The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) floated out of dry dock on 11 October and will commission at Newport News on 9 November. Founders Brewery of Grand Rapids, MI (US Navy veteran Ford represented the Congressional district from 1949 to 1973) will be sending 40 cases of beer with special commemorative labels to the commissioning ceremony.
Founders creates special label beer for USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier christening
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — When the nation’s newest aircraft carrier is christened this weekend, Founders Brewing Co. will be there.
The Grand Rapids brewery is shipping about 40 cases of a special label edition beer to Newport News, Va., for private consumption at the ceremony for the christening of the USS Gerald R. Ford on Saturday, Nov. 9.
The beer, the same dry-hopped pale ale Founders has been brewing for years, has essentially received a packaging makeover for the christening ceremonies.
Dave Engbers, Founders vice president and co-founder, said it’s always been company policy not to do special contract brews, but this situation is unique.
“When the government calls and they have a contract like this honoring your hometown president… it wasn’t a long conversation at Founders,” he said. “We’re like, ‘absolutely, we’ll do it.’”
The aircraft carrier, (CVN-78), was named for Gerald R. Ford based on the 38th president’s service aboard the light carrier Monterey in the Pacific Theater during World War II. A first-in-class carrier, it replaces the USS Enterprise.
On Saturday, Ford’s daughter, Susan Ford Bales, will break a bottle of sparkling wine over the ship’s bow. The hull then will be released from dry dock and set afloat.
Engbers said the brewery was contacted by the Newport News Shipbuilding team this summer about the special label beer. The beer will be served at a private party on Friday night, and Engbers said the ship building team wanted to make sure there were enough bottles for everyone to take home.
The pale ale will be served on draft with a commemorative postcard at several locations in Newport News this week.
The carrier team visited the brewery and asked specifically for the pale ale, he said.
“It’s an honor for us to be included,” said Engbers.
So that’s that. Thanks, govt shutdown! I’m sure the folks in Maine appreciate having to do it without thanks.
Looking unlike any US warship past, new Navy destroyer Zumwalt goes into the water in Maine
BATH, Maine — There was no band. No streamers. No champagne.
The Navy’s stealthy Zumwalt destroyer floated out of dry dock without fanfare Monday night and into the waters of the Kennebec River, where the warship will remain dockside for final construction.
The largest destroyer ever built for the Navy, the Zumwalt looks like no other U.S. warship, with an angular profile and clean carbon fiber superstructure that hides antennas and radar masts.
“The Zumwalt is really in a league of its own,” said defense consultant Eric Wertheim, author of the “The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World.”
Originally envisioned as a “stealth destroyer,” the Zumwalt has a low-slung appearance and angles that deflect radar. Its wave-piercing hull aims for a smoother ride.The 610-foot ship is a behemoth that’s longer and bigger than the current class of destroyers. It was originally designed for shore bombardment and features a 155mm “Advanced Gun System” that fires rocket-propelled warheads that have a range of nearly 100 miles.
Thanks to computers and automation, it will have only about half the complement of sailors as the current generation of destroyers.
Critics, however, felt the Navy was trying to incorporate too much new technology — a new hull, computer automation, electric propulsion, new radar and new gun — into one package. At one point, the program was nearly scrapped because of growing cost. Eventually, the program was truncated to three ships, the Zumwalt being the first.
Dozens of local residents gathered to watch the hours-long process of floating the ship in a dry dock. In the water for the first time, the ship was a sight to behold.
“It’s absolutely massive. It’s higher than the tree line on the other side. It’s an absolutely huge ship — very imposing. It’s massively dominating the waterfront,” said Amy Lent, executive director of the Maine Maritime Museum, who watched the process from her office down river from the shipyard.
The big ship was supposed to be christened with a bottle of Champagne crashed against its bow by the two daughters of the late Adm. Elmo “Bud” Zumwalt, but the ceremony earlier this month was canceled because of the partial federal government shutdown.
Workers at Bath Iron Works, part of General Dynamics, will continue working on the ship throughout the winter. The shipyard hopes to hold a rescheduled christening in the spring, with sea trials following in the fall. Bath Iron Works plans to deliver the ship to the Navy in 2015.
Somewhat embarrassing for the US Navy. Perhaps they should rename it the USS Budget, or the USS Snafu, or even the USS Tea Party.
Navy Cancels, Postpones Zumwalt Christening
Story Number: NNS131011-08Release Date: 10/11/2013 10:23:00 AM
From Defense Media Activity-Navy
WASHINGTON (NNS) — The Navy announced today that the christening of the future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) originally scheduled for Oct. 19 has been cancelled and postponed until a future date.
“It is incredibly unfortunate that we are being forced to cancel the christening ceremony for this great warship,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, “but the ongoing government shutdown prevents us from being able to honor Admiral Zumwalt’s memory with a ceremony befitting his and his family’s legacy of service to our Nation and our Navy.”
The future USS Zumwalt is a first of class ship for the Navy’s next generation destroyer. Zumwalt class ships are tailored for sustained operations in the littorals and land attack, and will provide independent forward presence and deterrence, support special operations forces, and operate as an integral part of joint and combined expeditionary forces.
The Zumwalt honors Navy Adm. Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., who became the 19th Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) in 1970, and passed away in Durham, N.C., Jan. 2, 2000.
The Navy is in coordination with the Zumwalt family and General Dynamics – Bath Iron Works to reschedule the christening ceremony.