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Public Statements

Letter to Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

In a joint letter to Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, and Congressman Ander Crenshaw strongly urged him to advance the Navy's decision to homeport a nuclear aircraft carrier at Naval Station Mayport from FY 2019 to FY 2016.

"You may hear from a few persistent critics of the project, but as you know the decision to disperse the East Coast carrier fleet has been examined and re-examined by the Navy, Department of Defense, and Government Accountability Office (GAO). Every study affirmed and reaffirmed, as in the case of the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, what the Navy has maintained all along - that dispersing our capital ships is in our best national security interest," wrote Nelson, Rubio, and Crenshaw.

"Rather than belaboring a validated decision, we ask that you consider our April 4 request to Secretary Ray Mabus to advance the carrier move from FY 19 to FY 16. We believe this would reduce the risk to our carrier fleet from a possible terrorist attack or natural disaster, and once and for all put this issue to rest," they further stated.

The full letter reads as follows:

Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert
Chief Naval Operations
2000 Navy Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350

Dear Admiral Greenert

Congratulations on your assumption of command of the Navy as the 30th Chief of Naval Operations. As you begin your tenure as CNO, we write to reiterate our strong support of the Navy's decision to homeport a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida -- and to ask that you consider accelerating this move, as it is in the best national security interest of our Navy and our nation.

You may hear from a few persistent critics of the project, but as you know the decision to disperse the East Coast carrier fleet has been examined and re-examined by the Navy, Department of Defense, and Government Accountability Office (GAO). Every study affirmed and reaffirmed, as in the case of the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, what the Navy has maintained all along, that dispersing our capital ships is in our best national security interest.

The March 2011 GAO report found that making Mayport ready for a nuclear carrier could cost millions of dollars less than originally estimated. The decision has been supported by the past four CNOs, and both the Bush and Obama Administrations. Your predecessor, Admiral Gary Roughead, said it best in a speech to the Joint Warfighting Conference in Virginia this pas May: "For me it is purely a strategic issue....it remains important that we have some strategic dispersal on the East Coast."

Rather than belaboring a validated decision, we ask that you consider our April 4 request to Secretary Ray Mabus to advance the carrier move from FY19 to FY16. We believe this would reduce the risk to our carrier fleet from a possible terrorist attack or natural disaster, and once and for all put this issue to rest.

Thank you in advance for your consideration. If you have any questions, please do not hestitate to contact us. We look forward to working with you on this and other national security issues important to the Navy and Florida.

Sincerely,

Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio
United States Senator United States Senator

Ander Crenshaw
Member of Congress


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