JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - President-elect Donald Trump has promised to "make America great again," including making specific improvements in northeast Florida.
Trump worked hard to win over voters in the state of Florida. During his campaign, Trump visited Jacksonville three times and also stopped in St. Augustine to speak to enthusiastic supporters.
At a rally held last week at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, Trump said he would boost the economy, create good jobs, make people feel safe again and invest more into the military.
"Our Navy is the smallest it has been since World War I. We will build the 350 ships (for the) Navy that our country needs and desires and must have. That means brand-new state-of-the-art ships in places like Mayport, right here in Jacksonville," Trump said last Thursday.
Retired Admiral Bob Natter, former commander of the Navy's entire Atlantic Fleet, said he agrees that the military is underfunded with only 272 deployable ships. He even testified to Congress that the United States needs at least 350 ships to protect the country.
"Assuming that President-elect Trump is able to expand our military, expand our Navy to increase numbers, which it needs, then we will see more ships and aircrafts here in Mayport and in Jacksonville. You'll see more investment here," Natter said. "But again, it will be gradual and it's going to have to be based on a strong economy."
Trump has also promised to improve the Jacksonville Port Authority.
"We're going to spend a lot of money on our infrastructure, including the deepening of the harbor at JAXPORT," Trump said.
Natter said that would be crucial improvement to the economy in northeast Florida, especially with the expansion of the Panama Canal.
"There are very few ports on the East Coast of the United States that can accommodate those larger, deeper draft ships. We need to dredge and we need to have this port capable of accommodating these larger ships," Natter said.
While it may be hard for Trump to follow through with all of the promises, Natter said he thinks that the new administration will be good for the community.
Natter also pointed out that the president will need the help of Congress to help with the improvements.
Northeast Florida residents will find out if Trump will keep his promises after he officially takes office Jan. 20.
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