Monday , December 18 2017

USS Ford will cause US’ enemies to ‘shake with fear’ – Trump commissions $12.9 bn ship

NORFOLK, Virginia, July 23, (Agencies): President Donald Trump helped commission the USS Gerald R. Ford on Saturday and declared that the most advanced aircraft carrier to join the Navy will cause America’s enemies to “shake with fear” whenever they see its form cutting across the horizon.

“I hereby place United States Ship Gerald R. Ford in commission,” Trump said after delivering a speech in which he praised the US military and the American labor that went into building the 100,000 ton, $12.9 billion warship.

“May God bless and guide this warship and all who shall sail in her,” Trump said.

He was followed shortly by Susan Ford Bales, the ship’s sponsor and daughter of the 38th president, whom the ship honors.

“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,” she said. “I am honored to give the command: ‘Officers and crew of the United States Gerald R. Ford, man our ship and bring her to life.’”

And with those few words, the ship was brought to life. “Anchors Aweigh” played and sailors who stood in formation in their crisp, white uniforms began filing off to their stations.

Sirens and bells sounds. Horns blared. The US flag was raised to full mast.

Within minutes, the captain was informed that “the ship is manned and ready and reports for duty to the fleet.”

Trump arrived aboard the carrier’s steamy flight deck by the Marine One presidential helicopter and was greeted by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other officials.

Trump, who visited the carrier in March to promote his plans for a military buildup, told Time magazine this year that the Navy should revert to using steam catapults to launch fighter jets because some of the state-of-the-art systems and technology aboard the USS Ford “costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it’s no good.”

The USS Ford is named after the country’s 38th president, who rose to the rank of lieutenant commander in the Navy during World War II. After military service, Ford was elected to the House of Representatives, serving Michigan until he was tapped by President Richard M. Nixon to become vice president.

Ford became president after Nixon resigned during the Watergate scandal.

“I was with you four months ago and I knew that I had to be here today and I told you I’d be back to congratulate you and the crew and everybody involved in commissioning the newest, largest and most advanced aircraft carrier in the history of this world,” Trump said Saturday. “That’s a big achievement.”

The return visit Saturday fell during what the White House has coined as “Made in America” week, during which Trump and other administration officials highlighted a wide assortment of products — ranging from trucks and helicopters to baseball bats and glass bottles for pharmaceuticals — that are manufactured in the United States.

Trump appeared to revel in the pomp and pageantry of the ceremony aboard the ship at the sprawling Norfolk naval base in Virginia, which included a 21-gun salute, and the hoisting of the Stars and Stripes on the ship’s mast.

It will become the country’s 11th aircraft carrier, a number mandated by the US Congress.

The colossal ship was plagued by cost overruns, and in the past, Trump criticized the budget allocated for the super-ship.

 

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