Virginia delegation cheers carrier move delay

“Historic fiscal challenges and the devastating prospect of a trillion dollars in defense cuts have only bolstered our argument that such a move would not just be strategically unnecessary, but also fiscally irresponsible,” said Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), in a statement with state colleagues Reps. Rob Wittman (R) and Scott Rigell (R).

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“Today's announcement to call off these plans is a tremendous victory for the citizens of Hampton Roads,” Forbes said.

Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) said the Navy’s decision “affirms the strategic and fiscal logic behind it.”

While the Virginia delegation said the move was now cancelled, Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.), whose district includes Mayport Naval Station, said that the project has only been delayed. He said he’s been “assured by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) that the Navy remains committed” to moving the carrier to Mayport.

“This makes no sense,” Crenshaw said in a statement. “We are already three years into making Mayport nuclear capable. Further delay will only drive costs higher.”

The Pentagon has planned to move one carrier out of Norfolk because it did not want all its East Coast nuclear carriers stationed in the same place.

The brawl over the move has occurred in large part because of the economic impact and jobs associated with wherever the carrier is located.