3 Ashley Theresa Doris ABHAN Nekaybaw Maryam Dorns MA2 Daniel Edward Dorsey ABHAN Margaret Marie Dorsey PS1 Deandrea Michelle Douglas OSCS James Horace Douglas MMNCM Jeremy Edward Douglas SH1 Johnny Earl Douglas AOAN Willie James Douglas ICC Omar Matarr Drammeh AO2 Damien Lamar Drayne CTR1 John David Drum MMN2 Sean Michael Drummond ABFAA Jason Kane Duboise ABECS Keith Edward Duckworth IT2 Courtney Danielle Dudley AOAN Nicholas Vaughn Dueitt AOAA Channel Janae Dues MMN3 John Patrick Duffy ABH1 Michael Ryan Duffy AOAA Tyndra Lechae Dukes EMN2 Jesse Dean Dunaway ABHAN Olivia Laine Duncan ET3 Jennifer Elizabeth Dunham AOAA Austin Gregory Dunlap ABHAN Connor Grant Dunmire ABHAN Krystal Taylor Dunn IC1 Steven Michael Dunn HM1 Lawrence Joseph Duran ABECS Eric Allan Durdle AO2 Lazaro Antwann Durruty EMFN Cody Raymond Dyer CSCS Jewel Latryce Dyson ETN2 Lukas Ronald Earl IT2 Christina Marie Earle ABEAN Maria Antoinette Eason LCDR John Jacob Eastman GM1 Daniel Denton Eastwood AOAA Thomas Michael Eaton DC1 James Joshua Ebert MMN1 Autumn Brooke Echeverria DCFA Tyler Robert Eckhoff IT1 Heather Danielle Edbauer LS2 Raven Ronesh Edgeworthsmith HM1 Shedrick Italo Edmond FC2 Shelby Mercer Edson AD1 Carlos "M" Edwards AOAN Jalon Monterrio Edwards ABH1 Michael John Edwards IC3 Sierra Chanel Edwards ABHAA Nathaniel Joseph Eguia AE3 Kate Elizabeth Eheander ABHAN Elisha Ivory El ITC Androcleas Mar Eleftheratos CSSN Christopher Andrew Elizalde MASN Vincent Andrew Elizalde MA2 Justin Philip Elliot MA2 Raymond James Elliott MC3 Sean Alexander Elliott AZAN Darius James Ellis ABHAA Davonte Lamar Ellis AZ2 Keishunda Tyeasha Ellislee HMCS Brandon Howard Ellison ET1 Terry Lee Ellsworth EMFN Zachary Alexander Elston ITC Marguerite Lorraine Emmons AZAN Patrick Nmn Encarnacion MASA Kacie Morgan Endres EMN3 Melissa Sue English

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MA2 Timothy Douglas English AOAN Jyllean Magat Enriquez BMC Brian Keith Epling ETN1 William Lloyd Epperson IT2 Kyle Cranston Erber ET1 Joseph Peter Errigo AOAA Logan Ramon Errotabere ETN1 Neal Patrick Ervin EMFA Leslie Nmn Espinosa CSSA Raymond Michael Espinoza AO2 Edward Lionel Estay AD1 Ranier Johnestrada Estigoy AOC John Matthew Euler AGCS Matthew Philip Euler PSC Jerry Dale Eunice AM1 Charles Edward Euton OS3 Daiquon Mykel Evans MMN2 Joshua Thomas Evans ABHAA Leland Voshon Evans SHSN Oliver Jack Evans AT2 Eric Kenneth Ewing SR Olan Donaustin Ezell MC3 Matthew Rice Fairchild SHSN Jamar Christopher Fairweather ABHAA Camille Nicole Falchetta DCC Scottie Allen Farra LT Gregory Lee Farrell LSSN Mitchell Vincent Farrell ABFC Joshua Mark Faulds IC2 Kenneth Adolson Faulkner ITSA Seamus Hugh Fazio EM3 Alyza Anne Feagin PR2 Shelton Lafee Feemster CDR Alan Daniel Feenstra ABEC Dominick Jesus Feliciano IT1 Alfredo Nmn Felizola ABE2 Kenneth Chavarro Fells ABHAA Aubreeonabrenee "V" Feltner MMNC Matthew James Felton ABHAA Jonathon Michael Femmer BMSN Dandrea Deshawn Fennell PS1 Ariella Renee Feracho SHSN Jaquila Janae Ferguson EM3 Kenneth Corwin Ferguson ETN2 David Nmn Fernandez AMAA Genesis Nmn Fernandez AS1 Damon Anton Ferrell ABHAA Kevin Lexton Fields AFCM Paul Mandeville Fields LS2 Christopher Josh Figueroa AO1 Tyquan Nmn Figueroa AEAN Paul David Filippi SHSA Desmond Lee Fine AOAN Kurtis Ryan Fink MMN1 David Edward Finkler LCDR Joshua Steven Fischer CWO4 Fred Gerald Fisher BMSN Patrick Gerard Fitzgerald AO2 Sean Michael Fitzgerald ABEAN Tyanna Aline Fitzmier ABHAA Eric Devon Fizer ISC Deshounn Maria Flagg FC2 Joel David Flanigan EM2 Patrick Ryan Flannery IT2 Ebony Chavela Dmar Flash SH3 Hakeem Lawal Alli Fleming AT1 Charles Lewis Fletcher LSSR Correy "J" Fleury MA2 Patrick James Flint AS2 Daniel "Nmn" Flores QMSN Destinee Ariana Fluellen ABHAN William Allen Flynn ABFC Christopher James Flynt

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EM3 Louis Yaw Fobih IC2 Raquel "S" Foge ABHC Carson Paul Fontenot AOAA Erica Marie Fontenot BM1 Michael Anthony Ford LS1 Craig Lamont Forest AT3 Darrel Dean Forney MM1 Ryan Evan Forry ABEAN Arrienesyrille An Fortaleza IC3 Heather Alyse Fortin MMN3 Caleb "A" Fortune CWO2 Shannon Nmn Foster LTJG William Dean Foster ABE1 Earl Russell Fowlkes ICFN Jeffrey Encil Fox ABHAN Christopher Allen Frame CS1 Brandon Ben Francis IT2 Jacqueline Allison Francis SHSA Allen Nmn Francoisbaptiste HMC Crystal Lynn Frank FC3 Amber Marche Franklin ABHAA Kassandre Leigh Franklin EN1 Marcus Edward Franklin BMSN Eddie Moleke Frazier ABCM Kemmy Lamour Frazier ENC Timothy Marland Frazier IT1 Oscar Winfield Scott Frear ABHAA Daniel Jamal Freeman AC3 Taylor Nicholas Freeman ABH3 Kenneth Andrew Freese ETN3 Ashley Briana French NCCM Nadine Juliet Fridy AO3 Connor Liam Frisch ENC Robert Demetrius Fuller HTC Centrell Jamell Funches ABH3 Emilee Dawn Fundell ATCS Thomas Bradfo Funderburk DC3 Richard Alonzo Funesvillafuerte ABE1 Luke Conrad Funk EMN3 Samuel Harry Gaff AT3 Brandon Christopher Gaines HMC Cedric Gerard Gaines ENS Ryan Christopher Galentine AOAA Zachary Thomas Gales ABHAR Cody Michael Gall FC2 Caleb Michael Gallaher LSSN Alejandro Nmn Gallego ICFN Jonathan Saul Gallegos ABH3 Ryan Eric Galon ABHAR Stephanie Lee Galvan ABEAA Richard Anthoney Galvez AZ2 Brandon Marc Gammons LT Brian Patrick Gannon LT Ever Mauricio Garay EMFN Brian David Garbutt FC3 Arik Nicholas Garcia AOAA Bailey Raul Garcia ABEAA Carlos Anthony Garcia ABHAN Miguel Gilbert Garcia ABH3 Regine Santiago Garcia LSCS Samantha Alexandria Garcia AOAR Stephen Xavier Garcia ABEAA Ariel Nmn Garciahuesca AOAA Austin Vincent Gardner ABHAN Zackary Dean Garner ABF3 Franklen Nmn Garrett EMN2 Kevin Wayne Garrett EMN3 Patrick Leroy Garrett AOC Vertellis Demerties Garrett MMFR Kyle Brandon Garrison LSSR Alexander Robert Garza DC2 Ricky Nmn Garzon CSSA Austin Joseph Gaspard USS GERALD R. FORD

