Trump Pledges to Rebuild 'Depleted' Military in CENTCOM Speech

by Andrew Rafferty /  / Updated 
Image: US-POLITICS-TRUMP
US President Donald Trump speaks following a visit to the US Central Command and Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base on February 6, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGANMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty ImagesMANDEL NGAN / AFP - Getty Images

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President Donald Trump pledged to reinvest in the “depleted” U.S. military and voiced support for NATO on Monday in an address at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida.

"You've been lacking a little equipment, we're going to load it up. You're going to get a lot of equipment," Trump said.

Throughout the campaign, Trump pledged to grow the military while shrinking most other aspects of government. He told senior U.S. commanders that the military has been “depleted” and that the Navy “is at a point almost as low as World War I” -- a likely reference to the number of ships currently in use.

Trump pledged that the U.S. would remain committed to NATO after rattling European leaders by suggesting during the campaign that America could retreat from the alliance. But he warned other nations need to increase their contributions.

"We strongly support NATO,” Trump said Monday. “We only ask that all of the NATO members make their full and proper financial contributions to the NATO alliance, which many of them have not been doing."

The president won applause for declaring he would keep out those who want “to destroy us and destroy our country,” though he did not directly address his executive actions restricting travel from seven Muslim majority countries. He also accused the media of not reporting on terror attacks.

Trump opened his remarks by referencing the support he received from the military in 2016.

"I saw those numbers. And you like me and I like you,” Trump said.

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