Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Sign up here for our free newsletter that tells you about the newest stories, twice each week.

Huntington Ingalls Celebrates Ceremonial First Cut Of Steel For Aircraft Carrier Doris Miller (CVN 81)

NEWPORT NEWS—Huntington Ingalls Industries recently hosted a ceremonial event at its Newport News Shipbuilding division that marked the first construction milestone in the life of the aircraft carrier Doris Miller (CVN 81). During a small ceremony held inside a manufacturing facility, Thomas Bledsoe, the great nephew of the ship’s namesake, gave the order to “cut that steel” to shipbuilder Gerald Bish, who operated a large plasma-cutting machine that sliced into a steel plate. Shipbuilders, U.S. Navy leadership, elected officials, and Doris Miller’s relatives signed their names on the plate.

“Today we recognize the start of construction of the fourth ship of the Gerald R. Ford class,” said Jennifer Boykin, president of Newport News Shipbuilding. “From this day forward, our shipbuilders will put their hearts into every pipe they fit, every unit they lift and every inch of steel they weld. Shipbuilders, I thank you for the hard work, innovation and dedication you will put into transforming this first piece of steel into an awe-inspiring aircraft carrier.”

Doris Miller is the second ship named in honor of Miller, and the first aircraft carrier ever named for an African American. This also is the first aircraft carrier named in honor of a sailor for actions while serving in the enlisted ranks. Miller is credited with heroic actions while serving aboard the Newport News-built West Virginia (BB 48) during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Miller’s bravery earned him the Navy Cross.

The keel of the ship is scheduled to be laid in 2026 and delivered to the Navy in 2032. “The Doris Miller story provides so many lessons to us as Americans,” said Thomas Bledsoe, great-nephew of the ship’s namesake. “The Miller family cannot express in words what this means to us, to Americans, and to anyone inspired by Doris Miller’s story.”

The Ford class features new software-controlled electromagnetic catapults and weapons elevators, a redesigned flight deck and island, and more than twice the electrical capacity of the preceding Nimitz-class carriers. These aircraft carriers are designed to be the centerpiece of the nation’s security strategy and support and protect the global economy through the protection of sea lanes around the world.

You must purchase this article or be a subscriber to comment on it.

More Defense News

HII Announces New Chief Information Officer For Technical Solutions Division

NEWPORT NEWS—Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) recently announced that Chris Soong has been named as chief information officer for its Technical Solutions division. Soong will...

Newport News Shipbuilding Hosts Virtual Hiring Events

NEWPORT NEWS—As part of its hiring efforts, Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division will host a series of virtual events for various trainee,...

Huntington Ingalls Celebrates Ceremonial First Cut Of Steel For Aircraft Carrier Doris Miller (CVN 81)

NEWPORT NEWS—Huntington Ingalls Industries recently hosted a ceremonial event at its Newport News Shipbuilding division that marked the first construction milestone in the life of...