The most advanced aircraft carrier of the United States Navy is being deployed to train with allied nations in light of the growing threat posed to the West by Russian aggression. The USS Gerald R. Ford has set sail for the North Atlantic along with five other ships from NATO member states, an undisclosed number of U.S. warships, and a submarine.

Shortly before the deployment, Navy Captain Paul Lanzilotta told reporters: “We’re going to use the entire Atlantic as our playpen.”

“We’re going to be doing pretty much every mission set that’s in the portfolio for naval aviation.” The aircraft carrier was recently equipped with new technology and a redesigned flight deck.

As part of the upgrade, the nuclear-powered carrier now includes an advanced radar system and an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) to help with rapid deployment of aircraft in response to potential threats.


Despite being the largest warship in the world, the USS Ford requires around 600 fewer sailors onboard than its closest counterpart, the Nimitz-class carrier, and therefore, it is expected to save billions of dollars in the long-term.

Lanzilotta said the deployment will be carried out in a “steppingstone kind of approach” in preparation for future global deployments beginning in 2023. It will also be used to perform a series of training missions, including air defense exercises and anti-submarine warfare exercises.

Vice Admiral Dan Dwyer, commander of the U.S. Second Fleet, told reporters on Tuesday, Oct. 4: “In this area of strategic competition, we can no longer assume that geography provides us with the protection and standoff that we’ve had in the past.

“Commenting on the threat posed by Russian naval activity since Moscow’s illegal invasion of Ukraine in February, Bruce Jones, a director of the Brookings Institution’s Project on International Order and Strategy, told Voice of America (VOA) that Russia’s naval fleet remains “undiluted”.


“We saw a substantial increase in Russian naval activity in the lead-up to the Ukraine crisis in the Arctic,” he said. “So the North Atlantic is a very important place where we’re going to end up having to deter Russia.

Referencing the recent alleged sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline, Jones said: “Arguably, we’re in a more dangerous period, because Russia may well be looking to escalate beyond Ukraine as the situation in Ukraine gets worse for him [Putin].”


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