Trump dines with top aides at his Virginia club

Reuters The U.S. Defense Department said the Navy will commission its first "Ford-class" aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, on Saturday at its base in Norfolk, Virginia - three years behind schedule and billions over budget.

"This ship can basically drive itself", Triana said, pointing to a touch-screen navigation display that has replaced the traditional throttle system used to power and steer the US Navy's older carrier classes.

Trump visited the $12.9 billion nuclear-powered carrier in Newport News, Virginia, to cap off the White House's "Made in America" week, a series of events created to highlight the administration's push to increase domestic manufacturing. And you will get it, believe me.

In an interview with CBS, former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus presented a blunt critique: "The Ford is a poster child for how you don't build a ship", Mabus said.

"The USS Gerald R. Ford is really a quantum leap into the 21st century", Hecht added. Ford became president in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal and served in the country's highest office from 1974-1977.

On Saturday, the president stuck mostly to script in a patriotic speech of about 16 minutes, extolling the new vessel as the centerpiece of his effort to rebuild the nation's naval fleet.

The USS Ford eventually will accommodate about 2,600 sailors.

"American steel and American hands have constructed a 100,000-ton message to the world", Trump said. The 1,100 foot super-carrier boasts the first new design in around 40 years, and features state-of-the-art navigation and weapons systems. "It's opening the envelope for future aircraft and future capabilities of the Navy and we'd otherwise be contained with a steam catapult system", McCormack said.

This article was released by the United States Navy.

At the ceremony's conclusion, Ford Bales gave the order, "Man our ship and bring her to life".

The technology of the USS Gerald R. Ford, albeit impressive McCormack said, will never be better than the crew.

The president has said he wants to expand the Navy's fleet to 350 from the 276 deployed today.

The vessel was built at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.

The Ford class will include two more planned ships, the John F. Kennedy and Enterprise.

Despite the challenges that come with developing and testing a carrier that is first in its class, commanding officers touted the expertise demonstrated by the Ford's crew members in operating its advanced systems.

Distinguished members of the party offered remarks to honor the occasion.

  • Rogelio Becker