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    Women Run the Bridge on Ford



    Courtesy Story

    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)

    ATLANTIC OCEAN — USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) bridge watch team are comprised of an all-female Boatswain’s crew during Ford’s 12th independent steaming event in September 2020.
    This is the first time in Ford’s history that all the deck department Sailors assigned to bridge watch teams have been female. The nine female Sailors included on these landmark teams have dubbed themselves as the “Iron Nine.”
    Seaman India Clemons, from Rochester, New York, appreciates the attention her team is receiving from the ship’s crew.
    “Sometimes it can feel like we’re sort of stuck in the shadows as females working in a predominately male environment,” said Clemons. “Lately, we’ve stood out more in the sense that everyone can see how much we can really handle and how crucial we are to the ship’s overall function.”
    Clemmons added how the attention from her fellow Ford shipmates has given her confidence in her ability to manage and execute mission essential tasks, such as steering the ship and controlling the throttles.
    “What we do is extremely important — it takes a lot of adaptability and attention to detail,” she said. “The watches we stand and the duties we perform are what allows our ship to carry on with the mission at hand.
    Seaman Adriyanna Jones, from Palatka, Florida, said it has been a remarkable experience to be a part of the “Iron Nine” because the department is usually comprised of more than 50 percent males.
    “To be a part of the first all-female deck department crew on this ship is so awesome,” said Jones. “This is going to be a very positive influence on how we are perceived as female Sailors for years to come.”
    Jones went on to say how this unique situation has expanded visibility on the importance of deck department’s integral foundation to Ford’s operability especially with responsibilities like safe navigation of ship’s course and staying prepared for possible search and rescue scenarios
    “Since we’re on an aircraft carrier, a lot of people focus on flight deck operations and aircraft maneuvering,” she said. “Sometimes deck department is overlooked as an essential asset, but recently there’s been a lot more acknowledgement towards how necessary we are to the ship.”
    Deck department leadership commended the ‘Iron Nine’ Sailors on their commitment to duty and said they take great pride in their enlisted crew members. Ford’s Assistant First Lieutenant Lt. Brandon Carney, from Strafford, New Jersey, said its thrilling to see the future of Ford’s deck department in action.
    “We’ve got Sailors going after their pins and taking over administrative responsibilities all while maintaining a spectacular performance in their jobs,” said Carney. “They’ve excelled in all their qualifications as well as in hands-on applications.”
    Carney added that the Sailors who stand boatswain’s mate of the watch have especially shown notable promise with their leadership abilities and impressive flexibility in providing assistance during evolutions on the bridge during navigation.
    “These boatswain’s mates have the best work ethic I’ve ever seen in my career,” said Carney. “I can easily see some of these Sailors commissioning during their time in the Navy. The sky’s the limit for this crew.”

    For more news from USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit



    Date Taken: 09.17.2020
    Date Posted: 09.29.2020 07:59
    Story ID: 379495
    Location: US

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