ATLANTIC OCEAN

The 76th Secretary of the Navy, the honorable Richard V. Spencer, flew aboard the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), while underway August 10.

While onboard, Spencer ate lunch with Sailors, took a short tour of the ship and held an all-hands call for members of Ford’s crew.

“I came aboard this big ship and was impressed at 20 miles out. My awe grew every single mile we came closer, but that was overshadowed by the people I’ve met today,” said Spencer said. “This is a magnificent ship but you all make it the tip of the spear that it is.”

Spencer took a moment to explain his approach in his position as the Secretary of the Navy and introduce his priorities: people, capabilities and process.

“My job is basically to work for you; to man, train, equip and deliver the resources required by the combatant commanders around the globe.”

Spencer’s visit marks the first time that a distinguished visitor flew aboard the first-in-class carrier while at sea. Having the Secretary of the Navy onboard Ford was an honor that many members of Ford’s crew will not soon forget.

“It was really cool to have someone from such a high position come in and get to know us, especially when we are out to sea,” Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Jessica Nelson said, assigned to Ford’s administration department.

This visit also marked the first time that Spencer, himself a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, visited a ship at sea as the Secretary of the Navy.

“It’s also an honor, among all of the carriers in the fleet, we were the first one that he visited,” Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class John Alayon said, assigned to Ford’s air department.

Ford is currently underway conducting testing and evaluation operations.

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