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Monday, January 24, 2011

Navy Nuclear Aircraft Carrier (CVN) Homeporting at Mayport: Background and Issues for Congress

Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs

The Navy’s five Atlantic Fleet nuclear powered aircraft carriers (CVNs) are all homeported at Norfolk, VA. The Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) final report on the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), released on February 1, 2010, endorses the Navy’s desire to establish a second Atlantic Fleet CVN home port by homeporting a CVN at Mayport, FL. Navy plans call for having Mayport ready to homeport a CVN in 2019.

Transferring a CVN from Norfolk to Mayport would shift from Norfolk to Mayport the local economic activity associated with homeporting a CVN, which some sources estimate as being worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

The Navy estimates the nonrecurring cost of transferring a CVN to Mayport at $589.7 million, including $490.7 million in Military Construction (MilCon) funding for construction work at Mayport to make Mayport capable of homeporting a CVN, and $99 million in other one-time costs.

DOD’s proposal to homeport a CVN at Mayport has become an issue of strong interest to certain members of Congress from Florida and Virginia. Certain members of Congress from Florida have expressed support for DOD’s proposal to homeport a CVN at Mayport, arguing (as do DOD and the Navy) that the benefits in terms of mitigating risks to the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet CVNs are worth the costs associated with moving a CVN to Mayport. Certain members of Congress from Virginia have expressed skepticism regarding, or opposition to, the proposal, arguing that the benefits in terms of mitigating risks to the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet CVNs are questionable or uncertain, and that the funding needed to implement the proposal could achieve greater benefits if it were spent on other Navy priorities.

Of the $120.05 million in funding that was requested by the Navy for FY2011 for MilCon planning and design activities, about $2 million is for the project to establish a CVN homeport at Mayport. The Administration is expected to submit its proposed FY2012 defense budget to Congress on or about February 14, 2011.

Date of Report: January 14, 2011
Number of Pages: 58
Order Number: R40248
Price: $29.95

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