The longest, newest, fastest warship will be in the Gulf of Trieste for a few days. One of the most expensive military projects of all time was visited by the TV Slovenija team, journalist Petra Marc and cameraman Žiga Gašperin.
Therefore, approximately 4,500 people are needed for the approximately 34 billion euro project to be able to sail and carry out operations. The super aircraft carrier of the US Navy is 333 meters long and 76 meters high, i.e. higher than the Ljubljana skyscraper. It is equipped with the best technology since it was built five years ago.
“Yes. It is the largest and fastest aircraft carrier. 32 technical innovations were used in the construction of the ship,” the captain of the battleship told TV Slovenija specifically Rick Burgess, commander of the US aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford. One of the innovations is the electromagnetic take-off system, i.e. the system that catapults military fighters into the air. The systems on other ships run on steam. “One of the problems with ships this big is that the inside is hot and uncomfortable because of the steam pipes,” explained the captain of the ship, which does not have these problems thanks to the new system, and the electromagnetic catapult is also faster: every 37 seconds, two fighters can be launched into the air during the day. Most of the F18 fighters are on board, and there are about 60 planes and helicopters in total.
Because the technology has to get used to, the sailors are on the ship continuously for up to 7 years. 32 years old Raphael Godette he has been on assignment for three years, with two more ahead of him. “A typical day for me is to go to the weapons store and prepare the missiles that this F-18 is armed with. That way the planes are ready for any need to defend the ship,” says Senior Warrant Officer Raphael Godette, aircraft gunner aboard the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford.
The reasons for the presence of this ship in the Mediterranean area were, as usual, only explained on a principled level. “Displaying a defensive posture and ensuring stability in the region.” That’s right Rear Admiral Erik Eslich, Commander of the 12th Carrier Battle Group Gerald R. Ford explained the arrival. The question of whether the mission is related to the Russian aggression against Ukraine – there is currently no other aircraft carrier closer to the attacked country – remained unanswered.
The atmosphere in the hangar indicated that the arrival of the ship in Trieste actually meant a short vacation for the sailors. In the coming days, most of the crew will be able to set foot on solid ground for the first time since their stop off the Turkish coast at the end of August. The city is also looking forward to this, as the local authorities highlight the economic benefits of the visit of an aircraft carrier with a large crew, especially for caterers, merchants and hoteliers.