President Donald Trump visited the soon-to-be commissioned supercarrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) on Thursday and spoke at length about his feelings on the military of the future.
Introduced by the daughter of the late President Ford, Trump spoke to a crowd of about 3,500 at Huntington Ingalls Newport News, Virginia, during a visit to the $12.9 billion ship, the first of a new class of nuclear-powered carriers. Designed as a replacement for the recently decommissioned USS Enterprise, Trump promised more carriers are on the way.
“We will give the men and women of America’s armed services the resources you need to keep us safe,” said Trump. “We will have the finest equipment in the world. Planes, ships and everything else. We are going to have– very soon– the finest equipment in the world.”
Continuing, “We will give our military the tools you need to prevent war and– if required– to fight war and only do one thing. Do you know what that is? Win. Win! We are going to start winning again,” said Trump.
The President spoke to the attributes of the Ford, calling it “four and a half acres of combat power” that no other country could match before quoting Adm. Chester Nimitz, chief of the Navy in the Pacific during World War II, and spoke to the importance of the use of carrier power at the pivotal Battle of Midway in 1942.
While the Navy currently has 10 aircraft carriers in commission, and the Obama-era Secretary of the Navy urged 11 flattops were needed, Trump promised 12 to the crowd on Wednesday.
The new chief executive has asked Congress to halt the longstanding budget sequestration and increase military spending.
Trump was joined on his visit by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, landing Marine One on the carrier’s flight deck, uncharacteristic for a ship yet to be commissioned.