Published: Sun, July 23, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

1st Ford Carrier Commissioning Set for Saturday; Navy Adm. John Richardson Comments

1st Ford Carrier Commissioning Set for Saturday; Navy Adm. John Richardson Comments

Trump was among a guest list that included Defense Secretary James Mattis, Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and members of Congress.

The GOP president will preside over the commissioning of the nation's newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, on Saturday, July 22, during a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk.

"The more bombs I get over the target area the more lethal I am", said Commanding Officer Capt. Rick McCormack.

The new ship is considered the most technologically superior aircraft carrier ever created, and the first new carrier design since the USS Nimitz was put into service approximately 40 years ago. It features a new nuclear power plant, a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapults and an enhanced flight deck capable of increased aircraft sortie rates.

Trump called the aircraft the "newest, largest, and most advanced aircraft carrier in the history of this world".

Mr Trump gave a speech at the commissioning ceremony for the 100,000-tonne, 12.9 billion dollar (£11 billion) warship, in which he praised the USA military and the American labour that went into building it.

"We demand victory and we will have total victory", Trump said. The Ford is also the first aircraft carrier to join the fleet since USS George H.W. Bush in 2009.

"We will give our military the tools you need to prevent war", Mr. Trump said in March. "That, I can tell you".

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"We will win, win, win, never lose".

But the new carrier, Trump said, will be key in any fight that may become necessary.

In 1946, Ford was released from active duty and formally resigned from the Navy in 1963.

Susan Ford Bales said that her father, who enlisted in the U.S. Navy months after the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack by Japan, had learned before his death in 2006, during the administration of George W. Bush, that a carrier would be named after him.

The Navy will spend $43 billion developing and building the three Ford-class carriers that Congress has authorized thus far. "It's opening the envelope for future aircraft and future capabilities of the Navy and we'd otherwise be contained with a steam catapult system", McCormack said. The Navy blames the delays and budget overruns on the ship's state-of-the-art systems.

The Navy received the Ford on May 31 after the carrier successfully completed acceptance trials on May 26.

The CNV 78 aircraft carrier boasts almost two dozen new technologies not present on older carriers - including a more spacious flight deck, an electromagnetic aircraft launch system and advanced arresting gear to better recover incoming aircraft. "That alone brings a huge sense of ownership and I couldn't be any prouder of the crew", she said.

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