On October 4th is the newest and most modern USUnited States-Aircraft carrier departed for its first mission. From the home port of Norfolk, the formation of the “Gerald R. Ford” sails to the North Atlantic. The German Navy is involved with an air defense specialist, the frigate “Hessen.”
“This transatlantic deployment will strengthen our relationships, capabilities and confidence to create a more peaceful and prosperous world,” said Admiral Daryl Caudle, commander of US Fleet Forces Command. Innovation and interoperability are the main focus of the mission, explains the USUnited States Navy on that. The aircraft carrier association’s ride around the “Gerald R. Ford” should enable allies and partner nations to strengthen the collective defense of the Atlantic and improve integration for future operations.
“The Atlantic is an area of strategic interest,” said Vice Admiral Dan Dwyer, commander of the 2nd US Fleet. “Our primary goal is to contribute to a peaceful, stable and conflict-free Atlantic region through the combined maritime power of our allies and partners. The deployment of the ‘Ford’ carrier battle group is the natural consequence of our renewed commitment in the Atlantic.” His major unit, the 2nd US Fleet, was only reestablished in 2018.
The aircraft carrier is the flagship of the “Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group” (GRFCSG), also known as CSG 12 for short. Air, sea and ground forces from a total of nine partner countries are involved in its first operational deployment. Together with allies and partners, the GRFCSG will focus on air defense, anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures and amphibious operations training.
The German air defense frigate “Hessen” with its crew of around 230 brings its powerful airspace surveillance radar and its long-range anti-aircraft missiles to the association. It belongs next to a US cruisers and other destroyers to escort the most important ship in the association, “Gerald R. Ford”. A total of around 9,000 soldiers, 20 ships and 60 aircraft are involved in the mission. In addition to the USA and Germany, the participating nations are other allies: Denmark, Finland, France, Canada, Netherlands, Sweden and Spain.