World’s largest aircraft carrier wraps up Eastern Med mission
The U.S. Navy’s largest and most advanced aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) transited the Strait of Gibraltar and exited the Mediterranean Sea on January 5, after conducting operations in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations.
Since June, Ford has conducted training, exercises, and operations in the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility in support of maritime stability. Recently, the vessel visited Greece.
The Strait of Gibraltar connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the busiest waterways in the world, with approximately 300 ships crossing the strait every day.
Completing this transit and entering the Atlantic Ocean is a major milestone and one of the last scheduled operations of Gerald R. Ford’s 8-month deployment.
CVN 78 represents a generational leap in the U.S. Navy’s capacity to project power on a global scale. Ford-class aircraft carriers introduce 23 new technologies, including Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, Advanced Arresting Gear and Advanced Weapons Elevators. The new systems incorporated onto Ford-class ships are designed to deliver greater lethality, survivability and joint interoperability with a 20% smaller crew than a Nimitz-class carrier, paving the way forward for naval aviation.
The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG) is conducting a scheduled deployment in U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations.
In total, the GRFCSG is deployed with more than 5,000 Sailors across all platforms ready to respond globally to combatant commander tasking.
The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group consists of Carrier Strike Group 12, Carrier Air Wing 8, Destroyer Squadron 2, USS Normandy (CG 60), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS McFaul (DDG 74), and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).