The commanding officer of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), Capt. Richard McCormack, welcomed 13News Now and other members of the media aboard the aircraft carrier on August 1.
The ship's air boss, Cmdr. Thomas Plott, and three of the ship's enlisted experts on the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and the Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) were there, as well as Lt. Cmdr. Jamie Struck.
Struck was the F/A-18F pilot who made the first arrested landing and first launch on July 28, less than a week after President Donald J. Trump commissioned the aircraft carrier.
Struck was recognized for the historical landing and launch on August 1.
The ship is equipped with state-of-the-art systems and technology, including the EMALS which replaces steam catapults.
“I could not be more proud of the men and women who, for the better part of the last two decades, have worked to bring these new technologies to the fleet,” said Capt. Stephen Tedford, program manager. “Their perseverance and dedication to service have made this day possible.”
The first arrested landing, otherwise known as a "trap," happened just before 3:15 p.m. on July 28, and the aircraft carrier's first catapult launch occurred just after 4:30 p.m.
"USS Gerald R. Ford made history with the successful landing and launching of aircraft from VX-23 using the AAG and EMALS," said Adm. Phil Davidson, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces. "Great work by the Ford team and all the engineers who have worked hard to get the ship ready for this milestone."
"My team has worked very hard, together with experts from NAVAIR, Huntington Ingalls Industries, and General Atomics, to test this first-in-class technology," said Cmdr. Thomas Plott, head of Ford's air department. "Today is a validation of their dedication and hard work."