Wednesday, February 21, 2024

U.S. Navy’s largest aircraft carrier transits the Strait of Gibraltar

The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), the pinnacle of U.S. naval engineering, along with the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, made its exit from the Mediterranean Sea via the Strait of Gibraltar on January 5, 2024, following an extensive period of operations within the U.S. Sixth Fleet area.

Since June, the USS Gerald R. Ford has been engaged in a series of exercises, training, and operational duties across the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas, bolstering maritime stability and safeguarding U.S., Allied, and partner interests.

Captain Rick Burgess, commanding officer of the Ford, praised the ship’s performance during its Mediterranean deployment, highlighting its revolutionary capabilities and the dedicated efforts of the crew in maximizing the ship’s cutting-edge technologies.

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The strategic transit through the Strait of Gibraltar, a bustling maritime thoroughfare witnessing around 300 vessels daily, marks a pivotal moment for the USS Gerald R. Ford as it ventures into the Atlantic Ocean, culminating one of the final missions in its 8-month deployment.

As the flagship of the Ford-class aircraft carriers, the CVN 78 symbolizes a groundbreaking leap in the U.S. Navy’s projection of global power. Packed with 23 groundbreaking technologies, including the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, Advanced Arresting Gear, and Advanced Weapons Elevators, the Ford-class carriers redefine naval aviation, ensuring enhanced lethality, survivability, and joint interoperability with a significantly smaller crew compared to Nimitz-class carriers.

The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group’s presence in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet area underlines the Navy’s commitment and ability to project force worldwide. With over 5,000 Sailors on board, the GRFCSG stands ready to respond to global missions, fortify alliances, deter adversaries, and ensure secure global commerce.

Comprising Carrier Strike Group 12, Carrier Air Wing 8, Destroyer Squadron 2, and ships including USS Normandy (CG 60), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS McFaul (DDG 74), and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group operates under the command of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, to fulfill commitments, reassure Allies and Partners, and maintain collective defense.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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