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    Secretary of the Navy Visits USS Gerald R. Ford



    Story by Chief Petty Officer Mike DiMestico  

    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)           

    ATLANTIC OCEAN– The 78th U.S. Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Carlos Del Toro visited the world’s largest aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), Jan.15, 2024 to thank and congratulate its crew on the completion of an eight-month scheduled deployment.
    Secretary Del Toro made a dramatic entrance to an all-hands call as he was lowered to the hangar bay on an aircraft elevator and was greeted by fog machines and a DJ who switched from dance music to Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” an homage to the Secretary’s home state. The Secretary made his way through the crowd flanked by civilian and Gerald R. Ford ship media shaking the hands of crew members. On stage, Del Toro addressed the Sailors, expressing his gratitude, and emphasized the importance of the mission and the professionalism with which it was undertaken.
    “I am here today to tell each and every one of you how proud I am of you and how proud every American is of what you have done for our Nation,” said Secretary Del Toro. “So many people across the United States, in our shipyards, and in our Navy should be filled with pride as this ship pulls back into Norfolk, after an eight-month deployment where you have protected our national security interests in the Mediterranean, Baltic, and the Atlantic. And you have performed superbly on every level.”
    Del Toro also presented the Gerald R. Ford’s Sailors of the Quarter with their awards, challenge coins to Sailors nominated by their departments for exceptional performance, and answered questions from the crew before posing for selfies with audience members. He later met with Ford leadership and members of the civilian press in the captain’s in-port cabin.
    His visit marked the successful completion of Gerald R. Ford’s maiden deployment, which was extended three times in response to the October 7th terrorist attacks on Israel and the nation’s military retaliation against Hamas.
    The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG) completed a scheduled deployment in U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations, demonstrating the commitment and power projection capability of the Navy’s globally deployed force. The GRFCSG provides an inherently flexible naval force capable of deploying across combatant commands to meet emerging missions, deter potential adversaries, reassure allies and partners, enhance security and guarantee the free flow of global commerce. In total, the GRFCSG is deployed with more than 5,000 Sailors across all platforms ready to respond globally to combatant commander tasking.
    For more information about the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit and follow along on Facebook: @USSGeraldRFord, Instagram: @cvn78_grford, Twitter: @Warship_78, DVIDS and LinkedIn at USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).



    Date Taken: 01.15.2024
    Date Posted: 01.16.2024 12:57
    Story ID: 461887

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