Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has reached an important milestone in the construction of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) as the first of 2,700 compartments were turned over to the ship’s crew.
The completed spaces allow sailors to begin training on the ship while final outfitting and testing progresses at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division.
Earlier this month, sailors assigned to the pre-commissioning unit began coming onboard the ship and working in some of the compartments, which include a training facility, offices and habitability spaces.
Turning over crew training areas earlier in Kennedy’s construction was a key lesson learned from the construction of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). As a result, the Kennedy’s construction team was able to complete and turnover 63 compartments to the ship’s crew over four months earlier than on Ford.
“The first sailors coming onboard is a significant step in the life of the ship,” said Mike Butler, program director for Kennedy. “Our completing and turning over these spaces to the crew will allow them to start on-hands, shipboard training, and learn the systems and components they will operate when the ship joins the fleet.”
Christened and launched in December 2019, Kennedy continues to come to life. Over the next two and a half years, other spaces, such as berthing and mess areas, will be completed, and distributive, mechanical and combat systems, such as catapults and radar arrays, will be tested.