SPLIT, Croatia – The U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and embarked personnel from Carrier Strike Group 12 arrived in Split, Croatia for a scheduled port visit June 26 .
This port visit is the second port call for the capital ship during her deployment to the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations and provides an opportunity to reinforce the strong partnership between the United States and Croatia.
“U.S. Navy units frequently visit Croatia for upkeep, mutual security training opportunities and freedom, and sailors from the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group are excited to continue the tradition,” the counter said. -Admiral Erik J. Eslich, commander of the carrier. Strike Group 12. “This is a welcome opportunity for our crews to enjoy a beautiful country and experience Croatian culture, but also for us to engage with a crucial ally and build on the strong US-Croatian relationship based on our shared values.”
Gerald R. Ford is anchored off Split and will host local officials and key leaders for a reception to celebrate the strong and extensive alliance between the United States and Croatia. The stopover will provide Gerald R. Ford’s sailors the opportunity to experience Croatia’s rich culture.
“Sailors from USS Gerald R. Ford, Carrier Strike Group 12, Carrier Air Wing 8 and Destroyer Squadron 2 have been looking forward to visiting Split since our deployment nearly two months ago,” the captain said. Richard Burgess, Gerald R. Ford’s Commander. “Many of our sailors have joined the Navy with an aspiration to see the world, and this port visit provides them with a valuable opportunity to experience Croatia’s rich history and culture.”
Gerald R. Ford deployed from Norfolk, Va. May 2 and conducted joint and combined training, exercises and operations to support maritime stability and security and the defense of U.S., allied and partner interests . The Gerald R. Ford CSG sailed alongside Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 for several days as NATO allies and partners seize every opportunity to train together to hone tactics, techniques and procedures to increase interoperability.
Gerald R. Ford is the US Navy’s newest and most advanced aircraft carrier. As the first ship in her class of Ford-class aircraft carriers, CVN 78 represents a generational leap in the United States Navy’s ability to project power on a global scale. Ford-class aircraft carriers introduce 23 new technologies, including the electromagnetic aircraft launch system, advanced arresting gear and advanced weapon lifts. The new systems integrated into Ford-class ships are designed to provide greater lethality, survivability and joint interoperability with a crew 20% smaller than a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, paving the way for naval aviation.
The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG) is conducting a scheduled deployment to the US Naval Forces Europe-Africa/US Sixth Fleet area of operations, demonstrating the commitment and power projection capability of the force deployed to Navy World. The GRFCSG provides an inherently flexible naval force capable of deploying across combatant commands to respond to emerging missions, deter potential adversaries, reassure allies and partners, enhance security, and ensure the free flow of global commerce. In total, the GRFCSG is deployed with more than 6,000 Sailors across all platforms ready to respond globally to combatant commander assignments.
The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group consists of Carrier Strike Group 12, Carrier Air Wing 8, Destroyer Squadron 2, USS Normandy (CG 60), USS Ramage (DDG 61) and the USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).
Based in Naples, Italy, the US Naval Forces Europe-Africa/US Sixth Fleet operates US naval forces in the US European Command (USEUCOM) and US Africa Command (AFRICOM) areas of responsibility. The U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF and employs maritime forces across the full spectrum of joint and naval operations. Our continued presence in Europe is consistent with our international commitments and agreements and is necessary to reassure our Allies and Partners of our commitment to collective defence.
For more information on USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit https://www.airlant.usff.navy.mil/cvn78/ and follow us on Facebook: @USSGeraldRFord, Instagram: @cvn78_grford, Twitter: @Warship_78, DVIDS www.dvids.net/CVN78 and LinkedIn at USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).