In a continued sign of transatlantic unity, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) came under NATO command today while preparing to conduct activities in the Norwegian Sea with other maritime forces from Allied Nations. The Ford is on a scheduled deployment to the European Theater. This transfer of authority to Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (SFN) demonstrates the Alliance’s ability to integrate the high-end capabilities of a first-in-class carrier U.S., its strike group escorts, and embarked air wing during a series of planned maritime security activities and training. Norway is the host nation for these events, which will take place over the following week.
The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group is comprised of its flagship and namesake, the Ford-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), Carrier Air Wing Eight (CVW 8), Destroyer Squadron Two (DESRON 2), the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61). Concerted, collaborative efforts such as Gerald R. Ford’s seamless transition to NATO command reinforce the interchangeability of Allied Forces and the agility of NATO command and control structures. This transfer of authority constitutes a tangible, transparent display of advanced capabilities in all-domain operations and the defensive commitment of the NATO Alliance across Supreme Allied Commander Europe’s (SACEUR) Area of Responsibility.
Carrier Strike Group Twelve (CSG-12 or CARSTRKGRU 12) is one of four U.S. Navy carrier strike groups currently assigned to the United States Fleet Forces Command. USS Gerald R. Ford is the aircraft carrier assigned as the strike group’s flagship. Units currently assigned to Carrier Strike Group Twelve included Carrier Air Wing Eight; the Ticonderoga-class cruisers Vicksburg and Normandy; and Destroyer Squadron 2. Carrier Strike Group Twelve was the first U.S. Navy carrier strike group to deploy with a Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) capability that integrates all units via a data link to gain a more comprehensive overview of its operational battlespace.