Crenshaw Applauds Navy’s Decision to Homeport Nuclear Carrier at Mayport
Congressman Has Worked Since 2001 to Bring a Nuclear Carrier to Mayport
November 17, 2008
(JACKSONVILLE, FL) – In a much anticipated decision, the Secretary of the Navy announced today that Naval Station Mayport has been selected to homeport a nuclear carrier (CVN). The decision culminates a 4 year Environmental Impact Study (EIS) to 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.
Rep. Crenshaw said, “Today’s announcement is a huge victory for Mayport, the Navy, and our national security. The decision to bring a nuclear carrier to Mayport reinforces that Jacksonville is a premier military community.”
The “preferred option” selected by the Secretary means that Mayport will homeport a nuclear carrier, which typically supports 3,200 sailors. Mayport will undergo substantial construction, including wharf and traffic improvements, utility upgrades, new maintenance facilities and dredging projects to accommodate today’s decision.
“Mayport’s strategic location continues to cast it in an expanding and leading role in national defense missions. The decision earlier this year to headquarter the re-established 4th Fleet at Mayport was more than symbolic. Northeast Florida continues to be in the forefront of America’s national security efforts,” added Rep. Crenshaw.
The effort to turn Naval Station Mayport into a homeport for a nuclear carrier began with former Representatives Charlie Bennett and Tillie Fowler. In 2006, Crenshaw helped initiate the $10 million EIS study conducted by the Navy and is required for all major government construction projects.
Prior to the study, Congressman Crenshaw helped position Mayport as a potential homeport by securing $500,000 for the planning and design of necessary wharf upgrades and an additional $4.4 million to construct a Consolidated Ship Maintenance Facility. In addition to these steps, during the fight to keep the USS John F. Kennedy, Rep. Crenshaw introduced and saw legislation pass that forced the Navy to keep a minimum of 12 operational aircraft carriers.
Rep. Crenshaw said, “While today’s announcement may seem like the end of our long journey, to me it is the beginning of a new chapter in Mayport’s bright future.”
“This is tremendous news for Florida and testament to the strategic importance of Mayport,” said Martinez, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Seapower subcommittee. “It is vital that our nation maintain more than one substantial naval base on the East Coast. Mayport is an integral part of our strategic national defense and as a delegation we remain committed to keeping this port and its people ready to serve.”
“Getting all of the nuclear carriers out of one port in Virginia is in our national security interest,” said a jubilant Nelson. “For the folks in Florida the move is certain to bolster the role of Mayport and help the local economy.”