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DESRON 22 Conducts Virtual Onload Aboard Ford

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS190227-13
Release Date: 2/27/2019 1:08:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gitte Schirrmacher, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Commodore of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22 Capt. Tom Moninger and members of DESRON 22 staff visited USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) to evaluate the command's designated destroyer squadron spaces, Feb. 25.

During his tour, Moninger walked the ship with representatives from Ford's intelligence and operations departments to assess the design of the spaces to better accommodate the squadron.

"The carrier not only embarks the air wing when operational, but also the strike group staff and the associated destroyer squadron," said Moninger. "My purpose today was to help the captain identify if the spaces that are set aside for the embarked DESRON will be able to support the warfighting missions that we have to do for the strike group."

The virtual onload allowed for feedback to be given and changes to be made to the design before Ford completes its post-shakedown availability.

"We were able to point out some things that were much better than had been seen on the Nimitz-class carriers and some things they might want to change," said Moninger. "There's more space for the DESRON to operate. These spaces were set up so that there's an area to do administrative work that is separate from where you stand watch. It's as though it was built into the plan of how the ship was constructed. It will be very easy to effectively run the surface and subsurface commands of the strike group."

While DESRON 22 may not be embarked aboard Ford for her maiden voyage, this opportunity showed Moninger and his Sailors the future of carrier operations.

"Before you get to innovation, you want to have the same level of support that exists in the fleet," said Moninger. "You don't want to take away capability. We validated that today. The space layout is more than adequate for the current missions that other carriers have to do. The innovative piece to look at is if the spaces are set up for our future warfare commanders like the Intelligence Warfare Commander."

Gerald R. Ford is a first-in-class aircraft carrier and the first new aircraft carrier designed in more than 40 years. Ford is currently undergoing its post-shakedown availability at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding.

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