210128-N-OH637-1143

Boatswain's Mate Seaman Riva Redding, from Norfolk, assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford's (CVN 78) deck department, pulls a messenger line through a chock on the ship’s fantail during a sea and anchor detail, Jan. 28.

ATLANTIC OCEAN

After completing a 44-day maintenance window of opportunity, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) commenced its first independent steaming event (ISE) of 2021, Jan. 28.

During ISE 15, Ford will conduct various drills and system tests as part of her post-delivery test and trials (PDT&T) and will continue carrier qualifications (CQ) for Naval Air Force Atlantic fleet replacement pilots and student naval aviators assigned to Chief of Naval Air Training.

“It was great to get some much needed time in port during the holidays after nearly 200 days underway last year, but the crew and I were very excited to get underway today,” said Capt. J.J. Cummings, Ford’s commanding officer. “It’s more than just readying the ship’s systems, it’s about GERALD R. FORD generating fleet readiness by sending carrier qualified naval aviators to our world-wide deployable aircraft carriers and air wings.”

While underway, Ford will conduct CQ with pilots from Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 123, and Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106.

The “Gladiators” of VFA-106 are set to mark a milestone while aboard Ford as they complete the first use of Precision Landing Mode (PLM) during initial CQ on an East Coast aircraft carrier.

“This is a revolutionary leap forward in the way we train Naval Aviators,” added Cummings. “Having landed on FORD using PLM last underway, I understand how it improves landing performance. I look forward to seeing VFA-106 aviators CQ and getting their feedback”

Three-fourths of the way through its PDT&T, Ford has recorded nearly 6,400 aircraft launches and recoveries with the state-of-the-art Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System and Advanced Arresting Gear, including more than 5,600 launches and recoveries since January 2020 across a total of eight ISEs.

For more information, contact USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) Public Affairs Officer at pao@cvn78.navy.mil.

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