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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

Norway Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, SECNAV Visit USS Gerald R. Ford

by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Spencer Fling
20 September 2022 NORFOLK, Va. - Prime Minister of Norway Jonas Gahr Støre, Norway’s Minister of Defense Bjørn Arild Gram, and the U.S. Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro visited the first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Sept. 19, 2022.

Three men watch an aircraft on the deck of an aircraft carrier.
SLIDESHOW | 3 images | 220919-N-VQ693-1207 Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, center, and Bjorn Arild Gram, right, Norwegian Minister of Defense, observe flight operations on the first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford's (CVN 78) flight deck during a ship visit, September 19, 2022. Ford is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting carrier qualifications and workups for a scheduled deployment this fall. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adonica Munoz)
This underway embark coincided with Støre’s visit to the United States to meet with officials in Washington D.C. and talk to key U.S. military leaders.

The visit to Ford provided Rear Adm. Gregory C. Huffman, commander of Carrier Strike Group 12, and Capt. Paul Lanzilotta, Ford’s commanding officer, the opportunity to showcase the ship’s operational capabilities.

“Hosting Norway’s Prime Minister and Minister of Defense today provided an opportunity to share with our allies how this latest generation of aircraft carriers enables our Sailors to work alongside one another to improve interchangeability and enhance regional stability,” said Lanzilotta. “Ford’s cutting-edge capabilities and new operational concepts offer a deployable asset that is unmatched by our adversaries and will shape Navy warfighting for decades to come.”

This was the Prime Minister and Minister of Defense’s first visit to a Ford-class aircraft carrier.  While aboard, they toured some of Ford’s unique systems and advanced technologies and observed flight deck operations during the launch and recovery of aircraft on the flight deck.

“The U.S. is our most important ally. The U.S. pledge to support Norway and Europe in times of crisis and war is essential to our security. Norway and the U.S. have a long tradition of close defense cooperation. We are now seeking to develop this even further,” said Støre.             

Støre and Del Toro also had the opportunity to hold a series of strategic meetings aboard.

“It was a pleasure to welcome Prime Minister of Norway, Jonas Gahr Støre, on his first official trip to the United States,” said Del Toro. “His and Minister of Defense Bjørn Arild Gram’s visit aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford allows these leaders to learn more about our operations at sea and how Allies such as Norway train and operate alongside us. I am incredibly proud of the outstanding work all the Sailors and Marines aboard Ford have put in to get the ship where she is today.”

Ford is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting carrier qualifications and workups for a scheduled deployment this fall.

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