Crew's ship: Sailors' comfort a centerpiece of new supercarrier Ford | Navy Times |

ABOARD THE FUTURE CARRIER FORD IN NEWPORT NEWS, VA — Electromagnetic catapults and a soaring $13 billion price tag get most headlines, but it is a variety of creature comforts and convenience that are making the Navy’s next supercarrier a hit with its crew.

The future aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford boasts amenities like smaller berthings, tricked out gyms and loaded lounges, plus many design changes like wider passageways that make the ship more livable.

“I’ve never seen a p-way that wide,” said Damage Controlman 2nd Class Mario Covington, one of the nearly 1,000 members of the pre-commissioning crew to report for duty. “Usually, we have about 12 guys struggling with each other to get in their [firefighting ensemble]. But here you can get dressed out and have someone inspect you with enough space for others to enter and exit the area. Big difference. Huge difference.”

via Crew’s ship: Sailors’ comfort a centerpiece of new supercarrier Ford | Navy Times |

One of the big reasons the future USS Gerald Ford costs so much more than its Nimitz predecessors is that so much has changed. Remember, the Nimitz class is essentially a late 1960s design. Ford, however, is a 21st century design. There’s been quite a change in not just how ships are designed and built, but also the fundamental technologies that are used aboard ship. In World War II, heads simply flushed raw sewerage overboard with a salt water flush. That’s not acceptable today. So a far more expensive sewerage system has to be provided. Likewise, more comfortable berthing comes at a higher cost as well. That’s to say nothing of the capital costs of building two nuclear power plants that will have to provide 50 years of service on one load of fuel.

There will be engineering challenges, and issues as they test and deploy Bush. But so far, there haven’t been any major design issues that have cropped up. Now if we can just get Kennedy and Enterprise paid for.

7 thoughts on “Crew's ship: Sailors' comfort a centerpiece of new supercarrier Ford | Navy Times |”

  1. Damn!
    I made four cruises on two Forrestal Class Carriers, Independence and Ranger and two cruises on Kitty Hawk. Three of the six cruises I made in my career were to the Western Pacific/Indian Ocean. The last one, on Kitty Hawk was a Circumnavigation………………….
    We had cramped berthing spaces, heads and squadron maintenance spaces. I have taken showers in freezing water in The Norwegian Sea and The Philippine Sea that smelled of jet fuel…….
    I did a work up on Nimitz in 88 that was no picnic. The Aviation Hydraulic/Pneumatic Shop was the size of my living room………….I did the shakedown on George Washington in 92………….not that much of an improvement…………………Satellite TV allowed us to watch the MLB playoffs………………………..
    Life has definitely changed…………………………

      1. In February and March of 1988, chow for me was in the First Class Mess on Nimitz. I also ate in the First Class Messes of Ranger, Kitty Hawk and George Washington. When I was a young Airman Apprentice on Independence, we ate off of the standard steel tray………………

  2. I cannot help but wonder, with all the new creature comforts aboard Ford, how much of that stuff is flammable.

  3. Nimitz, America, Coral Sea, TR. When you’re tired enough the ol’ rack is plenty comfortable. Nimitz was my fave, America was okay, TR sucked, Coral Sea wasn’t all that bad and was so old and busted it was a real adventure. Plus she could go pierside most places. Despite all the DFM in the water, Coral Sea had the best chow, hands down. Got nothing against comfort, compared to my experience the carriers of all previous generations were living hell. Here’s an interesting book possibly worth reading as it speculates on the livability of a near-future CVN. It’s a good book in many way but it’s also pretty goofy in places. But at three bucks it won’t ruin your life.

Comments are closed.