US Navy celebrated the keel laying of the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), the second ship of the Gerald R. Ford class, at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division on Saturday, August 22.
Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the ship’s namesake, the 35th President of the United States, the ship’s sponsor, declared the keel “truly and fairly laid” to signify the ceremonial start of construction.
John F. Kennedy will be the second U.S. Navy ship to bear the name of the 35th President. Crew members who served on the first John F. Kennedy attended and were recognized during the ceremony. To conclude the event, Rear Adm. Earl Yates, the first commanding officer of CV 67, signaled crane operators to lift the aircraft carrier’s engine room No. 2 unit into the dry dock while more than 1,500 guests watched.