CVN 78 – USS Gerald R Ford

Donald Rumsfeld Jumps the Gun

CVN 78
USS Gerald R. Ford

Accidentally on purpose:

ABC’s Luis Martinez reports: Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld definitely jumped the gun this afternoon when he announced during his eulogy for Gerald Ford that the Navy would name a new aircraft carrier and the next generation of carriers after the former president. The announcement not only caught the family by surprise, but the Navy and Pentagon as well. Navy officials were scrambling this afternoon to react to a decision that hasn’t been officially announced.

Now, you all should know that I have nothing but the utmost respect for President Ford, and far be it from me to say anything negative about him on the day of his funeral. But this ship should not have been named after him.

I guess now we’ll have to see what fight erupts over the name for CVN 79, the second of the Ford-class carriers. The last I heard, when CVN 77 USS George HW Bush enters service, CVN 65 USS Enterprise will be retired. One guess as to which name Murdoc votes for on CVN 79.

As I said earlier, it’s too bad that naming CVN 78 after Gerald Ford is going to leave a bad taste in many a mouth. Ford was a very decent man and he deserves our respect. Unfortunately, this bad decision is going to cost his reputation in some circles.

There are a lot of great traditional names out there shamefully going unused.

Pinch had a great post on the new technologies planned for CVN 78 this past summer while covering for a vacationing Murdoc.


  1. There is one thing to be said in favor of a carrier named after the late President. Destroyers assigned to the TF would be called ‘Ford Escorts’.

  2. I think it highly inappropriate to name just about anything after a living politician, but especially something as massive as a major building or ship. I’m much more creeped out by the USS George HW Bush and the USS Jimmy Carter, both because those were more recent Presidents and, well, they aren’t dead yet. Although Ford’s only just now dead, and giving him an entire CLASS of ships is really kind of over the top. Is it a given that this will definitely happen? I guess so. Now that the man has just died no one’s going to want to stand up and demand a change.

  3. Damm political igots… But since naming a BIG budget item like a carrier is a political matter, its gonna be hard to steer them away from giving it a politicians name. ID rather have it names after our first carrier the Langley or better yet start with the Big carriers we had during WW2. Enterprise Yorktown Saratoga Hornet and on…

  4. Dean: I agree about both the George HW Bush and the Jimmy Carter. In fact, though I believe that Bush is far more deserving of a ship named after him than Carter, I think the Carter is less of a mistake because it isn’t nearly such a prominent ship. Carriers are the core of our surface fleet, and they’re in the news all the time. The Ford is even worse, because it’s the lead ship of a new class.

  5. I like the names of the new LCS ships: Courage, Alliance, Freedom, Independence. To me the littorals are where the new battles at sea will be fought, so these new capital ships are named appropriatly!