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Caroline Kennedy to christen carrier named after her father

Caroline Kennedy. Keith Bedford/Globe Staff/File/Globe Staff

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — John F. Kennedy’s daughter Caroline will participate in the christening of a new aircraft carrier that’s named after the 35th U.S. president.

Newport News Shipbuilding said the christening of the USS John Kennedy will occur Saturday at the shipyard in Newport News, Virginia.

Caroline Kennedy is the sponsor of her father’s namesake ship. She will smash a bottle of American sparkling wine across the carrier’s hull.

The ship is the second of the U.S. Navy’s new Ford-Class of aircraft carriers. The new carrier is designed to carry and fly more planes with fewer sailors.

The Kennedy’s keel was laid in 2015. The dry dock was flooded in late October.

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The christening ceremony is not open to the public. But guests will include the Kennedy family as well as Kennedy sailors and their families. Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will serve as one of the speakers.

The new USS John Kennedy under construction in 2018. Rob Ostermaier/Daily Press/Associated Press/File/The Daily Press via AP
The original carrier named for John F. Kennedy served for nearly 40 years before it was decommissioned.David L. Ryan/Globe File/2005