Port Arthur sailor aboard new carrier
Airman Zaquira McKenzie from Port Arthur and 2013 graduate of Memorial 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 1,000-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.