New Aircraft Carriers Head To Train With NATO

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The most advanced aircraft carrier in the US Navy departed on its first deployment Tuesday to train with other NATO countries.

The USS Gerald R. Ford sailed from the Norfolk Naval Base, Virginia, along with destroyers and other ships that make up her strike group.

The Ford will join ships from other countries, such as France, Germany and Sweden, to carry out various exercises, including military anti-submarine exercises, in the Atlantic Ocean.

The maneuvers will take place seven months after Russia invaded Ukraine and at a time of tension between Moscow and the West.

Bradley Martin, a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, told The Associated Press last week that the exercises will showcase US military capabilities and support for NATO.

USS Ford is the first of the Navy's new Ford class of aircraft carriers. They are designed to carry a greater variety of aircraft and to operate with fewer sailors, hundreds fewer.

The ship is deployed after five years of commissioning. She has been plagued by various mishaps, such as problems with the aircraft launch system and the elevators that carry the missiles and bombs to the aircraft on the flight deck.

Martin said that it is normal for the first ship of a new class to have to solve various problems.

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