Virginia base to lose ships in Navy move

Feb. 14, 2012 at 2:47 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- An aircraft carrier will remain, but three amphibious ships based in Hampton Roads, Va., will be moving to Florida, the U.S. Navy announced.

The movement plans were included in a proposed 2013 defense budget, released Monday, that included information about the Navy's "strategic dispersal of ships." While the aircraft carrier will stay in Virginia, home of the only East Coast carrier base, an amphibious ready group will move operations to Mayport, Fla., in 2015, Navy spokeswoman Lt. Courtney Hillson said.

A ready group is comprised of an amphibious assault ship and two smaller ships.

Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., whose district includes the base in Florida, said the ready group could relocate as early as this fall, The Norfolk (Va.) Virginian-Pilot reported.

"That means 2,000 sailors and their families will call Mayport home", Crenshaw said in a statement.

Although retaining the aircraft carrier in Hampton Roads is regarded as a triumph for the region, the base will lose a cruiser, a submarine and a dock landing ship to decommissioning, Hillson said.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Tuesday the proposal includes millions of dollars in construction projects in southeastern Virginia.

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