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Pic: Here’s where US’ new $13B carrier is going first

USS Gerald R. Ford sails through the Atlantic Ocean, April 13, 2022. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Riley McDowell)
October 03, 2022

The U.S. Navy will deploy its newest and most advanced $13 billion aircraft carrier on Monday, Oct. 3 to operate alongside a group of allied forces in the Atlantic area of operations.

According to a U.S. Navy press release, the USS Gerald R. Ford — the flagship of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG) — will set sail from Norfolk, Virginia, and will include air, maritime, and ground assets. The USS Gerald R. Ford cost over $13 billion, CBS News reported.

USS Gerald R. Ford sails through the Atlantic Ocean, April 13, 2022. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Riley McDowell)

“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,” Adm. Daryl Caudle, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, said in a statement “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.”

The U.S. Navy said the strike group’s key focal points are innovation and interoperability, which will strengthen allied and partner nations’ collective defense of the Atlantic.

“The Atlantic is an area of strategic interest,” Vice Adm. Dan Dwyer, commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, said in a statement. “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.”

The GRFCSG will primarily focus on training on air defense, anti-subsurface warfare, distributed maritime operations, mine countermeasures, and amphibious operations. Roughly 9,000 individuals from nine nations, including the U.S., Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden, are involved in the deployment, in addition to 20 ships and 60 aircraft.

“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,” Rear Adm. Gregory Huffman, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, said in a statement.

In March, Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said the USS Gerald R. Ford “is absolutely ready to fight.”

“This wonderful crew has been eager to come out of the shipyard finally and deploy our Navy’s newest carrier,” he added.