Trump to Deliver Keynote at USS Ford's Commissioning

The freshly painted Gerald R. Ford shines at night in the empty dry dock waiting to meet water for the first time

But four years will likely pass before the ship's first deployment. "We demand victory, and we will have total victory, believe me".

The Navy's newest aircraft carrier will officially join the fleet Saturday at a commissioning overseen by President Donald Trump.

"American steel and American hands have constructed this 100,000-ton message to the world", Trump said of the Ford during a speech that praised the bravery and spirit of USA service members and referenced his desire for a buildup after years of spending restrictions.

Despite those plans, Trump said, the US government has been stingy and inconsistent with its financial support of its military, prior to his time in office.

In an interview with CBS, former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus presented a blunt critique: "The Ford is a poster child for how you don't build a ship", Mabus said.

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

Named after the country's 38th president, the ship is the first of the new Ford class of aircraft carrier. Compared to Nimitz-class carriers, the Gerald R. Ford-class carriers have more than 23 new or modified systems.

"That I can tell you", Trump told thousands of service members and guests, including former defense secretaries Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and Govs.

Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding division delivered USS Gerald R. Ford to the service branch in June following completion of acceptance trials.

Trump spoke Saturday at the official commissioning of the aircraft carrier the USS Gerald Ford at Norfolk, Virginia.

Despite the challenges that come with developing and testing a carrier that is first in its class, commanding officers touted the expertise demonstrated by the Ford's crew members in operating its advanced systems. Additional information on aircraft carriers is available online at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=200&ct=4. He criticized the Obama administration for what he called a lack of investment in new military technology and shortfalls in military readiness.

"When it comes to battle, we don't want a fair fight", Mr. Trump said.

Released from active duty in February 1946, Ford remained in the Naval Reserve until 1963. The Navy said the cost overruns and construction delays were due to the carrier's cutting-edge technology.

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