President Donald Trump commissioned the USS Gerald R. Ford Saturday, officially bringing the country’s most advanced aircraft carrier into service.
Trump attended the commissioning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, along with Adm. John Richardson, the Navy’s chief of naval operations. The new ship is considered the most technologically superior aircraft carrier ever created, and the first new carrier design since the USS Nimitz was put into service approximately 40 years ago.
“Having the best technology and equipment is only one part of the American military dominance. Our true strength is our people. Our greatest weapon is all of you,” Trump told the crowd attending the commissioning ceremony. “Our nation endures because we have citizens who love America, and who are willing to fight for America.”
Pres. Trump at commissioning of U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford: "Our true strength is our people. Our greatest weapon is all of you." pic.twitter.com/BPgm246rN0
— ABC News (@ABC) July 22, 2017
The Ford is named in honor of former President Gerald R. Ford, the 38th president. Before starting his career in politics, the former president served in the Navy during World War II, eventually attaining the rank of lieutenant commander. Ford’s daughter, Susan Ford Bales, is the ship’s sponsor and give the traditional ship commissioning order “man our ship and bring her to life.”
The Ford is the first of three Ford-class carriers ordered by the Navy. It is equivalent in size to three football fields and cost $13 billion to build. The Ford has a massive new flight deck with a new electromagnetic aircraft launch system, which will give it the ability to launch aircraft faster.
It has an ultra-modern throttle system with a touch screen display amd 250 percent more electrical power capacity than older carriers. Sailors are sure to love the Ford’s quality of life improvements and easy maintenance. The ship only requires a crew of 2,600 to operate, 600 less than the Nimitz.