Back to the future: was the US Navy’s latest aircraft carrier trying out Cold War tactics?

During the recent maiden operational cruise of the USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78), the aircraft carrier was sighted in a Norwegian fjord. Key.Aero’s Editor At Large, Dino Carrara, examines how the US Navy may be dusting off an ingenious Cold War tactic for carrier air wing operations.

The Gerald R Ford returned to her home port of Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia on January 17, 2024, after an extended cruise that lasted eight months. The ship and her embarked Carrier Air Wing 8 were at the forefront of world events, having spent the majority of their time in the Mediterranean and Adriatic as part of NATO’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. More recently, the carrier and associated vessels had moved to the eastern part of the Mediterranean in an effort by the US to reduce the chance of escalation of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

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