Media Invited to Aircraft Carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Christening and Media Preview Event at Newport News Shipbuilding

<p>Satellite Feed of Christening to be Made Available</p>
Media Invited to Aircraft Carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Christening and Media Preview Event at Newport News Shipbuilding
Newport News Shipbuilding Ford-Class Aircraft Carriers



  Susan Ford Bales, President Ford's daughter and sponsor of his namesake ship, will smash a bottle of American sparkling wine across the ship's hull on Saturday, Nov. 9, to christen the first of the next-generation class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. Media are invited to attend the ceremony as well as a media preview event Friday, Nov. 8, in advance of the ceremony. The preview event will provide an opportunity to interview Bales as well as Ford shipbuilders and sailors.
  The christening ceremony is not open to the public. Invited guests include shipbuilders and their families; Ford sailors and their families; the Ford family and invited guests; HII President and CEO Mike Petters and Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin; and Navy and government representatives. U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) will serve as the keynote speaker. HII will provide a live, multi-camera satellite broadcast of the christening ceremony in its entirety. Coordinates are below.
When: Media Preview Day
  Friday, Nov. 8
  10 a.m. Eastern
  Media check-in: 9:15 a.m.
  Christening Ceremony
  Saturday, Nov. 9
  11 a.m. Eastern
  Satellite truck pre-set: 7 a.m.
  Media check-in: 8 a.m.
  Media will park outside the 60th Street gate in the parking lot east of the Welding School and be escorted and transported by bus to and from the event site. See directions below. The bus will depart at 9:45 a.m. on Friday and 8:45 a.m. on Saturday. All equipment must be on the bus upon departure; media will not have access to their vehicles once we have entered the shipyard.
  Confirmation of attendance is required. Please RSVP online at by 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4. You must present a photo ID and valid media credentials to be admitted. For more information, contact Christie Miller at (757) 380-3581 or

A webcast of the event will be provided at A live, multi-camera satellite broadcast of the event also will be provided. Satellite information is as follows:

Satellite: Galaxy 17 - 18k (91 degrees west)
Downlink: 12051.0 V
Symbol Rate: 13.0
FEC: ¾
Video 1080i

Window Times:
Date: Saturday, Nov. 9
Window start: 10 a.m. Eastern
Window end: 1 p.m. Eastern

Three media stands with mult boxes will be provided.


  • Distance from podium media stand to podium: About 120'
  • Distance from bottle break media stand to podium: About 50'
  • Distance from bottle break media stand to bottle break bar: About 20'
  • A media stand that provides a wide-angle perspective will also be available


Limited workspace and power will be available. Wireless Internet is NOT available. The event is on an industrial site; please dress accordingly.

Directions to Media Parking:


  • From I-64 (either westbound or eastbound)
  • Take Exit #264 to Interstate I-664 toward Downtown Newport News/Suffolk
  • Take Exit #5 (35th Street) to Warwick Blvd.
  • Travel approximately 3 miles on Warwick Blvd.
  • Immediately after 69th Street, make a U-turn on to Huntington Ave.
  • Merge into the right lane and continue to bear right on to Shipyard Drive
  • Continue downhill and stay straight, then follow signs to media parking


Follow @HIIndustries on Twitter for live updates. Join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #FordCVN78. All details are subject to change. Please check for updates.

About Huntington Ingalls

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. For more than a century, HII has built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder at its Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding divisions. Employing more than 37,000 in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California, HII also provides a wide variety of products and services to the commercial energy industry and other government customers, including the Department of Energy. For more information, visit:

Danny Hernandez
Director of Public Affairs
(202) 580-9086