Critical Thinking Exercise: Homeporting a CVN in Mayport, Florida

Bottom Line: If you were in charge of making the decision to move an aircraft carrier to Mayport or responsible for explaining the Navy's rationale for doing so, how would you do it? The Congressional Research Service (CRS) report provides substantial analysis of the key issues and also explains what a "strategic laydown analysis" is. This post is another self-guided exercise in critical thinking.

 

Background

 

Congression Research Service Report on Navy Nuclear Aircraft Carrier (CVN) Homeporting at Mayport

 

On January 14, 2009, the Navy announced that it wants to transfer one of its nuclear-powered aircraft carriers (CVNs) to the Navy home port at Mayport, FL, known formally as Naval Station (NAVSTA) Mayport. On April 10, 2009, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced that it had decided to delay a final decision on whether to propose transferring a CVN to Mayport until it reviews the issue as part of its 2009-2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR).

 

The Navy’s desire to transfer a CVN to Mayport is an issue of interest to some Members of Congress. Many observers expect that transferring a CVN to Mayport would result in a CVN being transferred out of Norfolk, known formally as NAVSTA Norfolk. Transferring a CVN from Norfolk to Mayport would shift from Norfolk to Mayport the local economic activity associated with homeporting a CVN, which some sources estimate as being worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year to the economy of the home port area. Transferring a CVN to Mayport would require congressional approval of MilCon funding for dredging and construction work to make Mayport capable of homeporting a CVN.

 

The Navy states that a key reason it wants to transfer a CVN to Mayport is to hedge against the risk of a catastrophic event that could damage the Navy’s CVN homeporting facilities at Norfolk, VA, and nearby Newport News, VA. All CVNs based on the Atlantic Coast are currently homeported at Norfolk and Newport News.

 

Assignment

 

- What are the pros and cons of putting an aircraft carrier in Mayport (include the impact tot the crew)?

- What support facilities are necessary (provide an estimate for their cost)?

- Check your answers by reading the CRS report.