We are just over a month away from the commissioning of the newest addition to the Naval Aircraft Carrier fleet. Making it, the twelfth mobile carrier. This new supercarrier is the leading face of what will become the US Carrier fleet. The USS Gerald Rudolph Ford will be taking the place of the decommissioned USS Enterprise model 65 of the CVN fleet, which left service in 2012.
The new aircraft carrier for the Navy will house over 75 planes, choppers, and other aircraft, while its birthing area will accommodate more than 4,600 service men and women. Stretching 337 meters, UUS Ford has estimated costs of $12.8 billion with an additional $4.7 billion for R&D.
During team Trump’s presidential campaign, the new Commander and Chief, spouted misguided, unfactual statements that made the military seem weaker than it is. For instance, President Trump bolstered the idea, “We are going to have very soon the finest equipment in the word.” For years, the American nation has been reassured by the Pentagon about the world-class weaponry and military equipment in use by our Armed Forces.
Recently, Trump boarded the USS G.R. Ford for a tour and speech about the supercharged nuclear-powered carrier. It is here that Trump made statements like the one above and even this ill-informed remark about the USS Ford, “This great aircraft carrier provides essential capabilities to keep us safe from terrorism and take the fight to the enemy for many years in the future.”
Let’s look at the facts about that statement. Unfortunately, carriers are not an essential element of terrorism defense. However, they do offer a malleable means of fighter fleets and intelligence reconnaissance scout planes that provide geographical whereabouts of terrorist in areas of dismay, like Libya and the Persian Gulf. Objectively, their primary mission is to deter larger wars from nations like China, Russia, and North Korea, but rely more heavily on Air Force fighters, special operations forces, surveillance drones, and experienced trainers, advisers, and intelligence agencies for answers to counterterrorism.
Additional areas of bloated Military weakness come forth when discussing the unveiling of the new USS Ford. Trump expressed the need to have “the 12-carrier Navy we need,” with Ford being the twelfth carrier for that fleet as the U.S. already has 11, the largest in the world. The U.S. Naval Carrier fleet amounts up to more than all other nations and countries combined. Italy, shocking has the next largest fleet, amounting up to two carriers.
Every branch of Military Service more than welcomes the expansions and proposed budget increases, but questions on whether or not it is needed have been circulating for some time now. These questions also bring another important issue about, “If our military is so large, what’s the rush for upgrading? Shouldn’t we take our time to expand correctly?”
Backing these questions with some concerns of his own, Mabus has some rather heated words about the making of the USS Ford, “This is just a dumb way to build any type of ship, particularly something as big and complicated as a carrier.” This statement is about how the USS Ford is being made. In 2009, the Navy was awarded permission to begin work on the new carrier, even though there was not a finished working design. So far, the massive aircraft carrier has been built on the go, with plans occasionally changing, ultimately pushing back the public release of the ship.
There’s much anticipation built up around the commissioning of the United States Ship Gerald Rudolph Ford, set to happen sometime April 2017.