NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Defense Secretary Mark Esper visited Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division and the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford, the company said in a Sept. 25 release. This was Esper’s first visit to the shipyard since he was sworn in to lead the Pentagon in July.
Esper toured Ford to see the progress being made during the ship’s post-shakedown availability and to learn more about its weapons-handling innovations and increased warfighting capabilities.
“Our shipbuilders play a vital role in building our Navy’s future fleet,” said Jennifer Boykin, president of Newport News Shipbuilding. “We appreciate that Secretary Esper took the time to visit our operations and Ford to see firsthand how we are working with our Navy partners to redeliver the newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that will be the centerpiece of our nation’s security strategy for decades to come.”