The US Navy’s Gerald R Ford-class aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78), is set to conduct its maiden deployment in the Atlantic Ocean.
CVN 78 is the flagship vessel of the Gerald R Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG).
The GRFCSG is scheduled to depart from Norfolk, Virginia, on 3 October.
In the Atlantic area of operations, the GRFCSG will be joined by ground, air and maritime forces and assets from nine NATO-allied and partner nations.
This includes nearly 20 ships, 60 aircraft and around 9,000 personnel from the Netherlands, Canada, Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, Finland and the US.
Alongside the other nations’ forces, the strike force will carry out a range of training drills, including anti-subsurface warfare (ASW), air defence, amphibious drills, mine countermeasures and other distributed maritime operations.
These aim to allow the deployed forces to bolster the Atlantic’s collective defences.
US Fleet Forces Command commander admiral Daryl Caudle said: “The GRFCSG will deploy, integrating with allies and partners, to demonstrate its unmatched, multi-domain, full-spectrum lethality in the Atlantic.
“This trans-Atlantic deployment will strengthen our relationships, capacity and trust to forge a more peaceful and prosperous world by leveraging the ‘One Atlantic’ Command-and-Control Concept.”
US Second Fleet commander Vice Admiral Dan Dwyer said: “Our primary goal is to contribute to a peaceful, stable, and conflict-free Atlantic region through the combined naval power of our Allies and partners.
“The deployment of USS Gerald R. Ford’s carrier strike group is the natural progression of our renewed commitment to the Atlantic.”
The deployment comes after the Gerald R Ford-class vessel carried out a pre-deployment ammunition onload from 25 to 27 September.
This was conducted in collaboration with the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 and Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE 13).
The MH-60S Knighthawk multi-mission helicopters conducted training by relaying and delivering ammunition.