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MC3 (SW) Cory Rose

Ford Keel Laid for Future Carrier, Class

A keel-laying ceremony for the Navy's first Ford-class aircraft carrier, Gerald R. Ford, (CVN 78) was held at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va. Nov. 14. The ceremony celebrated not only the building of a new class of ship, but the life of the ship's namesake, former President Gerald R. Ford. Susan Ford Bales, Ford's daughter, was the ship's sponsor. Bales' initials were welded into a metal plate that will be permanently affixed to the ship. "Ladies and gentlemen, as the ship's sponsor, and on behalf of President Gerald R. Ford," said Bales.