Trump to attend commissioning of USS Gerald R. Ford

President Donald Trump waves as he departs after a meeting with survivors of the attack on USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, July 21, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump will help commission the USS Gerald R. Ford, a $12.9 billion warship that will officially be turned over to the Navy.

The nation’s commander in chief is traveling to Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia on Saturday to preside over a ceremony during which the USS Ford will formally join the fleet. The vessel is the first member of the next generation of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and is named after the country’s 38th president.

Construction started in 2009 and was to be completed by September 2015 at a cost of $10.5 billion. The Navy blames the delays and budget overruns on the ship’s state-of-the-art systems.

The vessel completed sea trials in April but still will go through a battery of tests and workups at sea.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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