The U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) has completed her first vertical replenishment (VERTREP) with MH-60S Seahawk helicopters on March 24.
The carrier completed the VERTREP of 77 pallets of food and other dried goods in just over four and a half hours. The MH-60S, attached to the “Tridents” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 conducted the replenishment from Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS Joshua Humphreys (T-AO-188) in the Atlantic Ocean.
Cmdr. Carl Koch, Ford’s supply officer, explained that by accomplishing this task, Ford is one step closer to being fully mission ready.
“Exercising and proving our ability to conduct simultaneous fueling and replenishment-at-sea increases the ship’s flexibility to respond to mission requirements as it minimizes our required time alongside a supply ship,” said Koch.
Gerald R. Ford is a first-in-class aircraft carrier and the first new aircraft carrier designed in more than 40 years.
Ford is underway conducting carrier qualifications in the Atlantic Ocean. She is executing an 18-month phase of operations known as Post-Delivery Test and Trials (PDT&T) to ensure her overall deployment reediness.
The aircraft carrier recently completed her Flight Deck Certification (FDC) and Carrier Air Traffic Control Center (CATCC) Certification. She is now the only carrier qualification asset regularly available on the east coast this year.