While the Ford's commissioning ceremony represented a major milestone, the crew and commanding officers stressed that there is more work to be done to prepare the carrier for its first deployment.
The new aircraft carrier has billed by the U.S. Navy as "the most advanced in the world" with claims to have the ability to carry more aircraft and weapons than any previous ship. Compared to Nimitz-class carriers, the Gerald R. Ford-class carriers have more than 23 new or modified systems.
Navy bosses boast that the new ship is a "technological marvel" and claim it will carry much more than just fighter jets. The carrier was delivered to the Navy in May by Huntington Ingalls Industries - its craftsmanship deemed America at its best by the president. After undergoing testing and rigorous sea trials, the ship successfully completed the final "builder trials" and arrived at its home port of Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia on April 14, 2017.
"American steel and hands have constructed a 1,000-ton message to the world that American might is second to none", Trump said.
Mr. Trump used the occasion to call on Congress to complete the fiscal 2018 budget that would boost defense spending by about $54 billion, an increase of roughly 10 percent. "We will win, win, win".
Construction began in 2008 and was initially slated for completion in September of 2015, but ran into delays. "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'. May God bless and guide this warship and all who shall sail in her". Susan Ford Bales, President Ford's daughter, serves as the ship's sponsor.
President Trump will be in Virginia this weekend.
The ship that bears Ford's name has adopted those words for its official crest.
The CNV 78 aircraft carrier boasts almost two dozen new technologies not present on older carriers - including a more spacious flight deck, an electromagnetic aircraft launch system and advanced arresting gear to better recover incoming aircraft.
The vessel completed sea trials in April but still will go through a battery of tests and workups at sea before becoming ready for deployment, work that is expected to cost almost $780 million and take more than four years to complete, congressional auditors said this month.
The Navy will spend $43 billion developing and building the three Ford-class carriers that Congress has authorized thus far.
Learn more about the naval service and life of Gerald Ford here: https://www.history.navy.mil/browse-by-topic/people/presidents/ford.html.
Former president of Newport News Shipbuilding Matthew Mulherin spoke about the construction and sea trials of the carrier, commenting on its magnificence.
Turkey, Germany Step Up War of Words
Turkish pro-coup officers being granted asylum in Germany have also added more strains to the two countries' relations. Germany's DIHK chambers of commerce said that in the current environment investing in Turkey was hard to imagine.