Next carrier to be named for Ford

Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Times:
quote:

By William H. McMichael and Gordon Lubold
Staff Writers


Donald Rumsfeld spilled the beans Wednesday: The next aircraft carrier class will be named for the late President Gerald R. Ford.

Former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, who served in that position under Ford as well as during his just-completed six-year stint under President Bush, made the impromptu announcement during Ford’s funeral service in Grand Rapids, Mich. In doing so, he upstaged Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter, who was to officially announce the name of the carrier later this month.
For the rest of the story, go to http://www.navytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-2459640.php

See also http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/78.htm
 
W

Wayne Keen

Guest
On some Navy lists that I lurk on, this has been a topic of some scorn for a while now - with those opposed to such names making the argument that political figures are not suitable for such ship names...

The vitriol is surprising.

Wayne
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>The vitriol is surprising.<<

Doesn't surprise me. The naming of ships is often a process which is loaded down with politics. Personally, I think that if the powers that be are going to name something after a politician, they should wait until s/he's decently deceased or the statute of limitations has expired, but that's just me.
wink.gif
 

Jack Devine

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Jan 23, 2004
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"a process which is loaded down with politics."

In Chicago they dye the river bright green every St. Patrick's day. To the argument that this may not be environmentally wise, the city's reply is that Fish Don't Vote. When you spend billions on a single warship, there is nothing that is not political.
Personally I would like to see the carrier named for a historic battle, or a retired ship's name, something of greater significance. Lexington, or Constellation, something along those lines. Will it ever happen? I'd like to hold out some faint hope, but it's not likely.
 

Grant Carman

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Given that the choosing of names is political, d'ya think they'll ever name a carrier the William Jefferson Clinton?
Rummy and Cheney would have a stroke.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>d'ya think they'll ever name a carrier the William Jefferson Clinton?<<

They might.

Personally, I'd like to see the more traditional names be used. Yorktown and Lexington are great, but Enterprise would be really sweet! There's a lot of history behind all three of them.
 

Grant Carman

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There have been ships with those names already hasn't there?
Did any of them get sunk in a war, because if they did, then I don't think they'd re-use the name.
 

Jack Devine

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I don't foresee any ship being named after Clinton, largely due to his hostility to the military. There are long memories in that regard: Thomas Jefferson had no great love for the navy and will probably never have a ship named after him.

I agree that Enterprise would be really sweet, but to be polite it might be best to wait until the name isn't actually being used by an active carrier! The confusion would be pretty bad. I'm with you on the traditional names. "Victory" wouldn't be a bad choice for a number of reasons.

Grant, the first Yorktown and Lexington were both sunk during the second world war, at Midway and Coral Sea, respectively. The second carriers to bear those names are now museums. (Musea? I'm terrible at latin.)There are plenty of examples of names being re-used after a ship is sunk, there is no shame in going down fighting. It doesn't just apply to warships, either. P&O currently has a merchant ship named Jervis Bay, there's a lot of history behind that name.
 

Mike Poirier

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I don't foresee any ship being named after Clinton, largely due to his hostility to the military.

Having known many people that served in the military at the time and some who continue to do so, will tell you that is a myth.
 
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>>I don't foresee any ship being named after Clinton, largely due to his hostility to the military.<<

Have to agree with Michael Poirier on this one. I don't know of any example of Clinton being hostile to the military. (He had a beef with Vietnam, but he had plenty of company as far as that goes.) He certainly never hesitated to use it during his administration and not always for the wrong reasons either. At least no moreso then any other president. I don't think he ever really understtod the military, but again, there are a lot of politicians that this can be said about on both sides of the aisle, and a substantial number of them are still in office.

The cuts which took place during his administration were little more then a continuation of the trend that started with Reagan in 1988. I disagreed with some of them, but not all of it. Quite a few of the ships taken out included a long...and I do mean a long...laundry list of overaged combatants and amphibious warfare vessels which were near the end of their useful service lives anyway. Some of them were in very poor material condition when they were retired.
 

Dave Gittins

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Dave Tuttle recently sent me a helluva funny satirical e-mail that is doing the rounds.

It depicts USS Ronald Reagan in full ceremonial order as she passes the USS Arizona monument. Thousands of sailors man the rails of the huge carrier.

