Tuesday, October 18, 2011
As the plans for the Fleet keep getting smaller and smaller, jobs and money will get scarcer - and people will start to fight for it.
Talk is already there of the Virginia long-knives coming for Mayport - but I am an optimist. I just don't think that our nation, even in the financial stress that we will be under, would be so foolish as to trap its entire Atlantic Fleet in one port.
Let's go with the idea that Mayport won't go the way of NS Charleston, that we keep it. That does not remove some of the coming challenges.
As outlined by some of the Salamander underground; here are some thoughts:
1. The airfield and the helo squadrons are scheduled to be moved to JAX NAS; in its place will be UAV units.
2. The buildings that the contractors use on Supply St. will be leveled and in their place will be the building to handle nuclear material and the shops to work on the CVN that may show in 2016.
3. By then, there may be but a half dozen ships left at Mayport. Unless LCS show early in numbers (which isn't expected), there won’t be a lot to work to keep industry busy enough to stay in business due cyclic nature of ops. Those jobs won't wait. How many companies will actually stick around? How much will you lose when you have to bring them back or take your ships elsewhere for the work that used to be done on-site.
From a Strategic POV - having at least one CVN at Mayport is good - from an industrial capacity POV - a little more diversity and number of ship types would be useful.
Use it or lose it.