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CAPT Brent "C" Gaut ENS Kristine Leon Gavino BMSR Qwenta Montaz Gaynor HTFA Brian Keith Geesling ETNC Matthew Dale Geiger IT3 Keri Latrice George LSCS Marisha Lashond George ABHAR Tarvis Donta George ABHAR Quinn Morgan Gerischer OS1 Nicholas Alan German ETC Timothy Mark Gerton EMN1 Evan Lee Gervasi ITCS Matthew Christian Geurts MMN3 Minhaj Altutmush Ghayur BMSR Andrew Charles Gibson LTJG Jeremy Scott Gibson MRFN Russell Adam Gibson EMN1 Sarah Jane Gideon EMFA Justin Andrew Gilbert HM2 Amarpreet Singh Gill MMN1 Tara Alexandria Gillespie AS1 Robert Howard Gilman LS2 Gregory James Gimlin AO2 Sharise "O" Gladney ABHAN Mitchell Conrad Gladstone AE1 Alciia Anne Glende ATC Paul Nmn Glenn ETN1 Nathan Delaney Goben AOAR Thomas Nmn Godinez ABEAA Byron Anthony Golden ASAR Ronald Lee Golden LTJG Matthew Samuel Golub AC1 Bruce Tinio Gomez MM1 Christopher Nmn Gomez ACAR Ricardo Nmn Gomez ABH2 Paulo "Nmn" Gomezlopez ETN2 Justin Rene Gonzales EMN3 Sabrina Maria Gonzales AO1 Alejandro Nmn Gonzalez CSSN Alfredo Dejesus Gonzalez OS2 Hector Manuel Gonzalez IC3 Lillith Hannah Gonzalez ET2 Matthew Vincent Gonzalez EMFA Richard Benjamin Gonzalez IT2 Salvador Tadeo Gonzalez ABHC Sofia Nmn Gonzalez AOAN Jeremi Brandon Good LCDR Letwa Linnetta Gooden LCDR Major Andrew Gooden MA2 Christian James Goodnow OS3 Thomas Reed Goodpaster ET2 Richard Wayne Goodwin ABH1 Joshua Scottthomas Goolsby ABH1 David "K" Gore ABH3 Shane Michael Gormley CTR3 Samuel Gregory Gougeonpoole CSSN Jayson A W Gouker ICFN Desiree Rose Grabowenski OSC Shaun Patrick Grabowiecki MR1 William Michael Grabowski OS1 Ginny Mae Grady LT Erick Walter Graf AS2 Robyn Lynn Graham ET2 Elise Oshell Grauberger ICFN James Rayme Gravelle EMN1 Chad Leroy Gray AC1 George Robert Gray LTJG Jeremy Blake Gray PS2 Umi Nmn Greasley ETN1 Justin Jacob Greathouse BMSN Shamika Rochelle Greaves MMN2 Brian Joseph Green IT1 John Phillip Green

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AO1 Reginald Lemont Green LSCS Reginald Nmn Green IT1 Tataiana Soibhan Green IT1 Terrance Nmn Green MA1 Travis Bernard Green ABHAA Troy Daniel Green ABHAN William Mackenzie Green EN3 Bradley Allen Greene ABHC Christopher Jason Greene MA3 Sylvan Jacob Greene LT Paul Steven Greenough AOAA Blake Mckay Greer ABEAR Kyle Austin Greer ABHAA Benjamin "R" Gregg MAC Brooks Robert Gregory LTJG Carl Frank Greiner LTJG Kristofer Robert Grieves EMC Edward Lamont Griffin LSSA James Winstell Griffin ETN1 Oryan Neal Griffin MMC Hensley Burnieivor Griffith DC2 Porsha Ann Griggs ABE3 Eronza Deyon Grimsley ABH3 Kurt Alexander Grochow BMSR Zachary Matthew Gross IC1 Gordon Gerald Grove MMN1 Russell Stephen Grundmann AO1 James "P" Guerra CDR Brian James Guerrieri FC2 Angel Alexander Guevara LSC Weekend Nmn Guillaume AO2 Estrella Maricella Guillen LSSA Colby Jacob Guillory PS2 Sarah Laura Gulick EMN3 Anthony Patrick Gulledge ABE2 Anthony Boyd Gumbs MM3 Ashley Marie Gumm MRFA Wen Nmn Guo ITC Kjell Steinar Gustavsen QM1 Daniel Rafael Gutierrez HM2 Emerson Dalde Gutierrez ABH1 Sidney Roman Gutierrez MMN1 Matthew Jacob Haase HTFA Andrew Taelor Hackett IT2 Katherine Elizabeth Haflett ET3 Timothy Dwan Hagar HT1 Travis Sentell Hale ABE2 Justin Danial Haley ABHAN Alana Brandi Hall CDR Andrew Benjamin Hall CSSN Brandon Austin Hall AO3 Brittany Jean Hall SHSN Brittney Nicole Hall EM1 James Michael Hall IT1 Robert Jeremy Hall OSC Robert Nmn Hall ABH1 Tyler Edward Hall BM3 Jason Lawrence Halpern ABF3 Jake Garrett Hamilton IT3 Joseph Daniel Hamilton ABHAN Jaiyel Malik Hammond ETN1 William Robert Hamrick ABH1 Lonnie Andre Hancock LT Alex Kenneth Handley CSSR Justin Ryan Handsome FC1 Kyle Allen Handy MAC Jennifer Rae Hannan AO2 Stephen Mikeal Hannibal ADC Curla Nmn Hannor BMC Benjamin Earl Hansen ASAA Noel Francis Hansen ABE3 Jeremy Logan Harbin

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GMSA Sharon Rachel Harder EN2 Ashley Nicole Hardy AOAA Mason Pierce Hardy QM2 Akita Shonte Hare EMN2 Matthew Ryan Hare AO2 Jared Patrick Harmer DCFN Daniel Joseph Haro ABFAN Benjamin William Harral ABF3 Chanissia Lejuane Harrien MA2 David Tyler Harrington ABH2 James Williamlam Harrington ETN1 Amili Jamal Harris AOAA Charles Anthony Harris LSSA Dane Ian Harris AO1 Donald Fitzgerald Harris BMSR Halun Imana Harris ABEAA Levi Alvin Harris ETC Luc Milan Harris IT1 Marcus Reed Harris ABHC Ramone Gesiel Harris MM1 Kevin Karl Harrison LS2 Deandre Dmon Harrissmith EMNC Anthony Clayborn Hart MMC Dwayne Denniston Hart MMN3 Levi Nathaniel Hart EMFN Malika Lashae Hart AO2 Oluremi Raphael Hart AC1 Matthew Adam Hartopp ABEAR Cecelia Danielle Hartwigsen ABEAA Brandi Shawnice Harvey ABE2 Javaun Monroe Harvey AE1 Gregory Sean Harvill EMC Willard Ray Haskell AZAA Caleb Michael Hastings EMN3 Robert Frederick Hastings LTJG Tia Janee Hatcher AO3 Imani Tanieja Sache Hawkins ABFC Bryan David Hay ABE3 Evan Shay Hayden LSSN Brandon Elias Hayes OS2 Quinnanthony Austin Headen ABEC Corey Michael Hearn ABHAA Raymond Scott Hearn AOAN Drew Rodne Heaslip AOAA Eric Raymond Heavener LCDR Antheus Damon Hebert ATC Kevin Michael Hebert CS2 Wilfred Nmn Hector ETN1 James Earl Heimberger AT3 Derrick Henry Heinemann LTJG Michael Daniel Helvey ACC Ryan Michael Hemmerle ABHAN Colten Lee Henderson MMCS Helen Annmarie Henderson ABH3 James Nakia Henderson AO1 James Steven Henderson MASA Daniel Samuel Hendrix AZ2 Jared Ashly Hendrix ABH3 Jamila Breanna Henley ABHAN Ethan Wade Hennen MMNCS Justin Lee Hensley EN2 Travon Deon Henson MC1 Matthew Alan Hepburn ICFA Jesse Delmar Hepple ABF3 Frank Nmn Her LT Matthew Guy Herbaugh BM2 Danny Terrell Herbert ET1 Terrence Lamar Herbert ABH1 Ricardo Nmn Hernandez LSSA Ryan Eddy Herr AOAA David Jesus Herrera ABFAN Patrick Jerry Herrera EN3 Brandon Michael Herrick


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ABE1 Bill Roger Herron ABFAR Cherokee Summer Herron HMC Kevin Lamont Herron ASC Mark Anthony Hicks MA2 Meagan Anne Hicks AT2 Darrell Joseph Hieatt ABEC Carl Dawaune Higdon FC1 Clinton Deacon Higdon MA2 Rachel Danielle Higel ET3 Joshua "B" Higgins YN1 Letisha Jannette Hill ICFN Tijaina Quanaisha Hill LT Zachary Phillips Hill MASA Justin Royal Hillwig ABHAN Jynishia Angelica Beja Hines ABEC Christopher Bryan Hinson ET2 Courtenay Sybelle Hippert IC1 Daniel Paul Hirte YN3 Anthony Dat Chi Ho YN3 Phuc Vinh Hoang AS1 Justin Philip Hoback EN3 Benjamin Joel Hodge CSSR Marissa Shay Hodge AT1 Charles Ovila Hodsdon LTJG Andrea Julianna Hoffman BMC Derek Wayne Hoffman ABE1 Andrew Douglas Holcomb ABE2 Dennis Marc Holford ABH1 Jarell Terez Holliday YN1 Tamara Nicole Hollis STG1 Jonathan Paul Holm MA2 Davad Andrew Holman AOAA Henry Clay Holmes ABE2 Kristopher Brandon Holmes PS1 Laterrei Reshon Holmes ETNC Joseph Michael Holtz IT1 Monique Marie Homer CSSA Andrew Sullivan Honeycutt ABHAR Eron Morgan Hood FC1 Patrick Wilson Hood MMN2 Michael Adam Hooper ABHAN Alexis Loree Hopple LCDR Roger Dale Horne ENS Eric Albert Horton ABHAR Dylan Matthew Hoskins ETN1 Zachary Houston Hoskins AO2 Anthony William Hosselkus ABHAR Shanikwa Shaquell Houston BMSN Sterling Kade Houston LSC Melissa Desha Howard AT2 Jordan Jeffrey Hoyle AOAR Olin Richard Hubbard AOAN Harrison Dustin Huddleston ET3 Blake Alan Hudson YN2 Sebastian Markell Hudson MA3 Brandon Elijah Huffman ET1 Kristopher Lee Hughens ABHAR Christopher Shane Hughes ETCM Danielle Andrea Hughes EMN1 Eulojohn Gamba Hugo EM2 Jajuan Maurice Hull ABEAR Aaron James Hummel AO2 Lissette Delsocorro Hungria ABHAA Tyler Paul Hunt ABHAA Obadiah Montel Hunter EMFA Zayna Nmn Hunter DC2 Jerrett Winton Hurtt EN3 Aaron Michael Husch EMNC Kevin Charles Huss ABF3 Thanh Vumai Huynh MMNC Matthew Paul Hynes BMSA Neil Vasquez Idanan

