President Donald Trump speaks in Newport News Virginia to promote his vision and plan for a major nation’s military Buildup. The remarks are scheduled to be delivered to ship builders and sailors on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald Ford in Newport News.
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Thursday’s visit comes on the heels of Trump’s proposal to increase the Defense Department’s budget by $54 billion, a 10 percent increase over last year.
The $12.9 billion ship is the Navy’s most expensive warship, belonging to the next generation of aircraft carriers that are replacing the Nimitz-class carriers first commissioned in 1975.
“The Gerald R. Ford-class will be the premier forward asset for crisis response and early decisive striking power in a major combat operation,” the Navy’s website says. “Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers and carrier strike groups will provide the core capabilities of forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, maritime security and humanitarian assistance. The class brings improved warfighting capability, quality of life improvements for our Sailors and reduced total ownership costs.”
A Navy official told ABC News that the Ford will have more electrical power generation, replacing the steam catapult system currently in use. Approximately 4,500 sailors will comprise its crew.
The ship is expected to go through sea trials in the coming weeks and will then be commissioned this summer, the official said. (LINK)