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Ford enlisted in the Navy following the attack on Pearl Harbor and was commissioned as an officer in the Naval Reserve in 1942.

NORFOLK - Almost five months after its construction was completed, President Donald Trump stood on the deck of the USS Gerald R. Ford Saturday, presiding over the U.S. Navy's first commissioning ceremony in more than 40 years. Compared to Nimitz-class carriers, the Gerald R. Ford-class carriers have more than 23 new or modified systems.

"American steel and American hands have constructed a 100,000-ton message to the world: American might is second to none, and we're getting bigger and better and stronger every day of my administration", Mr. Trump said.

Navy bosses boast that the new ship is a "technological marvel" and claim it will carry much more than just fighter jets. Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries, the Gerald R. Ford class is designed with significant quality-of-life improvements and reduced maintenance.

"This is American craftsmanship at its biggest, at its best, at its finest", Trump said aboard the carrier earlier this year. During his speech, Trump called on Congress to pass his $1 trillion budget outline that includes a $54 billion increase in defense spending next year. "We will win ... we will never lose".

Construction of the USS Gerald R. Ford began in 2009 and was scheduled to be completed in 2015 at a cost of $10.5 billion.

Susan Ford Bales, daughter of former President Ford, is the ship's sponsor. "God bless this ship and all who serve it", said trump.

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The Navy plans to spend $43 billion developing and building the three new Ford-class ships-Ford, the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), and the future USS Enterprise (CVN 80).

Mr Trump said at the event in Norfolk, Virginia: "I hereby place United States Ship Gerald R Ford in commission".

'To every patriot who will serve on this ship, I say this: Keep the watch, protect her and defend her, ' he said.

The Gerald R. Ford-class features advanced technologies such as a new reactor plant, propulsion system, electric plant, electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS), advanced arresting gear (AAG), machinery control, dual-band radar and integrated warfare systems.

The ship that bears Ford's name has adopted those words for its official crest.

Naval Operations chief admiral John Richardson said: "The nation is going to be very proud of USS Gerald R. Ford".

"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.