President Donald J. Trump traveled to Newport News, VA for remarks to Sailors and shipbuilders aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) on March 2, 2017. President Trump also toured the ship, participated in a briefing with the ship’s leadership, and spoke with senior executives from Newport News Shipbuilding and Huntington Ingalls Industries. (Video courtesy of ABC News)
Also joining with the visit were: U.S. Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis; Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson; USS Gerald R. Ford Commanding Officer, Captain Richard McCormack; Huntington Ingalls Industries President and CEO, Clement Michael Petters; Newport News Shipbuilding President, Matt Mulheron; and thousands of U.S. Navy personnel and shipbuilders.
President Trump arrived on the USS Gerald R. Ford aboard Marine One. Following The President’s ship tour, briefing, and meeting, he walked onto stage inside the ship’s hangar bay where CVN 78 Ship Sponsor Susan Ford Bales introduced The President for his remarks.
During Susan Ford Bales’ introduction, she welcomed everyone in attendance, especially her fellow shipbuilders, with whom she has worked with side-by-side over the course of almost 10 years, and 17 trips to the Newport News Shipbuilding yard in Newport News, VA. Ford Bales echoed President Trump’s belief in America’s greatness, with two great examples in the crew of the USS Gerald R. Ford and the Newport News Shipbuilders.
President Donald Trump highlighted the effort of the shipbuilders and U.S. Navy personnel in constructing America’s newest aircraft carrier. He added that America would be giving the members of our Armed Forces the resources they need to keep our country safe, which include plans for additional U.S. Navy ships.
President Trump’s remarks included speaking about the legacy of President Ford by reminding the crowd of his decades of public service, and by adding that “the proud dignity of this ship is a fitting tribute to Gerald R. Ford, the man and the President”.
The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is the first ship of a new class of aircraft carriers, the Ford Class. Gerald R. Ford was notified shortly before his death that the U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier would be named for him. Lt. Commander Gerald R. Ford served throughout the Pacific in the U.S. Navy during World War II aboard the USS Monterey (CVL 26), which was an Independence Class aircraft carrier.