The US Navy’s aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) has completed its first vertical replenishment (VERTREP) exercise in the Atlantic Ocean.

The exercise involved MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopters delivering 77 pallets of food and other dried goods in around four and half hours.

USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) is carrying out an 18-month phase of operations called Post-Delivery Test and Trials (PDT&T) to ensure overall deployment readiness.

Ford’s supply officer, Commander Carl Koch, stated that the VERTREP exercise will help the carrier to advance one step further to become fully mission ready.

Koch said: “Exercising and proving our ability to conduct simultaneous fuelling and replenishment-at-sea increases the ship’s flexibility to respond to mission requirements as it minimises our required time alongside a supply ship.”

The VERTREP exercise will also help the carrier to stay at sea for a longer period of time and continue its operations.

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Koch added: “We can extend our endurance for both air operations and sustaining the sailors on-board to increase our time on station and minimise our time in port.

“By conducting simultaneous operations, we can be available for other missions in a shorter amount of time.”

The lead ship of its class, USS Gerald R Ford, is currently conducting carrier qualifications in the Atlantic Ocean.

Earlier this month, USS Gerald R Ford reached the 1,000th aircraft launch milestone when an F/A-18E Super Hornet attached to Blue Blasters of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34 landed on its flight deck.