Navy accelerates moving ships to Mayport

The biggest prize is an aircraft carrier that the Navy has sought to move from Norfolk to Mayport. But the Navy has put that move on hold as part of the Pentagon’s budget cuts, which the Virginia delegation has called a victory for Norfolk.

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Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) hailed Friday’s announcement, which Navy Secretary Ray Mabus delivered in Mayport.

“This is a great announcement that the secretary has made that we’ll be getting these ships,” Nelson said in a statement. “It’s great news for the local economy; the security of our fleet; it’s great news our country and it’s great news for the ship repair business in Jacksonville.”

Crenshaw said that the move “will expand our region’s broad Navy family, bringing new sailors and their families and giving our industrial base the opportunity to put its expertise on display once again.”

“My fight continues for all parts of the Mayport equation, including the future homeporting of a nuclear aircraft carrier,” he said in a statement.

The Navy said that the early move was made in part to help ensure the “continued viability of the Mayport ship repair industrial base.”