Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) today commended the Navy's decision to indefinitely suspend its controversial plan to re-locate a Norfolk-based aircraft carrier to Naval Station Mayport, Fla. Senator Webb, a former Secretary of the Navy, has consistently advocated retaining the Navy's current East Coast assignments for nuclear-powered aircraft carriers (CVNs), describing the Navy's plan to create a redundant carrier homeport at Mayport as "fiscally irresponsible and strategically unnecessary."
"When the Bush administration first announced its intention to relocate an aircraft carrier from Norfolk to Mayport, Florida, I stood together with my fellow former Navy Secretary, Senator John Warner, in the strong belief that keeping the carrier in Norfolk was both strategically and fiscally justified," said Senator Webb, who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "I have never wavered from this position, and the Navy's homeporting decision affirms the strategic and fiscal logic behind it."
Senator Webb's opposition to the Navy's plan subjected it to intense scrutiny, marked at the outset by his release of a 24-page critical assessment in January 2009 and repeated public calls to defense officials for strategic and fiscal justification and reassessment. Most recently, Senators Webb and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced a provision in the 2012 defense authorization bill requiring the Comptroller General to conduct an independent, risk-based review of the Navy's plan and also urged elimination of $30 million for two projects associated with the Navy's proposal.