Va. lawmakers want to cancel carrier move over budget cuts

“Given the fact that the Pentagon is looking at a half trillion dollar budget cut, it is fiscally irresponsible for the Department of Defense to pursue its plans to move a carrier from Norfolk to Mayport,” wrote the four Republicans, Reps. Randy Forbes, Rob Wittman, Bobby Scott and Scott Rigell.

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Fights between the Virginia and Florida congressional delegations have gone onforyears since the Pentagon decided it wanted to move one of its East Coast carriers from Virginia to Florida “to mitigate the risk of a terrorist attack, accident or natural disaster,” according to the department’s 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review.

The issue is contentious because the carrier brings jobs and an economic boost to the region where it is stationed.

Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.), who has Mayport Naval Station in his district, said, “Leaders at the highest levels of the Pentagon have stated from day one that they stand behind the strategic imperative of two nuclear-capable homeports on the East Coast – one in Norfolk, one in Mayport.

“I couldn’t agree more and will continue my fight to ensure the necessary resources are available for that work,” Crenshaw said.

Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Jonathan Greenert said in a letter to Forbes last October that the size of the $487 billion in cuts to the Pentagon budget in the next decade will cause the Navy to review the move.