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Final Piece of USS Gerald R. Ford Placed

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Published on May 9, 2013

The final piece of USS Gerald R. Ford is placed.

2013 has been a good year for the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier as many construction milestones have occurred.

Three years of structural work came to an end when the final hull piece was super-lifted onto the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier.

The catapult section placed weighs 66 metric tons and measures 75 feet long.

The crane used to lift it is one of the largest in the Western Hemisphere.

Begun in 2009, the USS Gerald R. Ford is to be christened this fall and will join the United States Navy's fleet in 2016.

Although it sounds like a long time to wait for a vessel, aircraft carriers are in a class of their own, functioning almost as inhabited, moving islands.

US carriers are considered sovereign American territory and operate self-sustained airports.

When deployed each operates with its own zip code, post office, and hospital. Amenities include barbershops, gyms, and individual email accounts. Over 18,000 meals a day are prepared and served.

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