USS Gerald R. Ford Set to Depart on First Deployment

US Navy

NORFOLK, Va. -The Navy’s newest and most advanced aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) will deploy and operate alongside a coalition of allied forces together in the Atlantic area of operations, Monday, October 3.

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.

The U.S. commands and units participating in the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG) deployment include Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2, USS Normandy (CG 60), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS McFaul (DDG 74), USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), USNS Joshua Humpreys (T-AO 188), USNS Robert E. Peary (T-AKE 5), and USCGC Hamilton (WHEC 715).

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