Speaking of Aircraft Carriers, a little more than a week ago, the United States Navy christened the latest variant of the US Aircraft Carrier. The USS Gerald R. Ford will be the first of the latest class of US Aircraft Carrier to enter the fleet. The Ford Class will have at least a 50 year service life, and is intended to replace all of the Nimitz class carriers that are currently the cutting edge of the Navy’s surface fleet. The USS Gerald R. Ford is supposed to operate with a smaller crew, 700 fewer is the projected number, and integrate several new technological advancements in both launching and landing operations. The idea of launching aircraft via an electromagnetic launching system, as opposed to mechanical, hydraulic, and/or the steam operated systems of old, is definitely new ground. Although the USS Gerald R. Ford still has a ways to go before being commissioned and joining the fleet, probably sometime in 2016, it is refreshing to see that advances are being after more than 40 years of using the same design template used for the Nimitz class. ~ Michael S. Pauley
Michael S. Pauley is a Navy brat and an old soldier who served in all three components of the United States Army. Living in Lexington, South Carolina, Michael is now a practicing attorney and member of the United States Naval Institute and the American Legion, Post 154, Tybee Island, Georgia.