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IC1 Bryanne Elizabeth Iddings HT1 Christopher David Ide OS1 Brian Alechi Ihunwo EMN3 Jacob Garth Inman YN1 Jacqueline Suzanne Irwin AT1 Kevin Gerard Ising ABE3 Elsia Euella Isles LS3 Alex Wayne Jackson QM2 Audrey Jean Jackson MM2 Cleo Matthew Jackson BMSR Deijzan Marice Jackson ETN3 Gregory Lorell Jackson CS1 Naomi Florence Jackson LS3 Roderick James Jackson ABF1 Roy Dominic Jackson AOAN Tameccia Shiaira Jackson OS2 John Henry Jacob LSSA John Wesley Jacobs ABHAN Braxton Von Erik James ET1 Jasmine Rain Broussard James LSSN Sean Lindberg James ABHAN Peterson Ricardo Jansen EM3 Jesus Gilbe Jaramilloarroyo ABE3 Darius Richard Jarmon HTFA Timiddy Alora Jaymes MMCS Alford Dwayne Jefferson BM3 Allen Chengwei Jen MMN1 Justin Tilden Jenkins SN Khalilah Shanel Jenkins BMC Tarnisha Renee Jenkins CSSN Paul Lyell Jensen HMCS Natalie Marie Jianuzzi AO2 Andres Nmn Jimenez ABH3 Yarumy Yolotzin Jimenez ABFAN Eddie Dwayne Jimmerson AO2 Jacob Austin Jines ETN3 Anthony Paul Joe MM2 James Edward Johns CTR2 Brandi Keaire Johnson AOAR Chet Foster Johnson EMN3 Dana Warren Johnson MA3 Djuan Anthony Johnson ABF2 Dwayne Lemount Johnson ABE3 James Moses Johnson ABFAN Joseph Madison Johnson BM3 Joshua Scott Johnson AZ2 Lenae Diamond Johnson ABH2 Matthew Paul Johnson ABHAN Racquel Amanda Johnson MM3 Steven Paul Johnson ABHAN William Antonio Johnson ABH2 Hannibal Rashid Johnsonbey IT1 Amanda Cherylle Jones ENS Corey Todd Jones IT1 Ira Williamkane Jones SH2 Kenethia Angie Jones ATC Lacey Lynn Jones SHCS Lisa Levette Jones LCDR Michael "E" Jones ABHAN Robert Earl Jones CS2 Sylvester Nmn Jones AS1 Chanelle Kanani Jordan MM2 Christopher Michael Jordan ABEAR Malin Bryant Jordan ABHAA Timothy Arthur Jordan AOAN Charles Pieire Joseph BM3 Christopher Frank Joseph EMN2 Errico Davell Joyner ABFAN Shanae Joya Jumpertyus MMN1 Tony Maurice June CTR2 Samantha Nichole Kaehler BMSR Austin Reed Kalugyer AC2 Dino Nmn Kapic

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IC3 Joshua John Kaplowitz IT2 Brittnie Summer Katona AS2 Allen Scott Kauffman MR1 Alvie James Kaufhold CAPT Matthew John Kawas ET3 Robert Brian Kay CWO3 James Andrew Kechter ETN1 Justin Mark Keeler ABH2 Mashalik "M" Keeley IT3 Colleen "Nmn" Keffer IT2 Thomas James Kellaway ABHAN Alexis Devona Kelly LS1 Bertha Alicia Kelly EMC Geno Geovani Kelly LS1 Joseph Jermaine Kelly LT Peter Joseph Kelly LS3 David Wayne Kendall LSCS Denzil Alister Kendall MMN2 David Liam Kennelly LS1 David Alan Kerley AOAN Natalia Nmn Kidder AC1 Teresa Dawn Kiel MA3 Ryan Matthew Kimble ABHAN Aaliyah Denise King MMC Anthony David King CSSR Anthony Jerome King AOAA Christopher Kellen King IC1 Robert Alonzo King LCDR Travis Nelson King AOAA Antonio Marques Kinghughes AD3 Jesse "E" Kingsberry ABFAA Kevin Lamar Kinnel MR1 Kevin Michael Kirberger MASR Shawn Douglas Kirby ET3 Casey Wayne Kirchgestner AOAA Kelsie Rene Kirk MM3 Gideon Michael Kirkpatrick AZC Malinda Marie Kitterman LTJG Zachary Allen Klassen AOAN William Scott Klein LS1 Gabriel Christopher Klotz ABH3 Karol Ann Knierim ICFA Christen Jon Knight AS1 Edwin Herberth Knight ABHAR Jesse James Knight ABE1 Justin Christopher Knighton IT2 Joshua Isaac Kobylinski IC1 Frank Edward Kocis ABF1 Steven James Kolar PS1 Keith Anthony Kolhagen BM2 Bradley Paul Koll EMN1 Alex Joshua Kordish ABEAA Kohl Zachary Kovacich ICFN Reine Ninkam Koyue EM3 Matthew Henry Krause LTJG Robert Anthony Kress ETN3 Joshua Taylor Krueger EMN1 Ryan "C" Kuhn ICFN Kody Mamie Kuhns LT Samuel Houston Kuhr FCCM Jason Albert Kutsch AT2 Christina Lauren Kuzenkova MM1 Matthew Bryant Kuznieski LS3 Jarvis Andrew Lacey LS2 Reggie "C" Lacsina IC1 Jason Daryl Lacy MM1 Gilbert Nmn Laguerre AT2 Maria Schaunice Lake MMN3 Justin Case Lakes MA3 Anjanette Marie Lamanche ABH3 Marni Anne Lambert ET2 Fredrick William Lambuth HTFA Joseph Seth Laminack USS GERALD R. FORD

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MMN1 Chad Thomas Lampe AO3 Zekara Keshara Land AE2 Michael Brent Landers AOAR Armando Enrique Landin ABF3 Autumn Nichole Landrum ABH3 Jessica Anne Lanford MMN3 Bryan Nathan Langan ICFR Cristobal Deangelo Lange LCDR Winston Brian Langham LSSA Krizmar "V" Lardizabal ABF2 Vermiecel Vinoya Larican EMNC Tony Lynn Larison ABHAN Jacob Joseph Larkin ABEC Rodney Lee Larkins ADAN Nicholas Anthony Lask LT Michael Ryan Laski HM2 Jay Hendrick Lavina ABHAN Brianna Nicole Lawrence ENS Francesca Jewell Lawson ABH3 James Michael Lawson LCDR Shane Eugene Lawson ABHAR Trevor William Lay AOAR Anthony Minnitti Layug AOAR Drew Alexander Leach LT Travis Jordan Leary MMN2 Timothy Michael Leblanc AOAA Richie Ray Lebron IT1 Tye Leonard Leclair ET3 Erick Anthony Ledezma LTJG Tyler Allen Lwslie Ledoux HM2 Christopher Shawn Lee CWO3 Derrick "L" Lee AOAR Devontay Ray Lee AMAA James Hollis Lee EMFN Jungbok Nmn Lee BMSR Khareem Freeman Lee AD1 Kintik Nmn Lee AM2 Kyle Alexander Lee ABEAN Samuel "B" Lee IT3 Carl Alexander Leer ABHAR Justin Edward Lefont AZ3 Toby Matthew Lehr MMN1 Sean Mark Leipold IT3 Nathaly Rocio Leon ABE1 Reginald Dewayne Leonard CDR Jade Lee Lepke ABHAA Keith Andrew Lesliewilkins CDR Raymond Cheuk Leung ABHAA Brayden Todd Levan ABHAR Esteban Jose Levario ABEAN Andre Armani Leverson ABEAA Aaron Joseph Lewis EM1 Alvin Francisco Lewis AO2 Brandon Michael Lewis AO3 Devaney Marie Lewis AO2 Geraud Antwan Lewis LSCM Gersham "O" Lewis ABEAR James Andrew Lewis LT James Richmond Lewis MM3 Lamanuel Jay Lewis DCC Michael Deshawn Lewis AOAA Tyler Edward Lewis EMN3 Zachary Aaron Lewis ETN2 Teryn Ashley Libby ABFAN Morgan Lashae Light ABE1 Edmund Robert Ligon ABH3 Mercedes Pamela Limavasquez QM3 Jialiang Nmn Lin LT Eduardo Nmn Linares ISCS Michael Joshua Linares LS3 Trent Isaiah Lincoln SH3 Derek Saquing Lindberg AZ2 Michael Dejour Lindsay

