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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Newport News Shipbuilding Celebrates the Keel-Laying of Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79)

Leon Walston Shows Welded InitialsNewport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, today celebrated the keel laying of the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), the second ship of the Gerald R. Ford class. Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the ship's namesake, the 35th President of the United States, is the ship's sponsor. She declared the keel "truly and fairly laid" via video to signify the ceremonial start of construction.

"The aircraft carrier came of age in a time of conflict," Caroline said. "It was untested, and the capabilities it brought were questioned. Since those early days, the carrier has come to be recognized as a symbol of peace, strength and freedom."

Caroline's video was introduced by her cousin, Rep. Joseph Kennedy, D-Mass. Other ceremony participants included Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe; Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va.; Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va.; Vice Adm. William Hilarides; Assistant Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley; Rear Adm. Earl Yates, the first commanding officer of CV 67, the first aircraft carrier to bear the name John F. Kennedy; and Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin.

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