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Carrier Ford ready to make its first official deployment in Atlantic

US Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford is scheduled to leave for its first deployment during the first week of October. (Janes/Michael Fabey)

US Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) is scheduled to leave Norfolk, Virginia, for its first official deployment on 3 October, the US Navy (USN) confirmed on 9 September.

However, Ford will not be deployed as part of the USN's Global Force Management deployment like most of the other service ships . Vice Admiral Daniel Dwyer, commander of United States 2 nd Fleet and Joint Force Command, said on 26 September during a media briefing about USN's plans for the carrier, that it will instead be sent on a Retained Service deployment.

The ship's first Global Force Management deployment will be in 2023, Vice Adm Dwyer added.

The official name for the type of deployment is far less important to Captain Paul Lanzilotta, Ford 's commanding officer, than the place where the ship will be operating during the deployment.

β€œWe're going to operate in different areas – we're going to use the entire Atlantic as our playpen,” Capt Lanzilotta said on 29 September during a pierside press conference in Norfolk, Virginia, in front of Ford .

β€œThe Atlantic Ocean is of huge strategic importance,” he said. β€œWe're going to be able to operate on the high seas throughout the Atlantic. We're not just tethered here to Norfolk.”

The type of deployment is determined in a large part by command-and-control, USN officials said.

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