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ABHAN Neal Morris Lingafelt BMSN Lennon Michael Liszcz ABH2 Ryan Marshall Little MC2 Ryan Douglas Litzenberger AOAR Dakota Craig Livermore CSSA Jewelmari Uson Llamas MMNC Christopher Blake Lloyd AOC Shawn Christopher Locklear AT2 Christopher Willia Lockwood IT1 Allison Gale Loeffler MCSN Connor Douglas Loessin CSSR Michael Xavier Loftin ABH3 Pedro Loi Logarta ABHAN Dean William Loiacano CSC Robert Edward Lonergan SH1 Alejandro Felix Lopez ASAA Jonathan Eric Michael Lopez ABFAA Jorge Nmn Lopez ABH3 Sylvia Amorette Lopez LS2 Ceroma Allen Love NCC Roynika Denise Love MMN1 Kyle Mullikin Lovett ABH2 Douglas Wayne Lovette ABH3 Chaz Allen Low LT Rebecca Louise Lowe MMN3 Jahdiel Jaasau Lowery FC1 Isaac Nmn Lozano ABHAA David Mario Lumene ABHAN Jordan Tyler Lutz MASN Madeline Carrie Lutz LSSN Malcolm Shaquille Lyles ETN3 Donald Joseph Lynch MM2 Shemeka Denae Lynch MMN1 Gary Patrick Lyon AOC Curt Patrick Lyons AO1 Richard Scott Mabe AO1 Michael Brian Mabey LT David Allan Macey AOAN Trent Jacob Machado IC2 Rebecca Diane Machusek BM3 Channing Frederick Mack MMN2 Alfred Thomas Mackler OS3 Alec Wayne Maclean AS1 Nathaniel Josemarie Madamba AOAR Jacob Wade Madsen EMFA Stanley Andrew Madurski CSSA Cory Stephen Magolnick ABE2 Richsan Blanco Magpantay AO1 Mathew Ernest Maheu AOAA Kodah Ryan Maida MMN2 Christopher Ryan Majercin CS3 Antoria Lashawn Major IS2 Sarah Marie Maley IT2 Nathaniel Jake Mallari LS1 Joseph Laroco Mamaradlo ABFAN Marc Dennis Manaloto ABHAA Jeremy Shoemaker Manarang ITCS Randall Peter Mand AOAR Connor Harnett Mangano ABHC Edwin Vasquez Mangona MASR Kyle Nelson Manley EM1 John Earnest Manning AS2 Daphney Lynn Manor LS1 Marlou Nmn Mapatac MMN3 Michael "Nmn" Marano ABE1 Timothy Paul Marchini LSSA Nigel Joseph Marcos CTT2 Philip George Marcotte EMN3 Nishat Nmn Maredia ABH1 Raul Nmn Marescortez LTJG Tara K Middlebrooks Mark MA2 Ramel Nmn Marks BMSR Jesse Musashi Marquez

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ICFN Rachel Breann Marringer ABH3 Jocelyn Mariel Marroquin CSSA Damondre Tyreik Marsenburg CS3 Dustin Darby Marshall YNSN Tatayna Renea Marshall MMN2 Brandon Anthony Martin AMAA Jerry James Martin FC2 Ronald Lynwood Martin SHSN Ariel Lynn Martinez CS3 Janie Nmn Martinez EN3 Jonathan Rafael Martinez AO3 Kenneth Jose Martinez CSSN Lloydamarie Tumane Martinez ABHAN Victor Manuel Martinez ABHAA Leandro Javier Martinezperez ABE2 Brandon Eugene Martinson AOAA Darius Devante Mason AO1 Gesette Donnally Mason CTTSN Kathrina Ashley Mason ABFAR Mackenzie Taylor Mason ABFAN Taylor Renee Mason IT1 Wayne Preston Mason ABH1 Saleema Nicole Massey AOAN Stephen Carlton Massey EN1 David Isaac Mast CS1 Charles "Nmn" Masten SHSR Keon Rashad Mathews LS3 Louis Freeman Mathews BM3 Faeline Voncile Matthews AOAA Sophia Marie Mattos MMN3 Austin Christopher Mawdesley ABHAN Michael Montrell Maxey AO2 Dorothy Marie Mayfield IT2 Andrea Lynn Mcbee EM2 Bradley Aaron Mcbrayer EMFR Mitchell Allen Mcbride HM3 Timothy John Mcbride AC1 Tyler James Mccague ABHAN Nicholas Kylen Mccants IS1 Richard Alan Mccardle AC2 Brittany Shanae Mcclain PS2 James Nelson Mcclain AOAA Arnold Lee Mcclendon AO3 Codarius Teran Mcclendon ABE1 Melanie Maritza Mccollum IC2 Ryan "E" Mccombs CAPT Richard Curtis Mccormack AS2 Shane Rawdon Mccormick AOAR Darius Ray Mccoy EN1 Harvey Earl Mccoy DC2 Jacob Cole Mccoy ABF2 Kenneth Wayne Mccoy ABHAA Mikayla Julia Mccoy ABEAR Sasha Lashon Mccoy BMSR Gregory Charles Mcdaniel AZ3 Tyler Brandon Mcdonald ETN3 Victoria Elizabeth Mcdowell AOAR Jacob Michael Mceachin EM1 Michael Gibson Mcfadden ABEAN Lameka Annette Mcghee CDR Robert Alton Mcgill EM3 Maxwell "C" Mcgimsey LT Mary Catherine Mcginn ETN1 James Kaishang Mcglinchey AOAR Matthew Francis Mcgough CTTSR Jacob Matthew Mcguire BMSA Lucas James Mcinerney IT2 Aaron Thomas Mckee AO2 Alex David Mckelvey DC1 Letitia Monique Mckelvey MMN2 Matthew Joseph Mckennon ET3 John Henry Mckinney MA2 Ashley Armbriste Mclaughlin USS GERALD R. FORD

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ABH1 Delbert Clar Mclaughlin ABE1 Robert Adrian Mclendon MMN3 Blayden Dare Mcleod MMN2 Dillon Michael Mcmahon EMCS Harold Gerrod Mcmillan ABH2 Khadisha Nmn Mcmillan LSSA Domenick Tyrone Mcmillian LSSN Diondra Chantelle Mcmutry EMFA Corey Ryan Mcnabb MMN3 Major Thornhill Mcnair CAPT Matthew Arthur Mcnally AO1 Ashley Byron Mcneese AO1 David Willie Mcquiller MM3 Christopher Ryan Mcswain CTTSR Hannah Kathryn Mcvey CSSN Jonathan Jovanhy Mears IC3 Cassandra Nicole Medina EMN2 Richard Anthony Medina OS2 Jacob Jeanrichard Medor MMNCS Derek Juergen Meier FC3 James Andrew Meisch LT Javier "O" Mejia IC3 Frank Christopher Mejias IT3 Josh Jordan Melendez AOAR Luis Nmn Melendez EMN2 Jonathan Steven Melick OS1 Gregory Dontell Melvin DCFR Andrew Armando Mendez ABE2 Joshua Geraldo Mendez AO1 Juancarlos Nmn Mendez CWO3 Michael Nmn Mendez EMN3 Thomas Jose Mendez AS3 Rawley William Mendiola IC3 Belen Nmn Mendoza ABE3 Daniella Brianna Mendoza ATAN Desiree Marie Mendoza AOAA Guillermo Jose Merced MM2 Benjamin Wallace Meredith YN1 Monique Chastene Merjudio MA2 Brandon Lee Merriweather AZAA Jordan Atley Messer ETN3 Matthew Dylan Meszaros EMN2 Matthew Alan Meyers CSSA Zhijun "Nmn" Miao ABHAN Patrick Austin Michael ATCS John Evans Mickey MACM Jack Pearson Mickle CTR3 Matthew Joseph Micone YN2 Kendra Joy Miedema ETN1 Enzo William Migliolo ICFN Beatriz Nmn Milique MMN3 Austin Cody Miller MMN3 Austin Travis Miller AS2 Doland Jay Miller ABFAA Donald Frederick Miller ABF2 George Cooper Miller IT1 Jeffrey Paul Miller ABFAA Justin "T" Miller MMN1 Justin Chance Miller LSSR Leonard Timothy Miller OS1 Lorenzo Dejorn Miller AOAN Malik Elliott Miller MMCM O "J" Miller LT Patrick Edward Miller AOAA Zachary Ryan Miller CS2 Rahkeem Alexander Millington LTJG Eric Christopher Mills LCDR Jeffery Allen Milota IT3 Ryan Steven Milstead MMN2 Nathan Thomas Minervino ABEAR Anthony Bond Minoglio CSSN Tyree Hasaan Minor

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ABH3 Carina Nmn Miramontes ABE2 Phillip Alexander Missick EMN1 Caleb Slade Mitchel BMSN Emily Katherine Mitchell MMN3 Spencer Damon Mitchell ET3 Brett Ryan Mix MMN2 Dylan Brian Mizelle CTR3 Benjamin Masaru Mizuo PS2 Parastou Nmn Moazemigoudarzi HT2 Michael Patrick Modugno CSSA Alvaughn Gerald Moe ABH3 Renee Yasmin Mohamed IC1 Christopher Allan Mondry LS3 Miguel David Monduy ABHAR Jonalynn Marie Monroyglover MAC Sarah Lynn Monson LSC Hugo Nmn Montesdeoca ACAR Anthony Martin Moore ABEC Brian Lee Moore IT3 Clifton Tiner Moore CSSA Dakeyita "S" Moore CSSA Dyon Suemon Moore LSSR Javion Kyre Moore MA2 Natasha Corinne Moore AOAR Robert Ray Moore IT3 Bonergie Nmn Morales AEAN Jose Raul Morales EMN1 Paul Robert Morales MMFR Ryan Markay Moreland ABHAR Dalton Jacob Morell MM2 David Sentell Morgan ENS Eugene "Nmn" Morgan FC3 Kyle Dean Morgan YN3 Shane David Morgan CDR Christopher "J" Morris AOCS Christopher James Morris BMSN Melissa Jennings Morris ABF2 Steven Lee Morris ET2 Sean Christopher Morrison IC1 Jedediah Martin Morse ABHAA Zayd Ahmad Morton CSSR Michael Joseph Mosley ABE1 Emmanuel Babasegun Motosho OS1 Kaylea Nicole Motsenbocker CSSR Oscar "Nmn" Mottagallardo OS2 Monique Mavis Mottley ABE1 Louis Bernard Mountain ABHAA Victoria Lee Anne Mowery EMFN Matthew Taylor Mozingo ABFAA Eric "M" Mueller EMFN Blake Lee Muenzenmeyer AT1 Matthew "S" Muhlenbeck LT Gregory James Mullins ABHAN Jacqueline Nmn Munoztoledo ABHAN Ajhara J'daye Murphy ABF3 Andrew Antonio Murphy AO3 Israel Leon Murphy BMSR Reginald Wesley Iii Murphy HM2 Robert Thomas Murphy ABH2 Jawann Rashaad Murray MCSN Joshua Micheal Murray CSSR Mahamed Ibrahim Mussa ETN1 Alexander Stephen Muth LSSN Samuel Thomas Muzzio ABHAR Malik Choquell Myers LS2 Shayna Elisabeth Myers IC2 Daniel Amyas Naff AC2 Kevin Lawrence Nagy ETN2 Zachary Joseph Nagy ABHAA Christopher Carlo Nardelli SHSA Christopher Richard Neal ET3 Dylan Michael Neal

