President Trump Speaks at Commissioning Ceremony of the USS Gerald R. Ford

Trump to Attend Navy Commissioning of New US Aircraft Carrier Gerald R. Ford

Trump spoke aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford in Norfolk, Virginia, during the commissioning ceremony for the $12.9 billion state-of-the-art aircraft carrier.

President Donald Trump is calling on Congress to approve higher military spending so the US can build "the best equipment". The President said to a cheering crowd.

After criticizing the previous administration for "a shortfall in military readiness", Trump called on Congress to "do its job" and provide "stable and predictable funding levels" for the military.

The Navy's newest vessel is the lead ship in a new class of aircraft carriers.

"We're kind of proud of him and when I heard about it I was really happy, because we named some great nuclear carriers after great presidents", Andrade said.

The vessel completed sea trials in April but still faces a battery of tests at sea before becoming operational and ready for deployment, work that is expected to cost almost 780 million dollars (£670 million) and take more than four years to complete, according to auditors.

Mr Trump said at the event in Norfolk, Virginia: "I hereby place United States Ship Gerald R Ford in commission".

At the ceremony's conclusion, Ford Bales gave the order, "Man our ship and bring her to life".

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'To every patriot who will serve on this ship, I say this: Keep the watch, protect her and defend her, ' he said.

Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations, said the carrier is equipped with new technologies and warfighting systems created to help transform naval warfare.

Referring to President Teddy Roosevelt, acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley told Mr. Trump, "One of your predecessors famously said 'Speak softly and carry a big stick.' We offer you, sir, a big stick". It has been called "the most advanced aircraft carrier ever built".

A 2016 memo from Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department's director of operational test and evaluation, said the most expensive warship in history continued to struggle launching and recovering aircraft, moving onboard munitions, conducting air traffic control and ship self-defense as recently as past year.

The one-of-a-kind control system is just one of many state-of-the-art upgrades aboard the $13 billion USS Gerald Ford thatwas commissioned into active duty on July 22 after eight years of construction, development and testing.

The Navy was granted a waiver as it waited for the USS Gerald Ford to be completed.

Ford still must go through various tests and trials of its cutting-edge technology, including new systems to launch and land fighter jets.

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