USS Gerald R. Ford Arrives in Halifax for First International Port Call > United States Navy > News Stories | Rare Techy
The Ford was deployed on October 4 from Norfolk, Virginia on its first deployment and has been conducting international maritime exercises and operations in the Atlantic Ocean with NATO allies Canada, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany.
“We have been operating with our allies and partners offshore, training our interoperability and interchangeability,” said Capt. Paul Lanzilotta, commanding officer of the USS Gerald R. Ford. “Visiting Halifax gives us the opportunity to build even stronger relationships with our teammates, strengthening our partnership and allowing our Sailors to explore Canada’s rich culture and welcoming people.”
This port visit marks the first aircraft carrier to visit Halifax in five years and signifies a deeper connection between Ford and Halifax as Norfolk’s sister city. The visit provided many of Ford’s junior sailors with not only their first international port experience, but also their first exposure to Canadian culture.
“I’m very excited for this city to be my first international visit since serving in the Navy,” said Internal Communications Electrician 3rd Class Ky Keys of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, who is assigned to Ford’s Combat Systems Division. “I am very much looking forward to visiting the Citadel for its history and, if possible, meeting my foreign naval counterparts.”
This visit builds relationships between the US and Canada through events and tours in the Halifax community. Also in port, Halifax community leaders, Royal Canadian Navy sailors and foreign dignitaries aboard the Ford are scheduled to be welcomed, strengthening relationships between US allies and partners.
Ford’s Faith Ministries Leadership Division offers sailors a variety of volunteer opportunities at local Halifax organizations such as a thrift store, food bank and Habitat for Humanity, while members of Ford’s Second Class Petty Officers Association are scheduled to volunteer at a local animal shelter.
“Community relations projects offer Sailors an opportunity to serve as good ambassadors for the communities in which they work and live, while promoting pride, personal values, self-esteem and morale for all involved,” said Cmdr. Genevieve Clark, Ford Chaplain. “Overseas community relations projects serve an important role in fostering international friendship and trust, and in turn, play an important role in enabling the Navy to fulfill its mission of building partners and strengthening ties with maritime allies.”
Following this port visit, the Gerald R. Ford will continue to attack in the Atlantic, conducting training and operations with NATO allies and partners to enhance integration for future operations and demonstrate the U.S. Navy’s commitment to peaceful, stable, and conflict-free operations. -free Atlantic region.
For more information on USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit https://www.airlant.usff.navy.mil/cvn78/ and follow on Facebook: @USSGeraldRFord, Instagram: @cvn78_grford, Twitter: @Warship_78 and DVIDS: www .dvids.net/CVN78 https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/cvn78