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Weather shuts down port, delays Ford deployment

Poor weather has delayed the first official deployment of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford . (Michael Fabey)

High winds and generally poor weather have halted or curtailed port operations throughout the Hampton Roads, Virginia area, delaying the planned first official deployment for aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) on 3 October, US Navy (USN) officials confirmed.

“Due to changing weather conditions, USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) will not be getting under way tomorrow,” USN officials said in a statement on 2 October. “We are closely monitoring the weather and will provide an updated schedule when available.”

USN officials confirmed on 3 October that port operations were still curtailed or halted because of the weather and Ford would be unable to get under way. The navy expects to get the Ford under way at 0030 h local time on 4 October.

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

Vice Adm Dwyer said that the carrier will be sent on a Retained Service deployment.

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

“We're going to operate in different areas – we're going to use the entire Atlantic as our playpen,” Captain Paul Lanzilotta, Ford commanding officer, said on 29 September during a pierside press conference in Norfolk, Virginia, in front of Ford .

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