USS Gerald R. Ford, the first-in-class carrier, is set to deploy the first week of May.

The Navy conducted a month-long high-pressure stress test for the carrier, air wing, and escorts.

Ford-class carriers are designed to generate a higher sortie rate with a smaller crew.

The Navy will wait until after Ford's deployment to test the maximum sortie rate.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin extended the deployment of the George H.W. Bush CSG beyond seven months.

John F. Kennedy, the next carrier in the class, is set to deliver in 2025.

Kennedy will be the first Ford-class carrier to deploy to the Indo-Pacific.

Kennedy will field the F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter.

The Navy hasn't said where Ford will operate, but it will likely be in the Mediterranean Sea.

Ford's entry into the carrier deployment cycle comes after five years of delays.

The chief test for the air wing was the carrier strike group's blue water certification.

Ford has earned all certifications and met all requirements to deploy.

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