Nov 14, 2009 – Susan Ford Bales, daughter of President Gerald R. Ford, served as the ship’s sponsor and keel authenticator for the ceremony. Bales authenticated the keel by chalking her initials onto a metal plate. (Left to right) Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus; U.S. Senator Carl Levin, (D-Mich); Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion, Adm. Kirkland Donald; Ship Sponsor Susan Ford Bales; and Corporate Vice President and President of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Mike Petters.