Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly embarked USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Jan. 31, following completion of the ship’s aircraft compatibility testing.
Modly visited the ship to speak to leadership and receive updates on Ford’s progress through post-delivery test and trials, and to see the ship and crew operate at sea.
“Delivering this capability to the fleet as quickly and effectively as possible is one of my highest priorities,” said Modly.
According to SECNAV Vector 3, a memorandum on Ford released last month, Modly expressed Ford’s readiness effort as one with “all hands on deck, as one team.” The memorandum notes Ford’s key missions, priorities, and future presence in the fleet.
As part of his “Make FORD Ready” initiative, Modly convened a summit earlier this month to harness the collective expertise of senior Navy and shipbuilding industry leaders to transition the ship into fleet operations as quickly and effectively as possible. Since completing its Post-Shakedown Availability/Selected Restricted Availability (PSA/SRA) in late October 2019, Ford has performed exceptionally well, during two successful underway test and training evolutions.
“I am proud of what you’ve been doing these last couple of weeks and contributing to the success of Ford’s aircraft compatibility testing,” announced Ford’s Commanding Officer Capt. J.J. Cummings over the ship’s 1-Main Circuit.
USS Gerald R. Ford is the lead ship in the Ford-class of aircraft carrier, the first new class in more than 40 years.
“The USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier represents a generational leap in our nation’s capacity to project on a global scale,” said Modly.
As Modly’s visit ended, he said that the crew’s presence sends a positive message to the fleet.
“The ship is amazing but the crew is even more amazing,” said Modly. “We’re getting ready to be a warship, because frankly, the Sailors who man this ship, that’s what they want. They want a ship that’s ready and they want to go do their mission.”
Modly attributes the hard work and dedication of the crew to the ship’s progress.
“I’m pretty confident that with this renewed sense of energy, it’s really helping in moving this ship forward.”
At-sea periods for this first-in-class aircraft carrier are part of a current 18-month phase of operations known as Post-Delivery Test and Trials (PDT&T), scheduled to continue through mid-2021. During this PDT&T, the crew will certify fuel systems, conduct aircraft compatibility testing, exercises the flight deck, and conduct tests to on-board combat systems.