Newport News Shipbuilding’s Focus NNS recently produced a news segment highlighting the June 16, 2015 USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) EMALS Testing from Newport News, VA. Foundation Trustee and Ship Sponsor Susan Ford Bales participated in the electromagnetic catapult testing, toured the building process of CVN 78 and spoke with fellow shipbuilders as they work to complete CVN 78 for its Commissioning in 2016.

Gerald R. Ford CVN 78 Cat Testing

[ Susan Ford Bales Participates in Catapult Demonstration | Photo by John Whalen ]

Susan continued her substantial personal involvement that she’s maintained throughout the construction of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), named in honor of her father, the 38th President of the United States. She personally thanked shipbuilders for their commitment and told them how proud she was to see first hand the results of their hard work in bringing the ship to life.

Following the tour, Susan joined personnel from the US Navy and Newport News Shipbuilding on CVN 78’s flight deck for the EMALS (Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System) catapult testing. She issued the command signals as dead loads, large sleds on wheels used to simulate the weight of an aircraft, were tested and successfully launched. The launch uses electromagnets as part of the new system on CVN 78 to increase flight deployments from the ship.

To learn more from NNS and Communications Division contributors Bryan Moore and Aaron Pritchett, please visit

Visit the Navy League’s USS Gerald R. Ford Commissioning to CONTRIBUTE TODAY

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