Navy Secretary announces ship buildup will begin quicker than originally planned
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today that the first amphibious ready group (ARG) ship scheduled to shift homeport to Naval Station Mayport will arrive in the last quarter of calendar year 2013.
The USS New York, the USS Iwo Jima and the USS Fort McHenry, will shift from their current homeport of Norfolk, Va. to Mayport. The New York will be the first to change homeport, followed by the Iwo Jima and Fort McHenry in 2014.
Mabus originally announced Feb. 28 that the ARG would arrive no later than 2015.
“This is another proud moment in our city’s longstanding relationship with the U.S. Navy. I look forward to welcoming many new Navy families and I applaud Secretary Mabus for his confidence in Jacksonville,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “The military installations in Jacksonville already supply an annual economic impact exceeding $14 billion for the region. Expanding the fleet will support even greater activity for local businesses and the Jacksonville housing market.”
The accelerated timeline ensures continued viability of the Mayport ship repair industrial base and maintains the capabilities of the Jacksonville fleet concentration area, thereby preserving surge capability and reducing risk to fleet resources in the event of natural or manmade contingencies.
"I am very pleased that the Navy is able condense the time horizon for the arrival of the Mayport ARG," stated Mabus. "The move underscores just how important Jacksonville and Naval Station Mayport are to our national defense, and how committed we are to strategic dispersal on the east coast."