President Donald Trump addressed the crew of the pre-commissioning aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), named after the 38th President of the United States. The carrier is expected to join the fleet later this year. It is the first carrier in its class and has the capability to launch 25% more flights per day than the 10 Nimitz class carriers currently in the fleet. Trump pledged to return to a 12-carrier fleet.
“Our carriers are the centerpiece of American military might and our unparalleled strength at sea,” Trump told the crew the the Newport News, Va. shipyard where to ship is being constructed. “Investing in the military means investing in peace – because the best way to avoid war, as George Washington said, is to be prepared for it.”
Trump outlined his overall goals to rebuild America’s depleted military. He noted, “Our Navy now has the smallest number of ships since World War I. Our Army has reduced its force strength by 85,000 active duty members since 2009, while the Marines have dropped the force level by 18,000. Our Air Force is at its smallest level since 1947, with the average age of aircraft around 30 years. Our aircraft are more likely to be downed for maintenance than operational.
“American sailors are the greatest war-fighting sailors anywhere in the world, and it’s not even close,” Trump said. “I will always support you and support your mission. I will never, ever let you down!”
You can here President Trump’s weekly address to the American people here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2017/03/03/president-donald-j-trump-delivers-weekly-address-pcu-gerald-r-ford.