The USS Gerald Ford’s maiden deployment, after being commissioned in 2017, has been delayed due to a looming nor’easter.
“Due to changing weather conditions, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) will not be getting underway tomorrow. We are closely monitoring the weather and will provide an updated schedule when available.”
Commander Lara Bollinger, U.S. 2nd Fleet
Due to major development challenges, the Gerald Ford was delivered years after the promised date and accumulated costs of more than 13B USD, as opposed to the originally contracted 5.1B USD. The Gerald Ford is the most expensive warship ever built, making this deployment delay the final chapter in an odyssey of disappointments as the carrier fields several dozen advanced systems including EMALS, advanced propulsion, and weapons elevators.
As for the maiden deployment, the U.S. Navy made this statement:
”Ford is the flagship of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG) and their first operational deployment will include air, maritime, and ground assets from NATO Allies and partner nations. The strike group will set sail from Norfolk, Virginia, and will operate in the Atlantic Ocean.
“The USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group will deploy, integrating with Allies and partners, to demonstrate its unmatched, multi-domain, full-spectrum lethality in the Atlantic,” said Adm. Daryl Caudle, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command. “This trans-Atlantic deployment will strengthen our relationships, capacity, and trust to forge a more peaceful and prosperous world by leveraging the ‘One Atlantic’ Command and Control Concept.”
Innovation and interoperability are the key focal points of the GRFCSG’s deployment, allowing allied and partner nations to strengthen the collective defense of the Atlantic as well as to mature integration for future operations.
“The Atlantic is an area of strategic interest,” said Vice Adm. Dan Dwyer, commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet. “Our primary goal is to contribute to a peaceful, stable, and conflict-free Atlantic region through the combined naval power of our Allies and partners. The deployment of USS Gerald R. Ford’s carrier strike group is the natural progression of our renewed commitment to the Atlantic.”
Along with Allies and partners, the GRFCSG will focus training on air defense, anti-subsurface warfare, distributed maritime operations, mine countermeasures, and amphibious operations.
“This deployment is an opportunity to push the ball further down the field and demonstrate the advantage that Ford and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 bring to the future of naval aviation, to the region and to our Allies and partners,” said Rear Adm. Gregory Huffman, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12.
The deployment involves approximately 9,000 personnel from nine nations, 20 ships and 60 aircraft.
The nine participating nations are: U.S, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden.”