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CWO3 Michael Edward Neck HTCS William Victor Neiderman AOAR Lars Ryan Nelsen HR Chase Mason Nelson ETN3 David Otis Nelson PS3 Jessica Nicole Nelson ABHAA Mariah Noelle Nelson AO2 Danielle Lanise Neri ABH3 Shawnee Era Alice New IT2 Bradley Keith Newcomb EMN2 Aaron Kortlin Newell STG1 Gary James Newsom MASR Magdalena Marie Newton ETN3 Danh Cong Nguyen OS3 Steven Andrew Nguyen LCDR Daniel Kirk Nichols ABF3 Hayley Lynnette Niehaus BMSR Francis Nmn Noel ITSN Joshua Robert Nolan AOAN Jonathan Taylor Nooyen LTJG Carol Emilie Nordman CSSN Astrid Jazelle Noriega CTT1 Erik David Norman AO3 Ryan Glenn Norman EM1 Jamie Tod Norris MMFR Kate Sylvia Nortman MAC Petermartin Chapin Noska AS3 Samuel Barone Notte MMN1 Brandon Lee Nowlan HM2 Adam "J" Null ADAA Jacob Conrad Nunes CMDCM Laura Suzanne Nunley LS2 Innocent Kume Nyuydine PS2 Michael Anthony Obrien MASA Savannah Marie Obyrne ABFAA Lucas Joseph Ochoa AT3 Ryan Allan Oconnell YNSA Rayon Odane Oconnor ABHAA Keaten Hunter Oconnorisraelson MMN2 Joseph Lee Oden EMC Brian Michael Odett CS3 Adedapo Omotunde Odusanya ABFAR Ashley Ann Marie Oertwig EMN1 Sidney Alan Ogles ICC Bryan James Ogroske AOAA Ceasar Antonio Ojeda ABHAA Timothy Ryan Ojeda ABHAN Justin Ehimwenma Okhomina PS2 Igbekele Joshua Oki EMN2 Justin Lee Oliphant IC1 Steven Geno Olivo DCC Carolyn Annette Olson ABFAA Dylan Thomas Olson MMN1 Joshua Michael Olson AT3 Kirsten Louise Olson ABE1 Franklin Roy Orpilla BMSR Houston Erol Orr EMFN David Joseph Ortiz ENS Nidia Auxilia Ortizmadrigal ABEC Anthony Kennedy Osei EMNC Matthew Aleric Oshier AM1 Jeremy Kyle Oswalt ABHAN Joshua Marcus Ott CSSA Sammy Noah Oum MMN1 Frederick Mathias Overbay FC1 Braden Lee Overman EM2 Michael Truman Owens ENS Andrew Brian Oxendine ABHAN Jared Robert Pace AOAR Matthew Evart Pachak ABHAA Paulina Nmn Pacheco IT1 Eugene Anthony Paczkowski


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LSCM German Alberto Padilla AOAR Kory Nmn Page LSC Vicky Nmn Pages ABE1 Dennis Cuison Paglingayen AOAR Chelsi Lynn Painter AO2 John Casey Palenzuela CS3 Adrian Demelle Palmer EM3 Johnchristian Gasmen Palmiano QMSN Lydia Marie Pandorf MMN1 Alvin Ernie Pangilinan MC1 Jonathan Lamarr Pankau AOAR Darin Scott Papillon CTT2 Josiah John Paraiso MMNFN Nolan Russcamacho Paras ABHC Alquin Germel Parker EMC Charlene Deniece Parker EMN3 Donald Raymond Parker BMSN Anthony David Parkman YNCS Wave Daniel Parland ET2 Steven Christopher Parnell AOAA Dante Antonio Parra CSSA Jasson Gomez Parra EMC Suzie Sophia Parris AM1 Jason Dale Parsons AMAA Katelyn Renee Parsons MC2 Jason Matthew Pastrick ABHAN Jolinaanne Tapec Patao ITCS Jennifer Suzanne Pate AOAN Emily Clare Patrick MMN2 Viveka Michelle Patterson AOAR Tyler Matthew Patton ICCM Joseph Michael Paul ASC Jose Miguel Paulino LT Thomas James Pausche AOAN Austin Blake Payne DCFR Kelsey Rae Payne AO3 Timothy Ray Payne ENC Stephen Ray Payton AE2 Kelly Dale Peace ETN3 Zachary Allen Peaden GM3 Spencer Patrick Pearce ABHAR Elias Ruben Pedroza ASAN Matthew Ray Pehle ABFAA John Quincy Pelote ETN1 Troy Allen Pelton ABF2 Kenyatta Demetric Pelzer YNSA Christian Pascua Peralta ABH1 Luis "D" Perdomo LSSR Jordan Samantha Allen Perdue AOAN David Nmn Perez ADAA Ethanangelo Concepcio Perez PSCM Gabriel Medina Perez ABHAN John Paul Perez CS3 Jose Roberto Perez EMNC Joseph Louis Perez AOAA Joseph Matthew Perez ABE2 Marcus Orlando Perez FC2 Michael Aaron Perez PS2 Ruben Dario Perez GM3 Zachary Alan Perez IS2 Grant Christian Perkins ABFAR Samuel Lee Perkins Iii AO1 James Robert Perry AO1 John Samuel Perry ENS Matthew Ruud Perry ABE3 Nicole Destinee Perry LSSR Austin Jeffrey Peterson EN1 Terrell "T" Peterson AOAA Tyler Austin Peterson ABHAA Kristofer Michael Pettera AOAN Devin Kyle Pettey AOAN Austin David Pettingell

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MMN2 Xavier Levian Pettis MMN2 Justin Britt Pezzella AOAR Austin Quinn Phillips EMFR Rebecca Lynn Phillips BMSR Shamar James Phillips LT Trinity William Phillips OS1 Gary Isaiah Philpot ABFAR Dusten Hugh Pickell MA3 Matthew Vincent Pickle AM2 Culley Michael Pierce IC1 Mikel Lyn Pierce MMN2 Bryce "O" Pierre LS1 Gardy Nmn Pierre HT1 Samantha Lee Pina ETN3 Sydney Marlene Pinard ACC Diana Veronica Pinos MA3 Gregory Adam Piocos ABFC Cherry Florence Pizzarelle CDR Thomas Edward Plott Ii MA1 Jonathan Carl Plowman ABH3 David Nmn Polanco AOAN Jacob Matthew Polisky AOC Donald Jameswilliam Pollitt MM1 Franklin Dane Pollydore HN Gabrielle Dominque Poole CS3 Matthew Avery Poole ABE1 Andrew Nathaniel Pope LT Daniel Lawrence Pope IC3 Dane Robert Porterfield ASCS Jeffrey Wade Powell MMN1 Matthew James Powell PSSA Nagee Samuel Powell HTFR Austin Michael Powers MM1 Lendon Storbin Poyser CDR Terry "J" Pratt MMNFA Jesse Austin Brent Prazma AOCS Myron Duvall Prescott AOCM Tyese Rassoul Pressley MMN3 Dustin Lloyd Preston ABEAR Jenu Nicole Previlus MMN3 Blake Fontren Price MMN3 Matthew Joshua Price DC2 Samuel Hudson Price ABHC James Kelly Priest ABFAA Malachi James Probst CS3 Destiny Rose Pryor HT1 John Paul Pszczola AT2 Emanuel Rafael Puerta HM3 Aaron Micheal Puffenbarger ITSA Marriah Lynnette Pugh BM3 Quinton James Pugh PS3 Zachariah Hartman Wesley Pugh AO3 Jessica Kielo Pulakka LSC Jennifer Nmn Punch EMFN Janczel Bernas Punzalan BMSR Raymond Shamouk Purvis MMN3 Samuel James Putt ACC Tamara Lynn Quam IC3 Casey Aaron Quarterman ABE2 Dorian Allen Queener LTJG Nicholas William Quenga AM1 Francisco Rogelio Quezada ET1 Sean Haven Quigley ABFC John Eric Quillin GM1 Ernest Nmn Quinones LCDR Edward David Quinonesdoyle EMN1 Paul Andrew Quito CTR1 Eric Tyler Rachels ABH3 Charmeise Tierra Raeford ABHAR Nicholas Andrew Ragland MC2 Kiana Ashley Raines CSSN Michael Anthony Raines

