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Gerald R. Ford USS represents future of naval aviation: Trump

| Updated: Mar 03, 2017 09:31 IST

Newport News (Virginia) [USA], Mar. 3 (ANI): The soon-to-be commissioned Gerald R. Ford USS is American craftsmanship at its best and represents the future of naval aviation, President Donald Trump said Thursday aboard the next-generation Naval aircraft carrier. "Congratulations to all of the men and women who helped build it. This is American craftsmanship at its biggest, at its best, at its finest. American workers are the greatest anywhere in the world. This warship, and all who serve on it, should be a source of shared pride for our nation. And, by the way, we're going to soon have more coming," said Trump according to a White House statement. At the occasion he vowed to give the US military the best resources and finest equipments in the world. Praising the Naval aircraft carrier, the President said, "This ship will make an extraordinary addition to the fleet like no other -- like no other. Anywhere in the world there's nothing like this. It represents the future of naval aviation. Our carriers are the centerpiece of American military might overseas. We are standing today on 4.5 acres of combat power and sovereign U.S. territory, the likes of which there is nothing to compete. There is no competition to this ship." " It is a monument to American might that will provide the strength necessary to ensure peace. This ship will carry 4,500 personnel and 70 aircraft, and will be a vital component of our defense. This carrier and the new ships in the Ford class will expand the ability of our nation to carry out vital missions on the oceans to project American power in distant lands," he added. The visit comes on the heels of Trump's proposal to increase the Defense Department's budget by USD 54 billion, a 10 percent increase over last year. On the occasion, talking about his address to a joint session of Congress, he said he has asked Congress to eliminate the defense sequester and to support rebuilding of the United States military and the United States Navy. He said that years of endless budget cuts have impaired the U.S. defenses. "Our military requires sustained, stable funding to meet the growing needs placed on our defense. Right now, our aging frontline strike and strike-fighters -- the whole aircraft; many, many aircraft -- are often more likely to be downed for maintenance than they are to be up in the sky. Our Navy is now the smallest it's been since, believe it or not, World War I," Trump said adding, "We also need more aircraft, modernized capabilities, and greater force levels. Additionally, we must vastly improve our cyber capabilities. This great rebuilding effort will create many jobs in Virginia, and all across America, and it will also spur new technology and new innovation." Named after former president Gerald Ford, who served on an aircraft carrier during World War II, the USS Gerald Ford is the most technologically advanced warship ever built and also the most expensive, costing USD 12.9 billion. (ANI)