US Launches Massive Aircraft Carrier Full of NATO Troops

The US Navy recently launched the biggest aircraft carrier in the world out of Virginia. The ship left Naval Station Norfolk on Tuesday after being delayed, due to a large northeaster storm in the region.

The USS Gerald Ford runs on state-of-the-art nuclear reactor systems, can carry around 70 warplanes, and is full of 9,000 NATO troops at this time. It has a price tag of $13 billion.

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It is on its way to the Atlantic Ocean; although it is not known if it is going there for reasons related to the Ukraine war. The Ford was put into duty in 2017 by President Trump and this is the first deployment.

This is yet another thing that Trump can be thanked for, due to his priority in building up the US military including the navy and its capability for significant force projection.

Ready for War?

It’s not clear what the Ford will be doing in the Atlantic, but there’s no doubt this aircraft carrier is ready for war.

It includes a full range of fighter jets, helicopters, infantry, and significant resistance to explosive attacks. This includes a 40,000-pound detonation that was done near the Ford which it sustained without damage.

The 9,000 troops onboard come from various NATO nations including Canada, Germany, Spain, and Sweden.

2nd Fleet Commander Dan Dwyer said the mission is to keep the Atlantic “conflict-free” and the Atlantic is a place that has high “strategic interest” for the US and its “allies.”

Calling this a “natural progression,” Dwyer said that the Ford will be an important security presence in the region amid global tensions.

Is The Ship in Danger?

Some have speculated about the potential danger to the ship in the event of an unexpected enemy attack; however, it is well protected.

For one thing, carrier groups have multiple layers of defense, and even a nuclear attack would have to be perfectly timed and lead to an overwhelming response.

The Ford weighs 96,000 tons and its thousands of sailors are highly proficient in sailing it amid all conditions. The slight delay in getting it going was due to a bad storm and high tides, but its Tuesday deployment has been confirmed.

This ship is a massive display of western military power and it comes as the situation gets tenser in terms of Russia.

For one thing, the recent sabotage of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline connecting Russia with the EU has brought tensions to a boil; the approaching expected annexation of four additional regions of Ukraine also has the conflict at a critical juncture.

The Bottom Line

The US Navy is a powerful instrument of stability.

President Trump’s investment in building up our Navy and military was a wise decision indeed. Hopefully, the presence of the Ford leads to de-escalation in the conflict currently going on.

This article appeared in StatesmanPost and has been published here with permission.