Future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) completed builder’s trials and arrived in its homeport, Naval Station Norfolk for the first time on Friday April 14.
The ship was able to complete all major builder’s trial evolutions, including high power runs and steering evolutions. Additionally, the ship conducted all ahead flank turns and first reports indicate overall the ship performed well.
As with any new class of ship, the builders trials allowed the engineers to actually observe how the new design operates in the envisioned environment and they learned a lot. But more importantly, the crew of the Gerald R. Ford operated the ship under numerous configurations, gaining valuable hands-on experience that only underway operations enable; everything from putting the rigid-hull inflatable boat into the water to simulate a rescue-at-sea to operating anti-submarine warfare equipment and tracking airborne aircraft. The sea and anchor detail that took the ship out and back into port was also a valuable operational experience for the captain and the crew.
Construction on the Ford began in 2009. The Ford is expected to be commissioned later this year.
Read the full story at Maritime Executive.