Cost of Moving Carrier to Florida Much Lower, GAO Says

The total one-time cost to move a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier from Norfolk, Va., to Naval Station Mayport, Fla., is far less than the Navy has estimated — from $258.7 million to $356.0 million vs. the Navy’s $537.6 million estimate — according to a Government Accountability Office report released last week. Florida officials hailed the conclusion, while lawmakers representing Hampton Roads argued that moving a carrier to the northeastern coast of Florida is not warranted no matter the cost, reported the Daily Press. Southeastern Virginia would lose an estimated 6,000 jobs and about $425 million in annual revenue if a carrier is moved from Naval Station Norfolk.

The Navy has made a preliminary decision to move a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to Mayport, citing a need to protect the carrier fleet from a military or terrorist attack, or natural disaster. That conclusion was affirmed by the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review.

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