USS Gerald R. Ford returns home after 1st deployment

The USS Gerald R. Ford, and the strike group bearing its name, are set to return Saturday to Naval Station Norfolk.

The Navy’s newest and largest aircraft carrier deployed for the first time on Oct. 4. The warship is the first of a new generation.

“I am honored to welcome the Gerald R. Ford carrier strike group home from their inaugural deployment in the Atlantic, where they strengthened relationships with Allies and partners, exercised combined capabilities and demonstrated our commitment in the Atlantic,” said Vice Adm. Dan Dwyer, commander of the U.S. 2nd Fleet and Joint Force Command, Norfolk.

“This deployment brought together an incredible group of Allies and partners with one single focus — to contribute to a peaceful, stable, and conflict-free Atlantic region through our combined naval power. Opportunities to interoperate and integrate make our nations, our navies, and the NATO Alliance stronger.”

The Ford sailed more than 9,200 miles in the Atlantic, alongside ships from Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, Finland and Sweden.

The Ford strike group, made up of 9,000 or so personnel, conducted training on air defense and anti-subsurface warfare and participated in other operations.

“Leading the men and women of the Gerald R. Ford Strike Group has been awe-inspiring. Every day these Sailors committed themselves 100% to a safe and successful inaugural deployment of Ford and the strike group,” said Rear Adm. Greg Huffman, commander of Carrier Strike Group 12. “This deployment laid a strong foundation for the strike group, created momentum to carry us forward for future operations, and has prepared us to answer our nation’s call when needed.”

Nour Habib,