Trump helps commission USS Gerald R. Ford, newest aircraft carrier

Posted July 23, 2017

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.

Soon after, the captain was informed that the "ship is manned and ready and reports for duty to the fleet". It's named for the 38th president, who rose to the rank of lieutenant commander in the Navy in World War II.

President Trump will deliver a speech at the ship's commissioning after visiting the vessel earlier this year. They included former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, both of whom served in President Ford's administration.

Trump said in March that the newest generation of Ford-class carriers - the most expensive warships ever built - will remain the centerpiece of projecting American power overseas.

Construction on the USS Ford started in 2009 and was to be completed by September 2015 at a cost of 10.5 billion dollars.

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While the Ford's commissioning ceremony represented a major milestone, the crew and commanding officers stressed that there is more work to be done to prepare the carrier for its first deployment.

The Ford-class aircraft carriers feature significant advancements over their predecessors, including having an electromagnetic aircraft launch system, advanced arresting gear, dual band radar and integrated warfare systems, according to the release. Ford became president in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal and served in the country's highest office from 1974-1977.

Docked at Naval Station Norfolk, the USS Ford will eventually house about 2,600 sailors, 600 fewer than the previous generation of aircraft carriers.

Four sailors stand on the deck of the USS Gerald R. Ford during the ships commissioning, just over a large banner that read "Made in the USA" on Saturday, July 22, 2017.

The launching ceremony of the aircraft carrier on the water, visited the US President Donald trump, who blessed the ship and all who will serve.

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Trump called the ship an American symbol of power and prestige wherever it sails in the world. "That's a big achievement".

The President of the United States officially pulled the boat into the water.

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 United States military and the American labour that went into building it.

The Ford was built at Newport News Shipbuilding, the giant Navy contractor in Virginia.

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