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    USS Gerald R. Ford Holds Change of Command



    Story by Lt.Cmdr. Anthony Falvo 

    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)

    NORFOLK, Va. — The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) held a change of command ceremony at the Vista Point Catering and Conference Center onboard Naval Station Norfolk, Aug. 10.

    Capt. John J. Cummings relieved Capt. Richard C. McCormack and assumed duties as the commanding officer of USS Gerald R. Ford in a ceremony attended by distinguished visitors, family, friends, and crew.

    McCormack, a native of Winchester, Massachusetts, and a 1990 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, assumed command in April 2016 and led USS Gerald R. Ford through many of the ship's "firsts." During his nearly two-and-a-half year tour, McCormack led the Navy's newest and most advanced aircraft carrier through delivery, commissioning and a nearly yearlong test and evaluation process that brought a tremendous amount of knowledge to the Ford-class program.

    During the ceremony, McCormack credited the success of his tour to the hard work of the Sailors.

    "They are the heart and soul of this ship," said McCormack of USS Gerald R. Ford's crew. "These men and women are from all walks of life and help close the gap between available resources and what our mission requires. They do it every day with integrity, ingenuity and hard work. Great job!"

    Vice Adm. John D. Alexander, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, served as the event's guest speaker.

    "Please know how very proud we are of you and your accomplishments in command," Alexander said of McCormack. "Thank you for being the kind of leader our Sailors can count on to prepare them for future combat operations. We entrusted you and your leadership team with taking care of our most important asset — our people — and you did so with great care, compassion, and vision as you guided the ship and your crew through many challenges leading up to commissioning and duty at sea."

    McCormack read his orders while being relieved by Cummings, announcing that he will become the next Chief of Staff at U.S. Naval Air Force Atlantic.

    Cummings, a native of Sharon, Massachusetts, and a 1990 graduate of Bates College, became USS Gerald R. Ford's third commanding officer following previous leadership assignments as executive and commanding officer of the VFA-11 "Red Rippers" aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75); as executive officer of USS Nimitz (CVN 68); and as commanding officer of USS Anchorage (LPD 23).

    “Our job, while not simple, is very straightforward,” said Cummings. “Everything we do will focus on preparing our ship for its first deployment. The days of Pre-commissioning Unit, Floating Building 78, commissioning, and shakedown are over. That was the past, we need to focus on the future. We are ‘Warship 78,’ and we will get our ship ready to go over the horizon with our airwing and destroyer squadron, and operate from the most technologically advanced ship in the world to do our nation’s bidding with integrity, strength, and ferocity.

    “The Gerald R. Ford is the high tech warship that our nation and Navy needs on the high seas. We need to get this wolverine into the fight,” he concluded.

    Gerald R. Ford is a first-in-class aircraft carrier and the first new aircraft carrier designed in more than 40 years. The Sailors who serve aboard Ford are tasked with ensuring the ship, and eventually, her embarked airwing and the strike group are ready to support national tasking when called upon by the President.

    The ship is currently undergoing a 12-month post-shakedown availability and maintenance period at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding.

    For more news from USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/CVN78 and for more information visit www.facebook.com/USSGeraldRFord or https://twitter.com/CVN78_GRFord.



    Date Taken: 08.10.2018
    Date Posted: 08.10.2018 11:49
    Story ID: 288225
    Location: NORFOLK, VA, US 

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