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Navy Plans Future Milestones After Gerald R. Ford Carrier Turnover

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The U.S. Navy works to prepare USS Gerald R. Ford or CVN 78 for flight deck certification this month, following the ship's recent operational turnover. The service branch said Tuesday that it granted the ship's operational control to Carrier Strike Group Twelve led by Rear Adm. Michael Boyle.

The group formerly operated on USS Abraham Lincoln and is now preparing Ford for future activities under a Post Delivery Test and Trials period. The ship is now in the fourth month of the phase that will last for 14 more months.

Thomas Modly, acting Navy secretary, gathered experts during the CVN 78's second summit to support the ship's operational transition. The event took place Feb. 26. Engineers are also working to complete the carrier's advanced weapons elevators before full ship shock trials in fiscal year 2021.

“NNS [Newport News Shipbuilding] is working as hard as they can to deliver the remaining elevators in the most efficient timeline possible,” said, Capt. John J. Cummings, who commands USS Gerald R. Ford.

Huntington Ingalls Industries' NNS division built the ship.