Specialist in Naval Affairs
The Navy’s five Atlantic Fleet nuclear powered aircraft carriers (CVNs) are all homeported at Norfolk, VA. The Navy wants 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’s proposed FY2012 budget requests $14.998 million in military construction (MilCon) funding for the Massey Avenue Corridor Improvements project, a roadway construction project that is part of the Navy’s plan for establishing a CVN home port at Mayport. In addition, the Navy states that of the $84.36 million in funding requested by the Navy for FY2012 for MilCon planning and design activities, about $2 million is requested for the project to establish a CVN home port at Mayport.
The Navy’s proposal to homeport a CVN at Mayport is an issue of strong interest to certain Members of Congress from Florida and Virginia. Certain Members of Congress from Florida have expressed support for the Navy’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.
A March 2011 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the Navy’s proposal to homeport a CVN at Mayport stated:
GAO’s independent cost estimate suggests that the total one-time cost of homeporting a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier at Naval Station Mayport is expected to be between $258.7 million and $356.0 million, in base year 2010 dollars. The Navy’s estimate of the one-time cost is $537.6 million—also in base year 2010 dollars—which is outside the upper range of GAO’s estimate…. For recurring costs, GAO’s independent cost estimate suggests that the total is expected to be between $9.0 million and $17.6 million per year. The Navy’s estimate of $15.3 million per year is within GAO’s estimated range.In October 21, 2011, letters to three Members of Congress from Florida, and in letters of the same date to six Members of Congress from Virginia, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the Chief of Naval Operations, commented on the issue of homeporting a CVN at Mayport in the context of the ongoing Department of Defense strategic and budget reviews.
Date of Report: November 30, 2011
Number of Pages: 68
Order Number: R40248
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