NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Group deployed from Naval Station Norfolk Tuesday.

This is the second deployment for the Ford, who finished a deployment to the U.S. 2nd and 6th Fleet area in Fall 2022. More than 6,000 sailors are assigned to the carrier group.

“It’s emotional, but exciting,” said Galilea Palcensia, speaking about her husband, who is part of the carrier group. “I’m excited for him to reach all the ports, wherever he goes. He’s just excited to travel.”

The GRFCSG consists of Carrier Strike Group 12, Gerald R. Ford Carrier Air Wing 8, Destroyer Squadron 2, the USS Normandy, and an information warfare commander. In total, over 6,000 sailors will be deployed with the carrier group.

“Our operations will include maritime security, freedom of navigation and reinforcing our strategic relationships as we continue to enhance capacity, interoperability and interchangability with our NATO allies,” said Rear Admiral Greg Huffman, commander of Carrier Strike Group 12. “

The USS Gerald R. Ford was first commissioned in July 2017 and the USS Gerald R. Ford Strike Group recently completed the Composite Unit Training Exercise.

The Ford was commissioned in July 2017 and the Navy had problems with the arresting cable system and had to make adjustments before the ship was deemed mission-ready.

Prior to a special deployment last fall, the Ford conducted aircraft operations and air defense exercises, including its cutting edge Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, Advanced Arresting Gear, and new weapons elevators.