The U.S Navy christened its newest, most technologically advanced aircraft carrier yet. On Saturday, USS Gerald Ford was christened by former president Ford’s daughter Susan Bales Bord, who is also the ship’s sponsor.
After the traditional smashing of an American bottle of sparkling wine on the ship, Susan Bales Bord gave a speech to the shipyard workers, Navy personnel, and military dignitaries.
In her speech, she said, â€œDad, their message fills this shipyard. You kept your promise. You healed the nation. You gave the American people a president that was a shining beacon of integrity at the helm. And as demonstrated by Captain Meier and by the crew and by this mighty carrier, the American people are forever grateful to you. And Dad, I’ll always be proud.â€
The Gerald Ford is the lead ship for the Navy’s future class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. The Navy will plan on having the Gerald Ford join the fleet in 2016. The Ford class is the first new aircraft carrier design in over 40 years, so it has extraordinary benefits such as the ability to launch jets faster than past aircraft carriers, require less crew members, incorporate unmanned aircraft into its air wing, and save the Navy $4 billion over the ship’s 50 years of service.
Above all the new advancements of the Gerald Ford, its namesake is also very unique for this aircraft. Former President Gerald R. Ford, who died at age 93 in 2006, was a lieutenant commander of an aircraft carrier in World War II and became president in 1974 but lost the election to Jimmy Carter in 1976.
As a heroic commander and inspiration to the American people, the new Ford class of aircraft carriers will carry a name that’s worthy of this new and pristine line of Navy vessels.
Photo Credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery