|Naval Station Mayport|
Admiral David L. McDonald Field
|Part of Jacksonville Naval Complex|
|Mayport, Florida in United States|
|Type||Naval Air Station|
Naval Ship Harbor
Intermediate Maintenance Activity
|Owner||United States Navy|
|Controlled by||United States Fourth Fleet|
|CAPT Jason Canfield|
|Garrison||United States Fourth Fleet|
|Occupants||LCS Squadron Two|
Naval Surface Squadron Fourteen
Amphibious Ready Group
|Identifiers||IATA: NRB, ICAO: KNRB, FAA LID: NRB|
|Elevation||15 ft (0 m) AMSL|
|Source: FAA, official site|
Naval Station Mayport (IATA: NRB, ICAO: KNRB, FAA 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 ft × 200 ft (2,439 m × 61 m).
The station was commissioned in December 1942. It was reclassified as a Naval Sea Frontier base in 1943. A new naval auxiliary air station (NAAS) was established in April 1944. The naval section base and the NAAS supported the Atlantic Fleet during World War II. Both were closed after the war. In June 1948, Mayport was reestablished as a naval outlying landing field. The base area was increased to 1,680 acres (680 ha) and the runway was extended in the mid 1950s.
USS Tarawa became the first capital ship to use the new aircraft carrier basin in October 1952. The base was renamed back to a Naval Auxiliary Air Station in July 1955. The naval station was extended to accommodate more ships, sailors and their families and redesignated as a naval air station in 1988.
NS Mayport has grown to become the third-largest naval surface fleet concentration area in the United States. The station has 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.
The base has historically served as the homeport to various conventionally powered aircraft carriers of the United States Atlantic Fleet, including Shangri-La (1960–1971), Franklin D. Roosevelt (1956–1977), Forrestal (1977–1993), Saratoga (1957–1994), and, most recently, John F. Kennedy (1995–2007). With the decommissioning of all conventionally-powered aircraft carriers by the U.S. 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 NAVSTA Mayport to accommodate a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
On January 29, 2010, the Quadrennial Defense Review Report stated that a nuclear aircraft carrier would be homeported at NAVSTA 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, Virginia, according to the report. West coast aircraft carriers are split between Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California, Naval Base Kitsap and Naval Station Everett in Washington state and one carrier assigned to the Forward Deployed Naval Force (FDNF) homeported at Naval Base Yokosuka, Japan.
In 2009 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." The decision was opposed by elected officials in Virginia, who would lose 3,500 sailors and their dependents, $425 million in revenue each year, and most importantly, 6,000 support jobs. The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce estimated the loss at 11,000 jobs and $650 million per year. Infrastructure changes and facility construction at Mayport were estimated to take five years and cost over half a billion dollars. The 2011 budget committed $590 million during the fiscal years from 2011 to 2019, so a carrier may not move to Mayport until 2019. However, an amphibious group was assigned sooner. USS New York relocated to Mayport in December 2013 and USS Iwo Jima and USS Fort McHenry also switched their homeports to the naval station in August 2014.
The Virginia congressional delegation fought the loss of even one of NAVSTA Norfolk's aircraft carriers boost to their economy by citing other areas such as shipbuilding to spend the Navy's tight budget.
On 5 September 2018, the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth and escort frigate HMS Monmouth, arrived at Mayport for resupplying, on her first deployment to the United States for "Westlant 18".
A 2013 report from the Navy revealed that they are considering basing as many as 14 littoral combat ships at NS Mayport. Littoral Combat Ship Squadron Two (LCSRON2) was established at the base on 7 November 2014. All Freedom variant LCSs, with the exception of the first two ships of the class (Freedom and Fort Worth), are to be assigned to LCSRON2. Currently, Milwaukee, Detroit, Little Rock, Sioux City, Wichita, Billings, Indianapolis, and St. Louis are assigned to the squadron, with upcoming ships Minneapolis-Saint Paul and Cooperstown expected to be added as they come into service.
Mayport had been the home of Destroyer Squadron 14 for years. On July 31, 2015, the squadron was merged with Cruiser-Destroyer Readiness Support Detachment Mayport to form Naval Surface Squadron Fourteen (NAVSURFRON14). Currently, the squadron consists of the destroyers Carney, The Sullivans, Lassen, Farragut, Thomas Hudner, Paul Ignatius, Delbert D. Black, Carney, Donald Cook, and Winston S. Churchill.
Also based at Mayport is the amphibious ready group led by USS Iwo Jima. The group consists of Iwo Jima, New York, and Fort McHenry. The New York is no longer based at Naval Station Mayport and was homeport shifted to Naval Station Norfolk.
On 1 April 1944, the air facility at Mayport was commissioned as Naval Auxiliary Air Station Mayport. Following World War II, 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, Naval Air Facility Mayport was re-designated as a naval air station in 1988.
Media related to Naval Station Mayport at Wikimedia Commons