Meet the Ship's Sponsor
John F. Kennedy (CVN 79)
Caroline B. Kennedy was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Japan on November 12, 2013.
Ms. Kennedy is a lawyer, author, education advocate, and lifelong supporter of the arts. Ms. Kennedy has served as the Vice Chair, Board of Directors and Honorary Director for the Fund for Public Schools in New York City since 2002. From 2002 to 2004, she served as the Chief Executive of the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the New York City Department of Education. Ms. Kennedy is on the Board of Directors for New Visions for Public Schools, the New Visions Charter School for Advanced Math and Science, and the New Visions Charter School for the Humanities.
To honor the legacy of her family, Ms. Kennedy works as the President and Director of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation where she helped to create the annual Profile in Courage Award. Ms. Kennedy is the Chair of the Senior Advisory Committee of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University and also serves as the Chairman of the Program Committee of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, which seeks to improve the lives of those with intellectual disabilities.
Ms. Kennedy attended Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, England from 1975-1976. She earned a B.A. in Fine Arts from Harvard University in 1980. Ms. Kennedy received her J.D. from Columbia University Law School in 1988.
Quick Facts about CVN 79
- Kennedy is the 2nd ship of the Ford class.
- At an official naming ceremony at the JFK Library on May 29, 2011, U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier CVN 79 would be called the USS John F. Kennedy. The announcement was made on what would have been the 94th birthday of President John F. Kennedy.
- Since the first cut of steel in 2010, more than 450 of the ship's 1,100 structural units have been constructed, and more than 60 percent of the total ship's material funding has been committed to vendors.
- CVN 79 marks the second aircraft carrier to be named for the late president. The first, a conventionally-powered carrier, served from 1968 to 2007 and was also built by Newport News Shipbuilding.
- Shipbuilders have captured 60,000 lessons-learned from the seven-year process of building Gerald R. Ford, many that are already being implemented as cost-saving initiatives in building John F. Kennedy.
The Keel Laying Tradition
Laying the keel is the symbolic beginning of building the ship, originating from the large structural beam (or keel) that serves as the foundation or spine of the ship's hull. Although modular construction techniques mean that the ship is no longer built from the bottom up, the keel laying is still celebrated as a momentous event in the ship's construction.
Photo: the keel is laid out during early construction of an aircraft carrier at Newport News Shipbuilding in 1949.