THOMASTON, CT, July 17, 2017 ― The newest and most technologically advanced aircraft carrier design in 40 years, Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), is set to be commissioned by the U.S. Navy on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
When it does, there will be components of the ship manufactured in Thomaston, CT. The commissioning of a ship is a grand ceremony culminating with raising the commissioning pennant to the masthead and for all purposes of law and tradition, the ship then becomes a United States Ship (USS) of the line.
Ford’s commissioning marks the accomplishment of years of construction and design and countless hours of work. Ward Leonard, a diversified industrial technology company, and its workforce of 150 men and women are part of the industrial base that supplies parts and services to Newport News Shipbuilding, the builder of the ship.
Ward Leonard is one of 234 companies in Connecticut that provide millions of dollars’ worth of parts and services for U.S. Navy aircraft carriers.
Last month, the Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers, Rear Admiral Brian Antonio said, “Over the last several years, thousands of people have had a hand in delivering Ford to the Navy — designing, building and testing the Navy’s newest, most capable, most advanced warship. Without a doubt, we would not be here without the hard work and dedication of those from the program office, our engineering teams and those who performed and oversaw construction of this incredible warship.”
“Ward Leonard is proud of the significant contribution that our entire company makes to U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and the continued protection of the United States,” said Jon Carter, owner and Chief Executive Officer. “On behalf of all our employees, we offer our sincerest congratulations to Newport News Shipbuilding in its success in the commissioning of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).”
Last year, the U.S. Navy testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Seapower Subcommittee about the ship, “The Ford-class design improves war fighting capability, survivability, operational availability, and quality of life for sailors, while reducing total billets, including ship’s crew and air wing, by nearly 1,200 personnel and decreasing total ownership costs by approximately 4 billion per ship.”
Ford will continue the legacy of air power from the sea as the cornerstone of U.S. military supremacy around the globe.