Next we see USS Bill Clinton, which consists of a small barge carrying a single, unarmed jet fighter which has no room to take off.

Whatever your politics, it's a very enjoyable piece of satire.
 

Jack Devine

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Jan 23, 2004
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I'll defer to those with closer knowledge, although I've read that the Clinton White House tended to look down on the military, and that on occasion there was astonishment to learn that military officers are well educated and intelligent. I am NOT trying to start any political discussion, may we please leave that to the thousands of more appropriate websites.
I don't think Clinton's policy decisions were particularly anti-military, and certainly the cutbacks were part of a much longer trend.
 
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>>...and that on occasion there was astonishment to learn that military officers are well educated and intelligent.<<

You might be surprised to see how all pervasive that attitude is, and not just among those on the left. The problem here is that there are fewer and fewer people standing for office in either the U.S. or the U.K. who have ever been a part of the military from either Rephublican, Democrat or on the U.K's side of the pond, Labour or Tory. Whereas once it was virtually a prerequisite regardless of partisan affiliation, nobody seems to care anymore.

When those who make the decisiond have no direct experience with a particular institution that they control, it's a lot easier for stereotypes such as "Knuckledragger" to become entrenched.

Another problem is that politicians, regardless of their leanings, have a tendency to be idealists within the context of their party platform. They have a very hard time understanding people whose very careers depend on their being hard core realists, and career military types tend to be realists.
 

James Smith

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Dec 5, 2001
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quote:

There are long memories in that regard: Thomas Jefferson had no great love for the navy and will probably never have a ship named after him.

Wait--wasn't it Jefferson who set the US Navy against the Barbary Pirates off northern Africa?

--Jim
 

Jack Devine

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Yes, it was Jefferson who sent the navy against Algiers and Tunis "to the shores of Tripoli." He wasn't against using the military as long as it was there, and a good deal of pressure from Congress and the public certainly didn't hurt. He was opposed to the idea of a standing military, because the European powers all used theirs to support the aristocracy and this was anathema to a new republic. Jefferson believed the US should become a nation of independent yeoman farmers, who could form a militia in the rare event that one was needed.

It was a lovely vision but completely naive.
 
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Just for information, Thomas Jefferson did have a ship named after him. A boomer in fact. See http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08618.htm

Fortunately, his ideas about a militia being adaquate never really took hold since with few exceptions, they tend not to hold up very well against a well trained professional army. The Swiss have their militia system but they don't have any illusions about it being able to hold out long against the Big Boys.
 

Jack Devine

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I stand corrected. Thanks for the info, Mike!

A militia has some appeal to politicians because it looks like a military but isn't nearly as expensive. By the time you find out that they are highly ineffective, it may be too late.
 
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>>By the time you find out that they are highly ineffective, it may be too late.<<

It's not like the lessons aren't there either. You can go back about 3000 years to old Israel and the fight over King David's throne between Solomon and Absolom. David had founded a proferssional Army during his rule and it was the professional army which supported David while Absolom had the support of the tribal militias.

It wasn't really even much of a fight. David won out and Absolom was killed.

The fact is that if you want to have a first class military capable of doing anything worthwhile, you just can't do it on the cheap. Militias do have a place but they're no substitute for a well trained and properly equipped professional force.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From Marketwire:

Avaya Federal Solutions to Provide Shipboard Communications for U.S. Navy's Next-Generation Aircraft Carrier
quote:

BASKING RIDGE, NJ--(Marketwire - September 8, 2008) - Avaya Federal Solutions, Inc. today announced it is providing communications for the USS Gerald R. Ford, the U.S. Navy's next-generation aircraft carrier. Currently under construction by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, the Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) represents the lead ship of a new class of aircraft carriers. The ship is expected to deliver in 2015.
More at http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Avaya-Inc-897193.html
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Times:

Contract awarded for first carrier of new class
quote:

The Navy awarded Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding a $5.1 billion contract Sept. 10 to begin construction of the first ship of a new class of aircraft carrier.

Northrop’s Newport News, Va., shipyard will build the carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), lead ship of the first new class of nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carriers in more than four decades.
For the rest, see http://www.navytimes.com/news/2008/09/defense_carrier_ford_091008/