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AM1 Itheoplus Vemal Raj MM3 Joshua Christian Rakes AOAR Simeon Nikimo Rambharose SHSN Adrian Nmn Ramirez AOAA Jonathan Scott Ramirez ABHCS Jorge Alberto Ramirez ABH2 Jose Nmn Ramirez MMN1 Robert Ruben Ramirez MMN3 Travis "Nmn" Ramnarine MMFR Abrana Marie Ramos AOAR Alejandro Emmanuel Ramos OS3 Derrick Aaron Ramos ABF1 Jorge Nmn Ramos CSSR Roman "Nmn" Ramos ABEAN Dennisa Mari Ramossurillo IC3 Adriana Amelia Ramsey BMSR Lakeelen Jamar Ramsey ET3 Johnathan Lamar Randall HM3 Briccio Galicia Rapido LCDR Cody Holmes Rapp ABF3 Chelsey Lynn Rary AO1 Dawntrell Emmanuel Rasberry EMFN Justin Ala Rasimowiczhowell EMN2 Adam Curtis Raske LS2 John Elmore Ratliff ICC Ryan Lee Ratts MASR Isabella Sunflower Raudez AZAA Tyson Aaron Ray CTMC Reginald Charron Rayburn MMN3 William Lawrence Raymond ABHAA Anna Grunya Raynes LTJG Catherine Mary Reed ICFN Corey Lee Reed LT Kenneth Dale Reed ABHAR Marvin Louis Reed MC2 Ruben Patrick Reed ABHAN Daniel Keith Reents MMFN Charles Jacob Reese ET3 Taylor Anne Reever LSSR Chase Andoni Regil AO1 Sammanuel Travanti Register BMSN Kadeemdyquane Alexande Reid ABHAR Kenya Brianna Reid CTT3 Shawn Michael Reid ABF1 Teklehaymanot Asheber Reid AOAN Ashleigh Nichole Reiter SN Reachy Nmn Renois ABHAN Lorenzo Nmn Resendiz FC2 Jaemondjoemart Cacdac Reyes ABHAR Bernardo Nmn Reyesschwartzman AT1 Jaime "Nmn" Reyna ABFAR Xavier Marcell Reynolds LT Mickey Lloyd Rhoades YNSN Robert Alan Rhoads ABF1 Nathan Isac Rhodes ABF2 Angel Savanah Rice YN1 Casey Marie Rice ABHAN Garrett Christopher Rice CS3 Jamesha Brenee Richardson EM3 Trevor Allen Richardson ABE2 Darrin Allan Richmon CDR William David Richmond ABHAR Armano Akim Ricks LNC Briana Lynn Ridlon MMN3 Jeanica Lyka Rief AE1 Timothy Matthew Riegel MM1 Daniel Carl Ries AOAA Cornell Nmn Riley LT Nicholas Page Rimes EM3 John Derek Ringler EM3 Alexander Nmn Rios EMFN Nydaria Nmn Risher

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FC2 Zachary Chaz Ritchlin ABHAA Andrew Jacob Rivas HN Bryan Jay Rivas ABHAN Carlos Alberto Rivas AT1 Antonio Saverio Rivera EM2 Christopher Manuel Rivera BMSN Cody Marcus Rivera ABE1 Daniel Jose Rivera AOAR Jonah Anthony Rivera CDR Luis "E" Rivera YN3 Stefan Lee Roberson CDR Christopher Andre Roberto YN2 Amber Nmn Roberts LCDR Brandolyn Nicole Roberts ABHAA Mathew Ryan Roberts ABFC Michael Alexander Roberts AOC Rajard Damon Roberts IT2 Wendy Rea Roberts AZAA Alexander James Robertson LT Daniel James Robertson AOC Tony Lee Robeson ABEAN Antonio Willie Robinson ABFAA Deion Thomaslamarr Robinson ABHAA Gabriel James Robinson LSSR Jabari Adaryll Robinson ABH3 Kendall Trenton Robinson IC3 Marcus Jamaal Robinson ABF3 Porsche Rene Robinson LCDR Shariva Antoinette Robinson ABHAN Tirrell Nmn Robinson AOAA Wesley Alan Robinson GMSA Xandria Ann Robinson LS1 Esteban Pedro Roca LT Derek Stephen Jordan Rocha AO3 Heather Faith Rockholt ET3 Alysa Anne Rodriguez ABE2 Carlos Nmn Rodriguez AOAN Deanne Noelle Rodriguez ABHAN Edwin Nmn Rodriguez OS2 Jose Thomas Rodriguez AOAR Kevin David Rodriguez AOAA Zachary Jared Rodriguez ABH1 Kalexsis Nmn Rodriguezortiz MA3 Cinthya "A" Rodriguezsandoval LCDR Timothy Wayne Roe ET1 Benjamin John Rogers ABE1 Bobby Wayne Rogers LSC Chiwanna Nicolette Rogers AOAR Michael Lewis Rogers ABEAA Payson Cole Rogers MMN1 Stephen Jeffrey Rogers CSC Tonia Marie Rogers MMN3 Scott Sado Roldan LCDR Jaime Ivan Roman IS2 Rachel Loy Romeo MM2 Camila Andrea Romero CS3 Cecilia Guadalu Romeroreyes ETN3 Kelcey Lynn Ronning SH1 Angel Miguel Rosa MASA Samuel Edward Rosa Ii MMN1 Danny Nmn Rosado ABH3 Fairchild Aguimbag Rosario MC1 Cory Mattern Rose IT3 Kevin Joseph Rose FC2 Benjamin Mark Rosino MMNC Jason James Roskens AOAR Jahnaesha Tiaramarie Ross ATC Scott Andrew Rossi LT David Cameron Rowley AZ2 Taylor Lee Ruddy ABHAA Catherine Aracely Rueda ABHAN Luis Ricardo Ruedasalas

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AOAA Kahlil Armad Ruffin CWO3 Robert Charles Ruggiero MC2 Kristopher George Ruiz AT1 Michael Paul Rupe AO1 Labrandon Markeise Russell EM3 Steven Thomas Sabatini LTJG Wesley Scott Sadler NCC Jason Marc Sain BMSN Joel Patric Salazar ABHAA Jonathan Nmn Salcedo LCDR Alicia Marie Salerno OS2 Brittney Nicole Salmon IC3 Alexi Rae Salomon ABHAA Jack Warren Salters ABHAR William Judson Sampson ABE3 Michael Teofilo Samuel CSSA Khurshed "Nmn" Sanakulov AOAN Armando Elizondo Sanchez AOC Marlena Crystal Sanchez AN Shane Patrick Sandahl PSSN Erik Anders Sandbeck LSCS Calendula Opal Sanders ABE2 Jamichael Ray Sanders MM1 Erick Alonso Sandoval ENS Peter Frank Sangenette AC3 Erika Nmn Sanmartin AZC Brian Ale Santacruzdeoviedo PRAN Jesse Michael Santistevan CAPT Gregory Michael Saracco AZ2 Zachary Henry Saruba FC3 Chad Allen Satterla ABHAN Ramon Nmn Sauceda ABHAR Alejandro Nmn Saucedo ABFAR Cheyann Faith Saunders HT1 Vincent Lee Savage ATC Philip Louis Sawicki YN2 Taylor Anthony Sawin OS3 Mia Momoko Sawyer MMNC Cheyenne Marie Scarbrough LT Jamal Nmn Scarlett AZAN Steven Xavier Schaeffer MM1 Joshua Jacob Scheib CTR1 Estrella Nmn Schelmetty MM2 John William Scherder BMSR Justin Zechariah Schiltz MCSN Gitte Maeve Schirrmacher ET2 Brian Andrew Schittig ET3 Andrew Paul Schmidt ABHAA Samuel Brett Schneider LT Eric Charles Schoening IC1 Marc Paul Schoonmaker ET2 Bethany Lynn Schoonover IT1 David Robert Schoultz FCC Eric Edward Schrotberger AO1 James Howard Schuh HT1 Harry Andrew Schultz AOAR Zackary Aaron Schumacher ABE2 Zackary Martin Scior LS2 Chaz Michael Scoggins AOC Jason Terrell Scott HM3 Jessica Leigh Scott ABFAA John Wayne Scott LSSA Johnny Dalton Scott ETSN Shelby Lynn Scott AT3 Tristan Kevin A Scottledlon GMSR David Allen Scoville MA1 Enrique Dejesus Sealy LSC Xiomara Lissette Seda LSC Theresa "M" Sedwick OS3 Tatiana Gabrielle Segarra AM2 William Edward Sekel LT Thomas Peter Seland

