Donald Trump will visit Newport News Shipbuilding Thursday, a company spokeswoman confirmed. The visit will come two days after the president is expected to propose a hefty increase in defense spending in a speech before Congress.
Of specific importance to the shipyard, the president has proposed increasing the size of the Navy fleet to 350 ships. The Navy’s own assessment calls for a 355-ship fleet. The fleet now stands at about 275 ships.
Trump is proposing a large increase in defense spending in the 2018 budget that is fueled largely by cuts in other federal agencies.
The budget plan would increase national security-related spending by $54 billion while reducing other programs, including foreign aid, according to The Washington Post.
Trump will speak from the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, according to Christie Miller, a company spokeswoman.
A Facebook group had been formed for those interested in emerging details of the visit. As of this writing no time has been announced for Trump’s arrival or speech.
The Newport News shipyard is a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, which also operates a Gulf Coast yard. HII is the nation’s largest military shipbuilder.