With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Navy on Saturday and said the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier will send a "100,000-ton message to the world" about America's military might when it is ultimately deployed.
Also attending the ceremony were Susan Ford Bales, daughter of the late president; former Vice President Dick Cheney, wearing a navy blazer and cowboy hat; former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld; Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe; Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and several lawmakers. And you will get it, believe me. "It is named after a tried-and true member of the Greatest Generation, and that spirit will permeate this ship so long as it sails on the seas, as well as the U.S. Navy spirit of 'We have just begun to fight, '" he said.
Trump landed on the flight deck in Marine One and was greeted by Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, and USS Gerald R. Ford Commanding Officer Capt. Rick McCormack. Ford served for 25 years as a U.S. Representative before his appointment to the vice presidency. "God bless this ship and all who serve it", said trump. The Navy has attributed the delays and budget overruns to the ship's state-of-the-art systems and technology, including electromagnetic launch systems for jets and drones that will replace steam catapults.
Ford Saturday, officially bringing the country's most advanced aircraft carrier into service. But four years will likely pass before the ship's first deployment.
The air wing to support the Ford could add more personnel to the ship, which is created to house more than 4,600 crew members.
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A wind-driven wildfire that destroyed four homes in rural northeast Nevada and damaged several more is now 90 percent contained. Among park visitors Gediman talked to, "people understand fire is a naturally occurring thing", he said.
"This is American craftsmanship at its biggest, at its best, at its finest", Trump said aboard the carrier during his previous visit. Her name honors the 38th president of the United States and pays tribute to his lifetime of service in the Navy, in the USA government and to the nation.
She said: "There is no-one, absolutely no-one, who would be prouder of the commissioning of this mighty ship than the president of the United States, Gerald R Ford".
"The sailors on board today are among the nation's finest", McCormack said.
The US Navy intends to invest $43bn in the development and construction of the three new Ford-class vessels, USS Gerald R. Ford, the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) and the future USS Enterprise (CVN 80). The new technology and warfighting capabilities that Ford brings will transform naval warfare, making us a more lethal Navy. "...with this ship, we honor [Ford] for his lifetime of selfless and distinguished service".
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