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ABH1 Leti "S" Seloti ASAN Derrick Aenoi Senglothnam ETNCS Justin Edwin Sequaptewa MA2 Joshua Paul Serencses ETN3 Brian Andrew Serpa CSSR Julio Alejandro Serrano ABFAN Kavahn Terrell Serrette EMN2 Justin "R" Sessions DC1 Scott Alanjoseph Seuferling QM3 Nabeel Shafiq Shah GM1 Scott Robert Shanholtzer AOAA Robert Benjamin Shank MMC Cedric Micheal Shankle ABEAA Summer Mykhell Sharp AOAA Christopher Ty Shaw ABE2 George Keanen Shaw AOAA Jason Omario Shaw ENS Matthew Douglas Shaw HT1 Trevor Maurice Shaw CSSR Sean Thomas Sheehan EMN2 Oscar Vince Sheehanbautista LS3 Chaun Carlton Shell ABHAA Howard Nmn Shelley ENFR Khalil "O" Shelton HM3 James Clarence Shelvay MC1 Joshua David Sheppard AS3 Anthony Dasha Sherman EMFN Jacob Allen Sherman EM1 Senese "A" Sherman CSSR Victoria Paige Sherwood LT Brendan Michael Shields AOAN Derrek Gene Shipe BMC Robert Andrew Shirley IC1 Rory John Shisler DC2 Curtis Carl Sholtes ABE2 Michael Burton Shores HM2 Ryan James Shortridge YN2 Karlie Rose Shrewsbury LT Erin Elizabeth Shuba EMN2 Nicholas Tyler Shubert AS2 Andy Chunki Shum AOAR James Everett Shumate LT Jaimie Sue Shurden ABHAN Devin James Sibby AS2 Patrick Gene Siebenaller ENS Fred Jame Sigears LS1 Daniel Eduardo Silva LSSA Samuel Jean Marie Silva ABE3 Francine Marie Simeon IT3 Alexavier Julan Simmons LT Christopher Bryant Simmons ABF2 Roderick Oneal Sinclair ABHAR Aleeziah Moriah Sinegarza HR Elisjah Paul Singleton AOAN Mara Rider Singleton CSSA Eric Benjamin Skilang AOAA Jasmine Li Skorberg LS3 Caprice Alexandria Slade LS2 Joshua Michael Slane ABFAR Storm Demond Slaton LT Daniela Nmn Sloan IT1 Richard Andrew Small AM2 Keneisia "K" Smartgallegos EMFA Christian Michael Smith EMFN Cody Ryan Smith LN1 Dameon Raymone Smith AO3 Daryl Gene Smith HN Deja Taina Smith AS3 Dylan Richard Smith ABH2 Eric Scott Smith FC3 Evan Alexander Smith LT Howard Virgil Smith

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ABFAA Jaclyn Elaine Smith EMN2 Jazlyn Susana Smith ABE1 Jernelle "S" Smith LS2 Jerronda Lasha Smith MMN2 John Matthew Smith AO1 Joshua Cole Smith AO1 Joshua Ryan Smith ABEAR Kagan Dean Smith EM3 Kaitlyn Michelle Smith AO2 Larri Van Smith AEAN Maliek Davon Smith ABE3 Monique Alexandria Smith OS2 Phillip Brandon Smith AOAN Richard Benjamin Smith BM3 Rolonda Nicole Smith LT Ruth Esther Smith AO1 Sean Houston Smith ABFAR Trevor Dylan Smith EM2 Vincent Edward Smith ABF3 Allyn Margaret Smithers CDR Joseph Walter Smotherman IC2 Alan Roy Snowden AGC Jeremy Christopher Snyder ETN2 Matthew Daniel Snyder IC2 Henrique Jose Soares AZ2 Shaniece Tierra Soil ETN3 Connor Cayce Solander SHC Vernon Ray Solomon ABE1 Lewisandro Nmn Solorio AT1 Skyler Jacob Sonnet ABHAN Dewaylin Lamon Sora BMSR Nicholas James Soss ABHAA Hansel Andres Soto BMSN Antoiwauna Daniell Southern LCDR Kirk Anthony Sowers ABE3 Devin Tyler Sparkman MAC Andrew Thomas Sparks MA2 Mariah Shuntall Sparks BM1 Mintrell Devon Speight OS2 Quentez Lavelle Speller AZ1 Jeffery Raymond Spicer CTR3 Nicholas Robert Spicker LN1 Bethany Lynn Spinney MMN3 Sean Michael Spofford ABHAA Alexandra Marie Spooner CTT1 Stephen Hugh Spratlin LS2 Wel Alfredo Spraus ABH3 Jordan Scott Springer AO3 Kenneth Brian Springs EM3 Jyhan Giselle Springston AOAR Dylan Robert Spruill IT2 Kyle Taylor Spurlin LN3 Christopher Eric Stadolnik MA1 Benjamin Keith Staley HM1 Florencio Diegod Stamberger IC3 Glenn Zachary Stanfield LS2 Darcy Damara Stanford AOAN Ahmad Rashon Stark DC1 Marcus Terrell Steed IC3 Vanessa Nacole Steed AO1 David Charles Steele ABHAA Rachel Elizabeth Stempko ABFAR Cody Wayne Stephens MA1 Dustin Davell Stephens BM2 Shavanda Chante Stephens HTFA Willie Dionnete Stephens ENS Brandon Scott Stevens AOAR Marquis Deshawn Stevens ABE3 Sade Symone Stevenson ABEAA Cononious Aleese Stewart FC2 Lance Kimble Stewart BMSA Tavares Demahn Stewart

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ENS Thomas Christohergag Still AO1 Alesha Christine Stock ABE1 Jeremy Michael Stoecklein YN2 Sabrina Sade Stokes OS2 Santana Danielle Stokes LT Jason Leroy Story ABHAA Emily Louise Stout AT2 Stephen Lloyd Strakos MMN1 Stephen Eric Street LS2 Zachary Allan Stremmel MMN3 Adam Christopher Striegel EMFN Courtney Djuan Le Stripling ABEAN Jordan Allen Stripling EM3 Kevin Tyler Strobel FC1 Justin William Strope LT Tyler Houghton Struzinski AOAN Jayquan George Sullivan AOAR Kyle Joseph Sullivan AN Kharon Kashahee Suswellpate AO3 Jamye Lee Sutherland MMCM Douglas Jerry Suthers AOAR Kody Mack Swallow ABE3 Troy Allen Sweeney AO2 Melissa Joy Sweeting ABH2 Jared Michael Swift AM1 Nathan Wayne Swiger ABHAR Todd Andrew Switzer MMN2 Giancarlo Nmn Tagliaferri ABH2 Rey Miguel Talisayon ABE1 Chaonan Nmn Tao LS1 Kimberly Nicole Tatum AC2 Amanda Lynn Taylor AOAN Archie Nesta Taylor MMFN Garrott Bryce Taylor BM3 James Earl Taylor ATAN Jasmin Christiane Taylor BMSN Jesce Unique Taylor HTC Joshua Dean Taylor ET2 Joshua Keyan Taylor DC3 Justin Haggardlee Taylor AOAA Mark Denning Taylor SHSN Nazje Dezja Taylor AC3 Robert Justin Taylor SH3 Taileur Marie Taylor CS2 Whitney Christine Taylor AOAN Dominick James Teague MA1 Richard Matthew Tenhagen SHSN Shangarica Tarsha Tennant MA1 Steven Ross Termolen ABHAR Adam Nmn Terrazas ABE1 Jennifer Diane Terry AOAN Jesse Cole Teshara ABE1 Travis Nicholas Tetting ADAN Prabin Nmn Thapa BMSR Tremelle "T" Tharpe EM1 James Lewis Thayer AM1 Steven Herold Theiss AOAA Henry Brandon Thigpen AMCS Robin Trent Thistle ABEAN Abriel Narkejah Thomas IC3 Ariel Nicole Thomas BM1 Brandon Jarvis Thomas ABHAN Christopher Quincy Thomas AOAN David Patrick Thomas LS1 Ebony Necole Thomas ABHAR Faith Nichole Thomas AOAN Jaquez Deshon Thomas EMN1 Jason Richard Thomas ABFC John Henry Thomas ITC Kyle Joseph Thomas IT1 Lesonya Mechel Thomas ABF3 Alysa Lynn Thompson

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AT2 Anthony James Thompson CTT1 Aris Michael Thompson MMN2 Casey Jason Thompson MC3 Elizabeth Ann Thompson ETN3 Elvis James Joshua Thompson EMN2 Grant Michael Thompson AO2 Jamal "B" Thompson RP1 Jerry Louis Thompson ABE2 John Earl Thompson MM1 Kevin Bruce Thompson BMSR Kevin Lee Thompson CTT2 Michaeljose Nmn Thompsonguevara IT3 Tanner Richard Thorup ABHAN Benjamin Daniel Thulin ABH1 Dylan Anderson Tiefert AMAA Luke Aaron Tillis AOCS Tanya Nicole Tilmon LCDR Jericho Baldevarona Timog ABE2 Liana Nmn Tindle YNC Berwyn Lamont Tinnion ETN3 Gilberto Nmn Tinocomedina HN Matthew Dakota Tipton OS2 Alexis Darlene Tisdale MA2 Paul Christopher Tisdale ABHAA Joseph Stephen Tobon AO2 Donovan Christopher Todd AOAN Devin Thomas Tokarz ABH2 Phillip Michael Tolaro ABHC Andre Delano Tolbert MMC Steven Roy Tollander SH1 Willie Emanuel Tolon QM3 Zoe Alaine Tomlinson EMN2 Jacob Lee Tooley CAPT Kimberly Pearcy Toone RP2 Lowell Alfonso Topham ABFAN Adam Jacob Torres ATCS Charles Edilberto Torres AC1 Scott Alexander Torres ABE1 Jean Carlos Torressivestre CSSA Karlie Jean Torrey ETN3 Sean Patrick Torrez ABHAR Alani Kuatamani Toutai ABE3 Emeriejoy Jumawan Toylo LT Khalid Nmn Trady AT3 Tyler Charles Treadway CDR Julie Mary Treanor MMN1 Jacob Scott Tretta QM1 Jose Luis Triana ABEAA Maurice Bernard Tribble ABH2 Marc Anthony Trietch EMFN Theodore Manuel Trillo AVCM Tinesha Lashaye Troupe BM2 Edgar "E" Trujillo SHSR Evan Vinh Trujillo CWO3 Felipe Urcia Tubera ABH1 Shadrach Alexander Tubman PS3 Anisha Denee Tucker SH2 Emmanuel Michael Tucker MA2 Jovan Andres Tucker ABHAA Alan James Tuinstra MMN2 Daulton Robert Tumser ABEAN Jasmine Naterah Tunnage AOAN James Alison Turner ABHAN Kalon Terah Turner MM1 Laharry Jr Turner ETN3 Mitchell Jon Hugh Turner AO3 Zachary Leonard Tuttle ABEC Christine Lynn Tyler ABEAR Jeremey Victor Tyler ITSN Savannah Sierra Tynes EM2 Royando Willesley Tyrell AO1 Christopher Patrick Tysor

