KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — Former President George H.W. Bush attended the commissioning of the nation’s newest aircraft carrier, which bears his name, and communicates regularly with the ship. This weekend, he will fly on a Navy helicopter from his summer home to the vessel as it sails nearby.

Bush and his wife, Barbara, along with their son, former President George W. Bush, and his wife, Laura, will fly to the carrier on Sunday morning, accompanied by other family members and security.

The USS George H.W. Bush is expected to come within several miles of Kennebunkport. The visit is close to the former president’s 88th birthday on Tuesday. He was a naval aviator during World War II.


Once on the ship, Bush will lead reenlistment formalities for 77 sailors, in recognition of the carrier being hull No. 77, and perform other ceremonial duties, said Captain Brian Luther, the ship’s commanding officer.

The carrier’s visit comes just days after the Navy said a minor fire broke out on the ship. Officials said no one was injured.

The $6.2 billion warship is the 10th and final in the Nimitz class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers that were first launched in 1972. They are the largest warships in the world. It has a crew of 2,800 sailors and 300 officers, Luther said.

The ship was commissioned in January 2009.

It is the only aircraft carrier in the Navy fleet with a living namesake.