August 21, 2020 – Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 officially joined Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12 aboard USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), the flagship for CSG-12, Aug. 21.
CVW-8, known as “Factory,” joins Gerald R Ford, nicknamed “Wolverine,” Destroyer Squadron Two, USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), and USS Gettysburg (CG 64) to complete CSG-12.
During Independent Steaming Event 9A in February 2020, the Factory-Wolverine team completed initial flight deck and carrier air traffic control center certifications on the first-in-class Ford carrier. In May, Ford hosted CVW-8 on the first-ever air wing embark, which for the first time, utilized the advanced weapons elevators to deliver heavy inert ordnance from the aft magazine to the flight deck. Those weapons were then loaded by CVW-8 Sailors in coordination with the Ford’s weapons department and expended from F/A-18E/F Super Hornets over the Navy Dare Bombing Range.
“The Ford and Carrier Air Wing Eight teams made incredible strides forward for the Naval Aviation Enterprise demonstrating a level of professional competence that rival her peers,” said Capt. Josh Sager, Commander, CVW-8. “I truly look forward to working with CSG-12 to make Ford deployment-ready.”
As the only aircraft carrier regularly available on the East Coast this year, CVW-8 squadrons continue to support carrier qualifications for training commands. CVW-8 is focused on operationalizing Ford and fixing any barriers for over the horizon deployed operations.
“We’re excited to have Carrier Air Wing Eight complete the Carrier Strike Group 12 team,” said Rear Adm. Craig Clapperton, commander, CSG 12. “The air wing brings unmatched experience with this new carrier class, and is poised to take the fight to the enemy when the ship is ready.”
CVW-8 consists of seven aircraft squadrons flying F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, E-2C Hawkeyes, and MH-60R/S Sea Hawks. More than 1,500 personnel are assigned to CVW-8.