NORFOLK, Va. — Five years after commissioning, the Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford was finally going to deploy Monday. But, Mother Nature got a vote.
Strong northerly winds, a much higher than usual high tide, and anticipated widespread area flooding were to blame for the Ford temporarily staying put.
"As things evolved, and the Port of Virginia closed, we realized it was not going to be a possibility to get the Ford underway as previously scheduled," said Commander Lara Bollinger, U.S. Second Fleet Public Affairs Officer.
A key part of the equation is the number of people it takes to coordinate the deployment of a 96,000-ton warship.
They include people to operate the tugboats in the water and the cranes on the pier--let alone getting 4,000-plus sailors on board the ship on a day when Naval Station Norfolk had gone to "mission essential" status.
"There's lot that goes into getting a ship underway," said Bollinger. "So, for the safety of everyone, for the safety of the ship and of course, for the safety of all ships in the port, that was a decision that was made."
Late Monday, U.S. Second Fleet announced that the Ford will deploy on Tuesday.