Naval Station Mayport

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Naval Station Mayport
Admiral David L. McDonald Field
NSMayport logo.jpg
IATA: NRBICAO: KNRBFAA LID: NRB
Summary
Airport type Military: Naval Station
Operator United States Navy
Location 7 miles east of Jacksonville, Florida, at the mouth of St. Johns River and adjacent to Atlantic Beach, Florida
Built December 1942
Commander CAPT Wesley R. McCall
Elevation AMSL 15 ft / 5 m
Website www.cnic.navy.mil/mayport
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
5/23 8,001 2,439 Asphalt
Source: FAA,[1] official site[2]
Aerial view of Naval Station Mayport in 1993 with Saratoga and Constellation.

Naval Station Mayport (IATA: NRBICAO: KNRBFAA LID: NRB) is a major United States Navy base in Jacksonville, Florida. It contains a protected harbor that can accommodate aircraft carrier-size vessels, ship's intermediate maintenance activity (SIMA) and a military airfield (Admiral David L. McDonald Field) with one asphalt paved runway (5/23) measuring 8,001 × 200 ft. (2,439 × 61 m).[1]

Since its commissioning in December 1942, NS Mayport has grown to become the third largest naval surface fleet concentration area in the United States. Mayport's operational composition is unique, with a busy harbor capable of accommodating 34 ships and an 8,001-foot (2,439 m) runway capable of handling most aircraft in the Department of Defense inventory.

Naval Station Mayport is also home to the Navy's United States Fourth Fleet, reactivated in 2008 after being deactivated in 1950.

The base has historically served as the homeport to various conventionally powered aircraft carriers of the Atlantic Fleet, including the Shangri-La, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Forrestal (September 1977 – January 1983), Saratoga, and, most recently, the John F. Kennedy. With the decommissioning of all conventionally powered aircraft carriers by the Navy, no carriers are presently assigned to Mayport. However, both houses of Congress have passed legislation authorizing about US$75 million for dredging and upgrades at Mayport to accommodate a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.[3][4]

On January 29, 2010, the Quadrennial Defense Review Report stated that a nuclear aircraft carrier would be homeported at NAS Mayport. The action will help protect the fleet against a potential terror attack, accident or natural disaster, because all east coast aircraft carriers are currently based at Naval Station Norfolk, according to the report. West coast aircraft carriers are split between Naval Station San Diego and Naval Base Kitsap in Washington state. Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense, stated, "Having a single (nuclear carrier) homeport has not been considered acceptable on the west coast and should not be considered acceptable on the east coast."[5] The decision was opposed by elected officials in Virginia,[6] who would lose 3,500 sailors and their dependents, $425 million in revenue each year, and most importantly, 6,000 support jobs.[7] The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce estimated the loss at 11,000 jobs and $650 million per year.[8] Infrastructure changes and facility construction at Mayport are estimated to take five years and cost over half a billion dollars. The 2011 budget commits $590 million during the fiscal years from 2011 to 2019, so a carrier may not move to Mayport until 2019.[7][9] However, an amphibious group is coming sooner. The USS New York (LPD-21) relocated to Mayport in December 2013 and the USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) and USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) also switched their homeports to the naval station in August 2014.[10][11]

The Virginia congressional delegation has fought the loss of even one carrier's boost to their economy by citing other areas such as shipbuilding to spend the navy's tight budget.[12]

A 2013 report from the USN revealed that they are considering basing as many as 14 littoral combat ships at Mayport.[13]

Homeported ships[edit]

210 Reliance Class (1)

Amphibious Assault Ship (1)

Amphibious Transport Dock (1)

Cruisers (4)

Coastal Patrol (3)

Destroyers (4)

Dock Landing Ship (1)

Frigates (4)

Adm David L. McDonald Field[edit]

On 1 April 1944, the air facility at Mayport was commissioned a Naval Auxiliary Air Station Mayport. Following the Second World War, both the NAAS was decommissioned and placed in a caretaker status. The United States Coast Guard took over the base and operated a small “Boot Camp” there for several years, but they vacated Mayport in late 1947 due to budget cuts. Mayport was reactivated again in June, 1948 as a Naval Outlying Landing Field under the cognizance of the Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station Jacksonville. As helicopter aviation evolved during the Cold War, Mayport became the East Coast home for the Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) MK III squadrons. As a reflection of growth, Mayport Naval Air Facility was re-designated as a naval air station in 1988.[14]

Aircraft squadrons[edit]

Helicopter squadrons

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°23′31″N 081°25′25″W / 30.39194°N 81.42361°W / 30.39194; -81.42361