US President Donald Trump’s federal budget looks to boost Navy size

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US President Donald Trump's federal budget looks to boost Navy size

The Trump administration recently released a federal budget plan which would take next year’s defense budget to 639 billion dollars.

CGNT’s Kevin McAleese reports.

US President Donald Trump's federal budget looks to boost Navy size

US President Donald Trump's federal budget looks to boost Navy size

The Trump administration recently released a federal budget plan which would take next year's defense budget to 639 billion dollars. CGNT's Kevin McAleese reports.
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For the city of Norfolk, Virginia, the largest navy base on earth represents the lifeblood of this coastal community.

“Defense spending makes up about 45% of the regional economy. The naval station’s a major employer, there were about 85,000 people working there when I was commanding officer,” said Joseph Bouchard a former Norfolk Naval Base Commanding Officer

During his recent address to sailors and shipbuilders in Virginia, President Donald Trump made it clear he wants to boost U.S. sea power.

“Our navy is the smallest it’s been since World War One, don’t worry it’s going to soon be the largest it’s been,” Trump said.

Donald Trump has big plans for the U.S. military, part of that vision, the largest expansion of naval might in decades,

The United States fleet stands at 274 vessels, and Trump said he wants to grow that number to 350, a target that would run far beyond his time in office.

But the President’s build-up comes with an eye-watering budget, and not everyone is convinced his $54 billion defense hike, would actually benefit the military.

“I don’t think we need to increase the defense budget. In fact, we could cut it a lot and be perfectly safe, if we would do less with the military in the U.S., rather than try and manage global security with it,” said Benjamin Friedman a defense expert at the CATO Institute.

But for Joseph Bouchard, who spent three years in command of the Norfolk base, Trump’s rhetoric at least appears to be going down well with personnel.

“They like the tone of the President’s statement, they like his support of the military. It’s not clear to a lot of people that he really understands what’s necessary to support the military in terms of funding [or] in terms of programs. Overall, the mood is cautiously supportive,” Joseph said.

President Trump’s budget blueprint shows he’s ready to sacrifice the Environmental Protection Agency, gut the State Department, and slash foreign aid in order to pay for his long-promised, hard-power spending spree.