Florida senators Bill Nelson (D) and Marco Rubio (R) are urging President Trump to include funding in the fiscal year 2019 budget to homeport a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier at Naval Station Mayport, FL.
In 2007, the Navy decommissioned the conventionally powered aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CV-67), and since that time no aircraft carrier has been homeported at Mayport.
"In 2009, the US Navy officially announced its decision to homeport a CVN at Mayport, and the [Defense Department's] 2010 Quadrennial Defense review supported the Navy's decision," according to a Jan. 25 letter sent to Trump from Nelson and Rubio. "Then Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead testified 'a catastrophic event . . . has the potential to severely limit East Coast Carrier operations,' as justification for its inclusion in the DOD's 2010 Quadrennial Defense review and the US Navy Fiscal Year 2011 budget."
Nelson and Rubio recommend funding necessary improvements at Mayport such as construction of nuclear propulsion maintenance facilities in the FY-19 budget request.
"Strategic dispersal of our capital ships is a long-held Navy requirement and only prudent considering the cost and strategic value to our national defense," the letter reads.