USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), first of a new class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers for the Fleet, will represent a new class of carriers since USS Nimitz (CVN 68) that was commissioned in 1975. USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) will pioneer new technologies such as electromagnetic catapults and arresting gear, a new island structure, expanded flight deck that will allow aircraft to be launched faster than ever before, 250 percent more electrical power, two next generation nuclear reactors and 500 fewer crew members.

The Navy League and the Commissioning Committee through a campaign of fundraising and public education, will work to improve the quality of life for all crew members and enhance civilian understanding and appreciation for sea power as a component of our national defense and for the Navy’s role in working toward peace and global security.

The Commissioning Committee has been established and made up of a broad representation of individuals from across the country that are dedicated to our mission of assisting the United States Navy in bringing the first of a new class of aircraft carriers to life in 2016. Our objective is to fund what the Department of Defense does not, such as ship enhancements that will improve the quality of life for all those who will serve aboard this ship for the next fifty years.

CVN 78 is named for a man who embodied integrity, honor and courage. This ship will serve as a living tribute to the 38th President of the United States Gerald R. Ford. For the United States Navy, this ship symbolizes the future of naval propulsion and naval aviation, and a continuation of our nation’s dominance of the seas.

The ship’s crest incorporates many symbols reminiscent of President Ford’s life and legacy, including a fleur-de-lis on the compass pointing true north, which comes from his rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts; and 38 stars surrounding the emblem to represent his tenure as the 38th President of the United States, 26 stars are a different color to denote his time stationed aboard USS Monterey (CVL 26) during World War II. The crest’s colors include blue and maize for his undergraduate alma mater, University of Michigan.

" For in America, the best has never been-it is always yet to be" President Gerald R. Ford, 38th President of the United States

Images provided by Huntington Ingalls Industries.