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Navy Official Says Mayport Carrier Move is Still On

1:20 PM, Mar 26, 2009   |    comments
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NAVAL STATION MAYPORT, FL -- Despite a renewed effort by lawmakers in Virginia, the Navy says it is sticking with its plan to move an aircraft carrier from Norfolk to Mayport.

Yesterday, Rear Adm. Philip Cullom said the carrier move is still "under discussion" and not a done deal.

Clarifying, Rear Adm. Frank Thorp, the service's chief of information, said, "Nothing has changed.  The Navy remains committed to making Mayport a nuclear carrier-capable homeport."

Rep. Glenn Nye, D-Norfolk, was questioning Admiral Cullom in a House subcommittee meeting about the estimated $671 million required to upgrade Mayport to a nuclear-ready facility.

When asked if that expenditure was necessary, Cullom said, "It's under discussion and deliberation right now, as to what is the best decision - and no decision has really been made at this point yet, as to whether it should be done or not."

Nye interpreted that as a "backtracking from the Navy's previous position" and issued a news release.

Admiral Thorp said the Navy remains committed to Mayport as "a strategic dispersal alternative" for Atlantic Fleet carriers, since all of them are currently homeported in Norfolk.

Lawmakers in Virginia are actively fighting the Navy's plan to move a carrier.

The Navy says it remains committed to the move, but the Obama administration has said it will review it.

First Coast News

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