4.5 acres of combat power

$13 billion aircraft carrier is the most expensive in military history

NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia, March 2, 2017

President Trump said today he will rebuild the U.S. military and called for a 12-carrier Navy during a visit to the USS Gerald R. Ford. The carrier will be commissioned later this year. The Navy currently has 1o carriers ready for action.

Hundreds of sailors in ball caps and shipbuilders in hard hats waited on the hangar deck as Marine One landed on the carrier at 1 p.m., preceded by three MV-22 Ospreys, the presidential helicopter squadron. Trump, arriving with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, wore an olive-green flight jacket.

“Our Navy is the smallest it’s been since World War I,” Trump said on the deck of the Ford, “American workers will build our fleets.” The Ford is being built by Newport News Shipbuilding.

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 U.S. territory, the likes of which there is nothing to compete.”

The three American aircraft carriers that won the Battle of Midway against the Japanese fleet in 1942 – the USS Enterprise, USS Yorktown and USS Hornet – were built in the same Newport News shipyards that’s building the Ford.

Trump told the sailors that his budget calls for an end to sequestration spending cuts and an increase in 2018 of $54 billion for the Defense Department. “After years of endless budget cuts that have impaired our defenses, I am calling for one of the largest defense spending increases in history.”

Trump wants a fleet of 350 ships. In World War II, the Navy had 6,768 active ships.

— From various reports