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Building for Today. Investing in Tomorrow. Shaheen Development is a family-owned, community-based real estate development company. For more than five decades our focus has been to enrich our communities by creating places for living, working, leisure, and healthcare. Our Company’s Expertise Includes: Site Selection and Property Acquisition · General Contracting · Turn-Key Construction Management Services · In-House Architecture and Design/Build Services · Leasing/Sales of Prime Commercial and Residential Properties Interior Design · Furnishings


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ABHAN Kevin Charles Ulch MA1 Gregory Stefan Underwood AO3 Stephen Joseph Ungro HT2 Aasta Lasha Upshaw EMFN Michael Elliot Ureel AOAR Michael Gabriel Valdez HM1 Ronald Curammeng Valdez EM3 Adam Spencer Valencia EMN3 Rebecca Marie Valencia AZ3 Stephanie Nmn Valencia MMN2 Stephen Michael Valenta MM1 Roberto Nmn Valentinvargas AOAN Mark Arthur Valenzona ABE1 Manuel Alberto Valladares MMN2 Dakota Benjamin Vandenberg IT2 Jerry Sharod Vanderhall DC1 Ryan Jay Vanderstouw AOAA Justin Tyler Vanderzalm ATAA Tyler Jamesricke Vaneckoute LSSR Tommy Tou Vang ABHAN Skyler Ryan Vanoosten ABFAR Matthew Hayden Vantrease IS2 Keyla Mary Vargascolon OS2 Joseph Edward Vargo MM3 Ryan Donahue Vaske AOAA Bryan Oneil Vasquez ABEAN Carlos Maucrisio Vasquez EMFN Luis Angel Vasquez AO1 Casey Grant Vavra LSSR George "T" Velez ENS Pamela Alicia Velez YN3 Reynaldo Nmn Veliz LCDR Giuliana Maria Vellucci ETN1 Sean Richard Venable DC3 Ruben Micheal Venegas EMN1 Michael "W" Vige AD1 Travis Paul Vinson ABE2 Anousith Nmn Virakone EMFR Edward Thomas Voelker CTM2 Robert Edward Vogel ABHAN Sara Ann Volk ABE2 David William Vonbehren ABHAN Mitchell John Vonruden PR1 Christopher Michael Vreeland ACCS Dale John Wagner AD1 Justin Edward Wakeman DCFA Anthony Saint Patrick Walker ET2 Arianna Angelina Walker AT1 Brandon Michael Walker AOAN Christopher Strahd Walker ABFAR Helen Chenavia Walker AO2 Jhatyne Niaire Walker AOAR Kyle Michael Walker EN1 Phillip Krogun Wall EMFR Christian Alexander Wallace HM3 Tristan Michael Wallace EMFN Scott Jeffrey Walley ABFAA Randall Dominique Walls EMN3 Paris James Walters ETSA Banks Alexander Ward BMSA Dakota James Ward MMN3 Caleb Jordan Wark ETN2 Jerry Robert Warner EM2 Okito Okpara Warner ABH2 Kyle David Warren AZ3 Bryan Dennis Wartman AOCS Andrew Devon Washington IC1 David Louis Waters ABE1 Donald Ray Waters ABHAA Sakari James Waters BMSR Jon Ryan Waterstraat IT3 James Gilbert Watts IT3 Britain James Weaver

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HA Joseph William Weaver ETC Joshua Lee Weaver ABHAA Steven Troy Weaver ATAA Demarko Maurice Webb AO1 Donald Allen Webb HM1 Kwajalien Teresa Webb ETN2 Richard Lee Webb OSSR Joshua Thomas Wecker STG1 Ferris Michael Weil MMN2 Forrest Tanner Wells FN Daniel Christian West ATC Terry Jeffrey West ABHAN William Taylor West HT1 Nathan Andrew Westermier ABHAN Gregory James Weston CSSN Jacoby Bernard Weston MCC Bryan Dean Weyers AOAA William David Whelan BMSR Kayla Marie Whitcomb ABHAA Bryce Jornston White EN2 Jeffrey Michael White AZ1 Malik Tahim White ITCM Pamela Latrice White BM1 Raymond Gerald White CSSR Shannon Hakimah White EMN2 Talaya Shauntrel White ATC Roderick Jerome Whittaker CMDCS Kathryn Joyce Whittenberger ETN1 Taryn Nicole Wice BM2 Martin Ross Widenhouse ABE1 Justin Pelletier Wilbur LS1 Johnnie Nmn Wiley LT Andrew Alan Wilhelm ABF3 Darrius Tre'von Wilkerson BM1 David Lee Wilkerson MMN1 Matthew Allen Wilkerson LS3 Kendrick Isaiah Wilkins EMN2 Douglas Glenn Wilkinson ABHC Travis John Wilkinson AO1 Jesse Christin Willett ABHAR Addison Scott Williams ABHAN Charles Earl Williams ABHAN Corey Edmund Williams AZ2 Curtis Allen Williams DC1 Dustin James Williams LCDR Haywood Nmn Williams ABE1 Kenneth Paul Williams ABHAN Kristina Tyriesha Williams CSSA Larontae Tommie Williams AO1 Marcus Turane Williams CSCM Paulette Nmn Williams ADAN Rachael Elizabeth Williams SH2 Reuben Claudius Williams CTRC Roy Barton Williams ABHAN Salonica Tylene Williams ABH3 Susan Pumehana Kahea Williams MM1 Tara Marie Williams CTT2 Timothy Oliver Williams ABFC Tyrone Demetric Williams ICFR Vincent St John Williams EM3 Wesley Evan Williams AOAA Anthony Jared Williamson EMN3 Shelby Carter Williamson AO3 Austin Pait Willis ABHAR Antonio Demille Wilson EMN1 Benjamin Joseph Wilson IS2 Caleb Alan Wilson AN Carlton Lamont Wilson AOAR Christopher Austin Wilson AT2 Jacob Christopher Wilson AO2 James Brett Wilson ITC Shasha Enee Wilson

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AOAN Vincent Earl Wilson ITC Jullian Leroy Wimbush SHSN Stephen Garret Windham AOAR Michael Steven Wing ENS Bradford Morgan Winkelman ABHAN Gabriel James Winkley LT Michael Allan Winslow ABFAA Nikki Amanda Winter MMN2 William Andrew Winterberg AOAR William Brady Winters ABFAA Deangelo Quintave Witherspoon EMFA Reed Montgomery Wittchow EM2 Zachary James Wogan ATAN Cameron Michael Dewa Wood MMN3 Corey Mcgrew Wood IT1 Marquett Terrell Wood MA2 Brandon Lewis Woodruff ABE2 Dustin Alan Woodruff ET3 Christina Marie Woodrum MASA Abigail Marie Woods LS3 Brianna Desean Woods MMN1 Gregory Willis Woods EMN1 Jeremiah Clinton Woods MA2 Zachary Preston Woodward MM1 Brian Lee Woolf MMN2 Philip Jeffrey Woolworth MMNC Nicholas David Work ABHAA Zachary Seth Worrell MM1 Robert Dean Worth AE1 Dietrick Jerrod Wortham MA1 Aretha Marie Worthen ABE2 Jennifer Lynn Woznickdiantonio ABE2 Dwayne Nmn Wright ABEAN Lucecita Nmn Wright GM3 Spencer Nikolai Wright HTFR Katlyn Faith Wyatt MMFN Xin Nmn Xing ABHAN Andrew Givon Yanez AVCM Dena Lee Yarbrough ABHC Christopher Paul Yaseck LSC Jillian Marie Yates YN3 Samaria Marquita Yates EMN3 Inaaji Rhavin Yazziebrown ATAA Tylr Stephen Yeager AMAR Juhyun Emily Yee ETN2 Daniel Ray Yetter AO3 Aimme Nmn Yinatrodriguez AOAR Cedric Dwayne Young ABH1 Kristopher Michael Young AS2 Matthew Wilson Young EM1 Maurice Nmn Young AOC Quiyon "S" Young EM3 Sherry Nmn Young BMSR Teddi Rae Young LTJG Vincent Avery Young EMN3 Darren Ryne Yzquierdo MMN1 Dakota Lee Zablow OS1 Christopher Robert Zaleski SHC Angela Alexa Zamorayarleque AOAR Katlyn Bass Zavodny ABHAR Anthony Daniel Zazueta FC3 Zacharia Walid Zeidat ABHAR Bryant Edward Zelaya ABHAR Steven Edward Ziegler DCFR Gage Malotumau Zimmerman LS2 Paul Wesley Zimmerman AOAA Russell Vincent Zimmerman ABH1 Darrell Robert Zofcin MAC Stephen Edward Zoudlik HT1 Dustin James Zunker RPC Steven Patrick Zurek ETN2 Benjamin Ryan Zvorak

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INTEGRITY AT THE HELM USS GERALD R. FORD (CVN 78)