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US Navy

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Holds Reception During Oslo Port Visit

US Navy

30 May 2023
From Jacob Mattingly

OSLO, Norway -- Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, U.S. Naval Forces Africa, Allied Joint Forces Command Naples, Adm. Stuart Munsch, and the U.S. Ambassador to Norway, Marc Nathanson, co-hosted a reception aboard the first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) while anchored off the coast of Oslo, Norway, May 26, 2023.

Capt. Rick Burgess, Gerald R. Ford's commanding officer opened the ceremony with a few words, followed by the playing of the U.S. and Norwegian national anthems.

"Welcome to the United States' capital warship. It is an absolute honor to host in the event tonight, one in which we have the opportunity to share in friendship and camaraderie," said Burgess.

The event highlighted the long-standing bilateral alliance between the U.S. and Norway, and celebrated the first port visit during Ford's deployment. Guest speakers included Munsch, Ambassador Nathanson, and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

"It is really a great honor to welcome the USS Gerald R. Ford and its crew to Norway and to Oslo," said Støre. "This is a historical event. I believe it is a show of force, but it is also a show of friendship and it is a show of trust."

Munsch spoke on how the event furthers the trust between the U.S. and Norway.

"This is remarkable that we have 500 wonderful guests aboard this ship," said Munsch. "What you're looking at is actually just the tip of the iceberg for the relationship between the American armed forces and Norwegian armed forces."

Ambassador Nathanson emphasized that NATO is more unified than ever, even in the face of an ever-evolving security environment, and that the evening's gathering of military and civilians from around the world aboard the Navy's newest, most advanced aircraft carrier testified to the alliance's cohesion.

"My wife Jane and I are overjoyed to be here on this gorgeous Norwegian spring evening to welcome the USS Gerald R. Ford to Oslo," said Nathanson. "This tremendous vessel, the largest and most powerful warship in the world, has come to Oslo on her maiden deployment is a testament of the United States commitment to Norway, NATO and European security now and in the future."

The evening included an opportunity for the more than 500 guests to enjoy food and beverages, as well as a ceremonial toast and cake cutting.

The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG) is conducting a scheduled deployment in the Atlantic Ocean in support of interoperability and maritime security. The GRFCSG provides an inherently flexible naval force capable of deploying across combatant commands to meet emerging missions, deter potential adversaries, reassure allies and partners, enhance security and guarantee the free flow of global commerce. In total, the GRFCSG is deployed with more than 6,000 Sailors across all platforms ready to respond globally to combatant commander tasking.

Gerald R. Ford is the U.S. Navy's newest and most advanced aircraft carrier. As the first-in-class ship of Ford-class aircraft carriers, CVN 78 represents a generational leap in the U.S. Navy's capacity to project power on a global scale. Ford-class aircraft carriers introduce 23 new technologies, including Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System, Advanced Arresting Gear and Advanced Weapons Elevators. The new systems incorporated onto Ford-class ships are designed to deliver greater lethality, survivability and joint interoperability with a 20% smaller crew than a Nimitz-class carrier, paving the way forward for naval aviation.

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