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Navy salutes a century of aircraft carriers in the fleet

The first carrier, USS Langley, was commissioned on March 20, 1922.

NORFOLK, Va. — An important milestone for the Navy is coming up this weekend.

Sunday marks the 100th anniversary of aircraft carriers.

For ten decades, the Navy has been able to project power around the globe, thanks to carriers.

Aircraft carriers are all about forward-deployed presence, being there. Or, as has often been stated, about providing 96,000 tons of diplomacy.

It all began with the USS Langley, at Norfolk Naval shipyard, on March 20, 1922.

Today, the Navy currently has eleven commissioned aircraft carriers in its arsenal.

Rear Adm. John Meier is commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic, responsible for providing operationally ready air squadrons and aircraft carriers to the fleet. 

"I would tell you that the advent of the aircraft carrier and the commissioning of the first aircraft carrier 100 years ago really started our Navy and our nation on a path of having the most formidable, mobile, survivable sea bases and aviation platforms in the world," he said.

Meier continued: "In a time of crisis, every president has asked, where are the aircraft carriers? And I'll tell you, today, the Harry S. Truman is in the Mediterranean, operating closely with out allies and partners, demonstrating our resolve and our partnership with our NATO allies, as we watch the horror unfolding of Russian aggression into Ukraine."

Newport News Shipbuilding is the world's only maker of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

The most recently completed carrier -- USS Gerald R. Ford -- is scheduled to make its first overseas deployment sometime later this year.

On Sunday, the Navy League of the United States, Hampton Roads, will celebrate 100 years of U.S.  

Navy aircraft carriers, with a private recognition ceremony at the Half Moone Cruise Terminal in Norfolk, featuring numerous speakers including Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and the Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday.

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