Today at 11 a.m. the National Museum of Naval Aviation is holding a National Flight Academy Keel-Laying ceremony that links back to the Navy’s proud traditions. Since the interior construction of the National Flight Academy, designed as a modern aircraft carrier, parallels that of a United States ship, they will honor the keel-laying tradition.
Ceremonies in the Life of a Ship
Navy tradition dictates that each ship constructed for service be honored on four historic ceremonial occasions: keel-laying, christening/launching, commissioning, and decommissioning. The construction of the National Flight Academy, designed as a modern aircraft carrier, parallels that of a United States Ship, and as such, we will honor the keel-laying tradition today.
The Keel-Laying Ceremony celebrates the laying of the first timber and can be traced back to the first ship built for the Navy. The current ceremony maintains this tradition but has been modified to take into consideration updates in materials, technology and techniques. The authentication of the keel is done by affixing a name plate or inscription of the shipâs sponsorâs initials on the keel at which time an announcement is made by the authenticator that âthe keel has been truly and fairly laid.â