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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

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

Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs

The Navy’s proposed FY2013 budget defers the Navy’s plan to homeport a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN) at Mayport, FL. The Navy’s proposed FY2013 budget and the FY2013- FY2017 Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP) contain no funding for Military Construction (MilCon) projects required to homeport a CVN at Mayport. The Navy states: “Although the FY 2013 budget does not contain a construction project supporting the homeporting of a CVN in Mayport, FL, the Department [of the Navy] is committed to the requirement and policy to strategically disperse CVNs on each coast. This is a deferral at this time due to fiscal constraints.”

The Navy’s five Atlantic Fleet 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. Prior to the submission of the FY2013 budget, Navy plans called 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 desire 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 desire to homeport a CVN at Mayport, arguing (as have 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 Navy’s desire to homeport a CVN at Mayport, 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.

Date of Report: July 2, 2012
Number of Pages: 73
Order Number: R40248
Price: $29.95

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