Massive American aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford arrives in Halifax harbour

HALIFAX — The newest and most advanced aircraft carrier in the U.S. navy's fleet arrived this morning in Halifax harbour.

The nuclear-powered USS Gerald R. Ford is on its first deployment, having left its home port in Norfolk, Va., on Oct. 4.

Weighing in at more that 100,000 tonnes, the warship has been described as the world's largest aircraft carrier.

It can carry more than 75 aircraft and its crew can include up to 4,500 sailors.

Before it arrived in Halifax, the ship took part in naval exercises with a number of NATO allies, including Canada, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany.

While in Halifax, some of Ford's sailors are expected to take part in a number of tours and scheduled events, including volunteering at a thrift store, food bank, animal shelter and Habitat for Humanity.

A reception will also be held aboard the ship for Halifax community leaders, Royal Canadian Navy sailors and foreign dignitaries.

"We have been operating alongside our allies and partners on the high seas," Capt. Paul Lanzilotta, commanding officer of the USS Gerald R. Ford, said in a statement.

"Visiting Halifax gives us a chance to build even stronger relationships with our teammates, strengthening our partnership, and allows our sailors to explore the rich culture and welcoming people of Canada."

The last time an American aircraft carrier visited Halifax was in June 2017, when the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived in time to mark Canada Day.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2022.

The Canadian Press