Peters Attends USS Ford Commissioning

U.S. Navy’s New Aircraft Carrier Named for 38th President & Michigan Native Gerald R. Ford

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), a former Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today attended the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford, the U.S. Navy’s newest and largest aircraft carrier. The USS Ford will be the first of her class in 40 years, incorporating state-of-the-art advanced radar and aircraft deployment technologies. The aircraft carrier is named after former President Gerald R. Ford, a west Michigan native and the only U.S. President hailing from Michigan. Several Michigan manufacturers supplied parts for the USS Ford.

“President Ford’s Michigan roots and his experiences as an officer in the U.S. Navy built his reputation as a man of the highest integrity,” said Senator Peters. “I couldn’t be more honored to attend the commissioning of the USS Ford, which will usher in a new class of aircraft carriers that will conduct operations around the world to keep our country safe and protect the freedoms we hold dear. With today’s official entrance of the USS Ford into active duty, the spirit of President Ford’s honor and service will live on in our nation’s military for future generations.”

At 1,100 feet, the USS Ford will be among a new series of Ford-class carriers equipped with technology to better adapt to the future of warfare, including a larger aircraft deck and electromagnetic launch systems to accommodate more aircraft, along with enhancements that allow for future technologies to be adapted to the carrier. Following the commission, the USS Ford will undergo additional testing before its first deployment in 2020.

Former President Gerald R. Ford was raised in Grand Rapids and earned his Bachelors of Arts degree in economics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he played football. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Ford joined the U.S. Navy, where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander, served on the USS Monterey in the South Pacific and took part in battles across the region, including Guam, Saipan and the Philippines. During his service, the USS Monterey encountered a severe typhoon that nearly swept Ford overboard. Following his honorable discharge in 1946, Ford returned to Grand Rapids, where he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1948 before becoming Vice President and then President.