US President Donald J. Trump has called for a 12-carrier US Navy during a visit to the new USS Gerald R. Ford carrier in Newport News, Virginia. The first of the new Ford-class carriers and the first new carrier design since the Nimitz-class began joining the fleet in 1975, the $13 billion carrier will be commissioned later this year.
Trump addressed the pre-commissioning unit of the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier on the ship’s hangar deck. He told the crew that if Congress passes his budget, the military ‘will win again.’
‘We will give our military the tools you need to prevent war and, if required, to fight war and only do one thing: win.’ he continued. ‘We’re going to start winning again.’
‘In these troubled times, our Navy is the smallest it’s been since World War I,’ the President said. ‘That’s a long time ago. In fact, I just spoke with Navy and industry leaders and have discussed my plans to undertake a major expansion of our entire Navy fleet, including having the 12-carrier Navy we need.’
The President said the big-deck carriers are the centerpiece of America’s military might. ‘We are standing today on 4.5 acres of combat power and sovereign US territory, the likes of which there is nothing to compete,’ he said.
The new ship will have a smaller crew than the Nimitz-class carriers sailing with 4,500 personnel. ‘Hopefully, it’s power we won’t have to use,’ Trump said. ‘But if we do, they are in big, big trouble.’