Charleston native Chief Warrant Officer James Kay is currently serving aboard Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)

  • Thursday, August 21, 2014

Chief Warrant Officer 4 James Kay, an electromagnet aircraft launch system and advanced arrest gear officer from Charleston, S.C. and graduate of R.B. Stall High School, is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). Gerald R. Ford is the first ship in its class and the successor to the Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carriers that have been in operation for the last half century. Gerald R. Ford’s 1000-sailor crew is slowly bringing the ship to life, a crew that will eventually grow to more than 4,500 when the ship is at sea. When complete, the aircraft carrier, powered by two nuclear reactors, will measure more than three football fields long at 1,092 feet in length and will weigh more than 100,000 tons. It will be capable of sailing at nearly 35 mph and will carry more than 75 Navy aircraft. Like the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers that came before it, USS Gerald R. Ford’s mission is to protect and defend America on the world’s oceans. When the ship deploys it will bring four-and-a-half acres of survivable, sovereign U.S. territory increasing the Navy’s strike capability and defending the country’s interests in any region of the world. The ship is scheduled to commission in spring 2016. Chief Warrant Officer Kay is a graduate of R.B. Stall High School, and serves as an electromagnet aircraft launch system and advanced arrest gear officer aboard Gerald R. Ford.

“Why Being There Matters”


On our planet, more than 70 percent of which is covered by water, being there means having the ability to act from the sea. The Navy is uniquely positioned to be there; the world’s oceans give the Navy the power to protect America’s interests anywhere, and at any time. Your Navy protects and defends America on the world’s oceans. Navy ships, submarines, aircraft and, most importantly, tens of thousands of America’s finest young men and women are deployed around the world doing just that. They are there now. They will be there when we are sleeping tonight. They will be there every Saturday, Sunday and holiday this year. They are there around the clock, far from our shores, defending America at all times.

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