Crenshaw: “Jacksonville Ready to Roll Up Its Sleeves and Get to Work”
Crenshaw, Nelson, Martinez, and Brown Brief the Chamber Military Affairs Committee on Carrier Decision
November 25, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Today Congressman Ander Crenshaw, Senator Bill Nelson, Senator Mel Martinez, and Congresswoman Corrine Brown briefed the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee on the Navy’s recent decision to turn Naval Station Mayport into the second east coast nuclear carrier homeport.
Rep. Crenshaw said, “We want the Navy to know that the Northeast Florida delegation is ready to roll up its sleeves and get to work. Our entire community has been energized by this decision and we will work together to make the necessary preparations to see our ship come in.”
In the meeting Congressman Crenshaw talked about the road ahead and the work needed to ensure that the funding is included in the next Adminstration’s Fiscal Year 2010 Department of Defense budget and appropriated by Congress to allow for a timely arrival of the carrier at Mayport. There is over $400 million in new construction projects, dredging and wharf improvements that will take place over the next five years.
“While the announcement itself was a huge victory and a leap forward, the work is just beginning. There is much to be done before the day when the carrier pulls into port,” warned Rep. Crenshaw. “We must prepare ourselves for the road ahead and the battles that we are sure to face.”
One such battle is the effort by the Virginia delegation to keep all of the east coast carrier and maintenance operations solely located in the Norfolk area. They have vowed to prevent the dispersal of the Navy’s nuclear aircraft carrier fleet.
Rep. Crenshaw concluded, “We know that there are critics of this decision and they will do everything they can to keep all of the nuclear carrier assets in one area. We must not ignore the lessons of history and jeopardize our national security.”
Last Monday, the Secretary of the Navy announced that it had selected Naval Station Mayport to homeport a nuclear aircraft carrier (CVN). The decision culminated a 4-year Environmental Impact Study (EIS) that evaluate Naval Station Mayport’s potential to homeport an additional array of ships. The nuclearization of Mayport has been one of Crenshaw’s top priorities since being elected to Congress.
“I have a seat at the table where the funding will be discussed and debated,” said Congressman Crenshaw, a member of the prestigious House Appropriations Military Construction and Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee. “I will work to ensure that Mayport receives the financial backing it needs to be a nuclear carrier homeport as soon as possible.”
“We can’t let our guard down when it comes to making sure the base gets what it needs to house the new carrier,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.
“No one can put a price tag on our national security or on the lives of our brave men and women in uniform. To suggest otherwise is truly ‘irresponsible’,” stated Rep. Crenshaw.