Courtesy: Florida Times-Union
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mayport will be the new home to a nuclear aircraft carrier if the president and Congress approves a Department of Defense report. The DoD determined the U.S. Navy will homeport the carrier, according to a statement Friday.
Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) visited First Coast News Friday night and said the addition of the nuclear carrier will bring thousands of jobs and families to the area.
"...Tonight, the people in Jacksonville should feel good that thousands will be bringing their families to the area."
In a statement released, LeMieux said, "I commend the Defense Department for making the right decision for what is clearly in the best interest of our national security. I have discussed this with members of the Navy as well as local officials and all are elated...."
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said he has been working with Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) for the past nine years on this. "It's a great day for Jacksonville and for America. I give great credit to Ander Crenshaw. The two of us have been working solid on this for the last nine years."
Mayport had been home to several of the big flattops; its last one left when the USS John F. Kennedy was decommissioned in 2007, leaving the Navy without a conventionally powered carrier to place here.
LeMieux said the next step is to look at a timeline for constructing what will be necessary for Mayport to serve in its new role.
"What President Obama includes in his fiscal year 2011 budget due out next week will give us a clearer picture of that schedule," said LeMieux.
According to the Florida Times-Union, the Navy will have to spend about $500 million in upgrades to Mayport to handle one of the nuclear-powered carriers now in use.
First Coast News