A Message from USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) Commanding Officer Capt. J.J. “Yank” Cummings

Greetings from mighty warship USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)! Thank you for the opportunity to introduce some of the lesser-known technological improvements on our ship and how they specifically impact the Supply Corps community.

In November 2019, Ford commenced an 18-month phase of operations known as Post-Delivery Test and Trials, and since then we have completed six flawless underways and achieved major milestones that included aircraft compatibility testing, flight deck certification, and carrier air traffic control center certification. Being out of the shipyard and getting back to the business of naval aviation has been fantastic, and our Sailors and ship systems have been performing exceptionally well. Our underways
have supported several carrier qualification events for fleet replacement and training command squadrons, and in June we embarked a near-full air wing and conducted cyclic flight operations. Ford is generating readiness for the fleet!

Below decks, the success stories continue. Our trash disposal system, Plasma Arc Waste Destruction System, eliminates waste with a 9,000-degree Farenheit plasma arc torch that burns at the same temperature as the surface of the sun and can destroy 500 pounds of trash an hour. The vertical storeroom integration and 10 sizable stores elevators on Ford eliminate the need for replenishment working parties and the Hangar Bay 3 supply mountain. Our conglomerate galleys increase efficiency and food quality
for the crew, chiefs, and officers. And our quality-of-life improvements in enlisted berthing and staterooms are the envy of Nimitz-class carriers.

This series of articles will give you a better appreciation for these technological advancements that are not frequently covered, but are vital to providing the first-class customer service for which Ford is quickly becoming known.

Most importantly, our Sailors make the difference. Since departing the shipyards last year, numerous squadron personnel have commented on the marked difference in customer service and ship’s attitude on Ford compared to other CVNs. Much of that customer service is directly provided by supply department Sailors.

In the seven years I’ve been in the nuclear pipeline as executive officer on USS Nimitz (CVN 68), as commanding officer on USS Arlington (LPD 24), and now as commanding officer on Ford, I have a renewed appreciation for the hard, often underappreciated work supply Sailors put forth every day. Remember that you make your reputation and own your reputation. I appreciate your efforts to support the fleet!

WE ARE WARSHIP 78!