President Donald Trump will preside over the commissioning of the Navy’s newest nuclear aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, during a July 22 ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Naval Air Force Atlantic said Wednesday.
This is the president’s second visit this year to the $12.9 billion carrier. In March he called for a 12-carrier Navy while speaking to sailors and workers from the Ford’s hangar bay at Newport News Shipbuilding, where it was constructed.
Trump made headlines in May when he told Time magazine that the Ford’s Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, which replaces the decades-old steam catapult system, should be scrapped because it costs too much and is “no good.”
EMALS, as the new system is called, is scheduled for construction on the next two carriers in the Ford class, the future USS John F. Kennedy and USS Enterprise.
Susan Ford Bales, daughter of the carrier’s namesake and 38th president, is expected to officially declare the Ford a “United States Ship” during the ceremony.
The Ford is the Navy’s most expensive and advanced aircraft carrier. It was delivered to the Navy on May 31 and is expected to become fully operational by 2020.
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 40-foot-tall (12 meters) cross-shaped war memorial standing on public land in Maryland does not constitute government endorsement of religion, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that leaves unanswered questions about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.
The justices were divided on many of the legal issues but the vote was 7-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that had declared the so-called Peace Cross in Bladensburg unconstitutional in a legal challenge mounted by the American Humanist Association, a group that advocates for secular governance. The concrete cross was erected in 1925 as a memorial to troops killed in World War One.
The ruling made it clear that a long-standing monument in the shape of a Christian cross on public land was permissible but the justices were divided over whether other types of religious displays and symbols on government property would be allowed. Those issues are likely to come before the court in future cases.