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Norfolk-based aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt to move to San Diego

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Posted at 8:05 PM, Jan 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-14 23:24:44-05

Norfolk, Va. - The Navy announced today that three aircraft carriers will be moving to new home ports.

The Norfolk-based USS Theodore Roosevelt will move to San Diego, allowing the USS Ronald Reagan to move to Yokosuka, Japan and replace the USS George Washington.

The George Washington will then head back to Hampton Roads to begin preparing for its mid-life refueling complex overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding.

The Navy says specific timelines will be announced separately, closer to the actual movement of the carriers.

In 2008 the George Washington became the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to be based in Japan after it moved from Norfolk.

The rotation of the carriers will not necessitate a change in the assigned air wing in Japan. Carrier Air Wing Five will remain the forward-deployed air wing located at Naval Air Facility Atsugi.

The Navy says the ship rotation also does not require any changes to base facilities in either San Diego or Yokosuka

Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine released this joint statement following the Navy’s announcement of thechanges:

“Navy leadership has briefed us that today’s announcement is a routine shift to balance operational demands with shipyard capabilities.  This planned reshuffling of the carriers aligns the fleet with the Navy’s maintenance schedule.  Norfolk remains the premier East Coast hub for naval sea power projection, and Norfolk will gain the USS George Washington (CVN 73) from Japan when the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) moves from Norfolk to San Diego. This announcement also demonstrates the Navy’s continued commitment to aircraft carrier global presence, as well as Hampton Roads’ critical role at the intersection of construction, maintenance, and operational deployments. However, we remain concerned about the potential long-term impacts of sequestration on our Navy and our national security due to continued uncertainty in future budgets.  We will continue to strive to eliminate such ambiguity in future defense budgets.”

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