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John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) Keel Laying, Aug. 22, 2015

A flag, a program and a commemorative button welcome the ceremony guests.
Photo by Ricky Thompson


Guests have fun getting photos of themselves on a mock cover of Yardlines
with this creative photo station. Photo by Ricky Thompson


Children wave flags before the ceremony begins.
Photo by Chris Oxley


The Honorable Joseph P. Kennedy III, Congressman, 4th District of Massachussets, signs the keel unit before the ceremony.
His great uncle was President John F. Kennedy, CVN 79's namesake. Photo by John Whalen


The platform guests gather for a photo after signing their names on the keel unit.
Photo by John Whalen


Shipbuilder Antuan Barnes sings the national anthem as the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps,
John F. Kennedy Division, parades the colors. Photo by Chris Oxley


Guests stand for the national anthem under a blue sky and the shipyard's 1,050-ton crane.
Photo by Ricky Thompson


Shipbuilder Donald Newsome delivers a stirring invocation.
Photo by John Whalen


More than 1,500 guests applaud as members of the first crew of the first USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67)
stand to be recognized. Photo by Chris Oxley


Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III speaks to the shipbuilders: "This is an extraordinary honor you bestow upon my family,
and it is an extraordinary testament to your dedication and talents." Photo by Ricky Thompson


Ship's Sponsor Caroline Kennedy delivers remarks during the ceremony via a pre-recorded video.
She is the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. Photo by Ricky Thompson


Welder Leon Walston had the honor of welding Caroline Kennedy's initials during the ceremony.
Photo by John Whalen


Sparks begin to fly as Leon Walston begins welding the sponsor's initials.
Photo by John Whalen


Leon Walston welds "CBK" - Caroline Kennedy's initials - onto a steel plate
that will later be permanently affixed to the carrier. Photo by John Whalen


Leon Walston turns the welding plate around so all can witness the weld.
Photo by Chris Oxley


Retired RADM Earl "Buddy" Yates uses Lead Rigger Mike Williams' walkie talkie to give the command
to Crane Operator Dave Rushing to "hoist this keel unit into the dry dock." Yates is the first commanding officer
of USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67). Photo by John Whalen


The giant 1,050-ton crane known as "Big Blue" carries the engine room No. 2 unit over the dry dock.
Photo by Chris Oxley


Guests had the rare chance of witnessing one of the Western Hemisphere's largest cranes at work
as it placed the large unit into the dry dock. Photo by John Whalen


Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and his family watch the keel unit
being carefully lowered into the dry dock. Photo by John Whalen


Guests gather at the edge of the dry dock to watch the keel unit being lowered into the dry dock,
joining several other units of John F. Kennedy (CVN 79). Photo by Chris Oxley