The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), a challengingly complex, first-in-class U.S. Navy warship, had a busy 2020, which culminated with its first-ever large-scale integrated air wing operations.
During those operations, in November 2020, Rear Admiral Craig Clapperton, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 12, spoke to news media embarked on the ship. He talked about the ship’s enhanced capability for the crew to build weapons packages below deck and transport them rapidly to the flight deck. According to Clapperton: “We can move more weapons in a safer way, a faster way to a flight deck that is larger and more flexible. And that all contributes to the kind of agility, lethality, and flexibility the Ford brings to the fight.”
The Navy and the aircraft-carrier industrial base should be proud of these accomplishments, when the entire team’s mettle was tested by the global pandemic. The team proved resilient and strong as it adapted and delivered during these challenging times.