Trump addresses military families at Joint Base Andrews

After a rehearsal for the Andrews Air Show this weekend, Trump gave a speech marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Air Force.
By Stephen Feller  |  Sept. 15, 2017 at 2:28 PM
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Sept. 15 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump addressed troops and their families Friday afternoon at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, congratulating the U.S. Air Force on its 70th anniversary.

Trump traveled to the air base with first lady Melania Trump to meet with airmen before addressing military personnel and their families.

The speech, which saw the president run down some of the early history of the Air Force, included his thoughts on the threat posed by North Korea, recoveries from the hurricanes in Texas and Florida, and on the terror attack in London on Friday morning.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of London," Trump said early in the speech, later adding that "America and our allies can never be intimidated."

Trump reiterated a statement made earlier in the day by U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley about American responses to North Korea, saying the U.S. has an "overwhelming" number of military options -- some of which he said he'd seen before the speech.

Trump also called the recovery efforts a window into how close Americans are despite the appearance of great divisions among the population.

"Our thoughts are with those recovering from the hurricanes," Trump said, and that the response to the devastation is "revealing how truly united Americans are... When Americans are in need, Americans answer."

Trump, whose speech followed a demonstration by the air fleet at the base -- part of rehearsals at Joint Base Andrews for the 2017 Andrews Air Show this weekend -- congratulated the Air Force for accomplishing technological marvels while striking fear in the hearts of adversaries.

"American airmen have proved they have no equal," Trump said. "You are the ones who own the skies."

Trump said his administration is working to reverse shrinkage in the size of the Air Force that has persisted since the early 1990s, despite the military having been continuously engaged since that time. His administration, he said, plans to "stop delaying needed investments in our readiness."

"Thank you for your service and devotion," Trump said. "We're celebrating 70 years of history, 70 years of heroes and 70 years of victory."

After the speech, the president and first lady were expected to depart the base for New Jersey, where they will stay at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster.

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