Naval operations chief committed to Mayport
Chief confirms plans to bring in amphibious-ready group
Reassurance that the Navy is committed to the future of Mayport came Tuesday from Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert.
He toured the base and then spoke at a luncheon of the Jacksonville Area Ship Repair Association. Businesses in the association handle some of the maintenance on local Navy ships.
The admiral confirmed the Navy plans to bring an amphibious-ready group to Mayport in 2014 or 2015.
The ships will come from a base at Hampton Roads, Va., and are expected to bring the same number of sailors as a carrier would.
Greenert said he is still committed to bringing a nuclear carrier to Mayport, a move that has been delayed due to a lack of money for needed improvements at the base.
He also brought up a recent new arrival at Naval Air Station Jacksonville -- the state-of-the-art P-8A aircraft. Greenert said those planes are just one part of a vital Naval presence in the area.
"It's a hub. It's a big area for the Navy. Southern command is important to us," Greenart said. "Look how fast you can get to sea from here. And of course Jacksonville is kind of the center of excellence for a maritime patrol aircraft."
The admiral said that the secretary of the Navy should make a decision by the end of the summer on exactly when the amphibious-ready group will come to Mayport.
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