After 4 years of construction, the USS Gerald R. Ford is ready for it's christening ceremony.

The ceremony will be held on November 9 in Newport News, Virgina.

The ceremony is private, but can be watched online at 11:00am on November 9.

The Gerald R. Ford is the first of a new class of aircraft carriers. It is designed to launch aircraft quickly, while costing less to maintain. It has a 50-year life span.

Some facts about the Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78):

  • 5,000 American shipbuilders to build.
  • 10,000,000 feet of electrical cable.
  • Weighs over 90,000 tons.
  • 200,000 gallons of paint.
  • 4,000,000 feet of fiber optic cable. explains the tradition of ship christening:

The ceremony involved in naming and launching a naval vessel is based in traditions thousands of years old. Ancient Mediterranean shipbuilders accompanied the launching of their ships with religious ceremonies invoking favor over the ship and her sailors. Today, the tradition has evolved into a ceremony that honors the individuality of the ship and the life ahead of her. The ship's sponsor proclaims, "I christen thee United States ship..." and shatters a ceremonial bottle of American sparkling wine against the bow of the new ship. The ship is then "launched," or undocked, and moved to a pier where outfitting will continue until the ship is ready for delivery.

Ford's daughter, Susan Ford Bales, is the ship's sponsor and will break the bottle during the christening ceremony.

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