An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


News Stories
U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

Ford’s first CO returns for USS Gerald R. Ford’s first deployment

by Petty Officer 3rd Class Adonica Munoz
21 November 2022 ATLANTIC OCEAN - Rear Adm. John F. Meier, the first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) first commanding officer and current commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic, visited Ford during the ship’s first deployment, Nov. 10-11, 2022.
Picture of Rear Adm. Meier with a Lt. Cmdr. pose for a photo
SLIDESHOW | 1 images | 221110-N-FP390-1033 Rear Adm. John Meier, commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic, observes flight operations with Lt. Cmdr. Jessica Obrien, from Statesville, North Carolina, assigned to the first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford's (CVN 78) air department, in the ship’s catapult control station, Nov. 10, 2022. Exercise Silent Wolverine is a U.S.-led, combined training exercise that tests Ford-class aircraft carrier capabilities through integrated high-end naval warfare scenarios alongside participating allies in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group is conducting their first deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Tyrell Lovewine)

Meier met with Capt. Paul Lanzilotta, Ford’s current commanding officer, in the CO’s in port cabin before seeing Ford’s advanced weapons elevators in action, observing flight operations and speaking to the crew at an all hands call.

“When I started here on Ford, about seven years ago, it was probably the hardest job I ever left in my life,” said Meier. “I put my heart and soul in Gerald R. Ford. I remember distinctly walking around this ship with a roll of blueprints, going into a space, rolling out the blue prints and trying to figure out exactly what the space was going to look like and what it was going to become. Now coming back six-and-a-half years later to see you all at sea, operating all aspects of the ship is truly impressive. I’m in awe to have the opportunity to be back here.”

Meier served as precommissioned Ford’s first commanding officer from July 2013 to April 2016. Ford saw many milestones during Meier’s time as commanding officer.

In the years since, Ford has undergone post-delivery tests and trials, full ship shock trials, planned incremental availability, and carrier qualifications, leading up to the ship’s first deployment.

“Ford’s inaugural deployment represents a generational leap in our Navy’s capacity to project power on a global scale,” said Meier. “It is extraordinary to witness first-hand how our Sailors are using the advanced technology and capabilities inherent to the Ford-class alongside our allies and partners to not only shape Navy warfighting, but high-end warfare for decades to come.”

The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group is deployed in the Atlantic Ocean, conducting exercise Silent Wolverine is a U.S.-led, combined training exercise that tests Ford-class aircraft carrier capabilities through integrated high-end naval warfare scenarios alongside participating allies in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean.

For more information about the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit https://www.airlant.usff.navy.mil/cvn78/ and follow along on Facebook: @USSGeraldRFord, Instagram: @cvn78_grford, Twitter: @Warship_78, LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/uss-gerald-r-ford-cvn-78/ and DVIDS: www.dvids.net/CVN78
 
Navy.mil  |  Navy.com  |  Navy FOIA  |  DoD Accessibility/Section 508  |  No Fear Act  |  Open Government  |  Plain Writing Act 
USA.gov  |  Veterans Crisis Line  |  DoD Safe Helpline  |  Navy SAPR  |  NCIS Tips  |  Privacy Policy  |  Site Map  |  Contact US
 
Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command   |   1562 Mitscher Ave., Suite 250   |   Norfolk, Virginia 23551-2487
Official U.S. Navy Website
Veteran's Crisis Line