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What:  Caroline Kennedy, President John F. Kennedy’s daughter and sponsor of his namesake ship, will smash a bottle of American sparkling wine across the ship’s hull on Saturday, Dec. 7, to christen the aircraft carrier. Media are invited to attend the ceremony, as well as a media day event, on Friday, Dec. 6. Media day will provide an opportunity to interview Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin, Kennedy shipbuilders and sailors.
  The christening ceremony is not open to the public. Invited guests include shipbuilders and their families; Kennedy sailors and their families; the Kennedy family and invited guests; and Navy and government representatives. Retired U.S. Marine Corps Major General and former NASA Administrator Charles Frank Bolden Jr., will serve as the principal speaker. Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also will serve as one of the speakers. HII will provide a live, multi-camera satellite broadcast of the christening ceremony in its entirety. Coordinates are below.
When:  Media Day
  Friday, Dec. 6
  10 a.m. EST
  Media check-in: 9:15 a.m. EST
  Christening Ceremony
  Saturday, Dec. 7
  11 a.m. EST
  Media check-in: 9 a.m.

For media day: Parking will be reserved on the first floor (third and fourth rows on the left) of the parking deck at the Virginia Advanced Shipbuilding and Carrier Integration Center (VASCIC), 2401 West Ave. in Newport News. Media must arrive no later than 9:15 a.m. to participate.

For the christening: Media will park at the Warwick Boulevard Satellite Lot at 7505 Warwick Blvd., Newport News and be escorted and transported by bus to and from the site for both events. See directions below. The bus will depart at 9:40 a.m. on Friday and 8:40 a.m. on Saturday. All equipment must be on the bus upon departure; media will not have access to their vehicles once they have entered the shipyard.

RSVP:   Confirmation of attendance is required. Media must RSVP online at by 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2. A government issued photo ID and valid media credentials are required to be admitted. For more information, contact Duane Bourne at (757) 380-3581 or [email protected].


A webcast of the event will be provided at A livestream of the event will also be available on the Huntington Ingalls Industries Facebook page. A live, multi-camera satellite broadcast of the event also will be provided. 

Satellite information is as follows:

  • Satellite:  GALAXY 17 K10 Slot “A”                     
  • Freqs:  U/L: 14186.500  (H)   D/L: 11886.500 (V)
  • Format: 1080i, 59.94 fps  
  • Compression:  MPEG4   
  • Symbol Rate:  7.0           
  • FEC Rate:  3/4 
  • Chroma:  4:2:0     
  • Modulation:   8PSK DVBS2       
  • Pilots:  ON             
  • Roll Off:  25%   
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Window time: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. EST Saturday, Dec. 7.

Directions to Media Day Parking at 2401 West Ave.:
From I-64 (either westbound or eastbound)
Take Exit #264 to Interstate I-664 toward Downtown Newport News/Suffolk
Take Exit #6 to 26th Street
Proceed on 26th Street through two stoplights
At stop sign, turn left on West Avenue
Visitors turn right into VASCIC entrance, just past the Victory Arch
Travel down driveway and into the parking garage
Follow signs to media parking (Third and fourth rows on the left of the parking deck)

Directions to Christening Media Parking at 7505 Warwick Blvd.:
From I-64 (either westbound or eastbound)
Take Exit #264 to Interstate I-664 toward Downtown Newport News/Suffolk
Take Exit #5 (35th Street) to Warwick Blvd.
Travel approximately 3 miles on Warwick Blvd.
Make left turn onto 75th Street
Follow signs to media parking

Please note that this is an industrial setting. Long pants, shirts with sleeve covering shoulders and flat, sturdy, closed-toe shoes are required attire.

Join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #CVN79.

All details are subject to change. Please check for updates.

About Huntington Ingalls Industries

Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. For more than a century, HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII’s Technical Solutions division provides a wide range of professional services through its Fleet Support, Mission Driven Innovative Solutions, Nuclear & Environmental, and Oil & Gas groups. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs more than 41,000 people operating both domestically and internationally. For more information, visit:

Danny Hernandez
Director of Public Affairs
(202) 580-9086

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Satellite: GALAXY 17 (91 degrees west)      

Transponder: Ku Digital 10 – Ch.C (9 Mhz)

Downlink Frequency: 11904.5 

Downlink Polarity: Vertical

FEC: 2/3

Symbol Rate: 7.5

DVBS2, 8PSK TRANSMISSION, 4:2:0, 1080i

Window: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 19

Note: The six minute video that begins the ceremonial keel laying for Arkansas (SSN 800) includes copyrighted materials from HII/Newport News Shipbuilding and others.

©2022 Huntington Ingalls Industries/All Rights Reserved