U.S. Embassy Ankara
August 25, 2023
The U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), and embarked staff from Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, arrived in Antalya, Türkiye for a scheduled port visit, on August 25.
This port visit is the ship’s fourth stop while deployed to the U.S. Naval Forces Europe (NAVEUR) area of operations and provides an opportunity to enhance the strong partnership between the U.S. and Türkiye. As part of its past port visits during deployment, the USS Gerald R. Ford has visited Oslo, Norway; Split, Croatia; and Piraeus, Greece.
Prior to arriving, Turkish Naval ships (TCG) Anadolu, Goksu, Gediz, Imbat, Meltem, Burakreis, and Turkish Air Force F-16s, KC-135s, and P-72s conducted a series of coordinated events with the Gerald R. Ford Strike Group (GRFCSG) to enhance partner interoperability and demonstrate commitment to security in the Mediterranean.
The U.S. Navy routinely holds exercises with Türkiye, sending its largest aircraft carrier to Antalya just days after the U.S. Sixth Fleet Command Ship, USS Mount Whitney, visited Istanbul, while the guided-missile cruiser, USS Normandy, visits Aksaz.
“The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group operated with our partners in the Turkish Navy and Air Force executing a series of multi-domain exercises prior to our arrival in Antalya,” said Rear Adm. Erik J. Eslich, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 12. “The exercises strengthened the bond we share with Türkiye and enhanced our common understanding of maritime tactics and procedures advancing interoperability objectives. Additionally, our collective efforts reinforce our shared goals of promoting peace and stability in the region.”
Before arriving in Antalya, the Gerald R. Ford hosted key government and military leaders aboard to observe the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier’s operations at sea. Guests experienced firsthand the Gerald R. Ford’s new aircraft launch system and advanced arresting gear systems, witnessing the launch and recovery of embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 aircraft from the flight deck, touring the ship’s aircraft maintenance repair facilities, and meeting with GRFCSG Sailors and leadership.
The Gerald R. Ford is anchored off the coast of Antalya and will host local officials and military leaders for a dinner to celebrate the strong, extensive alliance between the U.S. and Türkiye. The port call also provides Gerald R. Ford Sailors the opportunity to experience Türkiye’s rich history and culture.
Gerald R. Ford deployed from Norfolk, Virginia, on May 2, and has been conducting joint and combined training, exercises, and operations to support maritime stability and security, and defense of U.S., Allied and Partner interests. The GRFCSG recently participated in the NATO exercise Neptune Strike, a multiyear effort focused on harmonizing U.S. and NATO planning teams to provide assurance, deterrence, and collective defense for the Alliance.
Gerald R. Ford is the U.S. Navy’s newest and most advanced aircraft carrier. As the first-in-class ship of Ford-class aircraft carriers, CVN 78 represents a generational leap in the U.S. Navy’s capacity to project power on a global scale.