Washington D.C. – Today, Congressman Duncan Hunter was notified by the Navy that the U.S.S. Nimitz, homeported in San Diego since 2001, will stay in Washington State following regular depot maintenance.  Congressman Hunter expressed disappointment with the decision and immediately requested additional details from the Navy.

“This decision is really disappointing,” said Congressman Hunter.  “The Nimitz is not just an important component of the U.S. naval fleet, but it has also been an important part of the San Diego community for nearly a decade.  The Nimitz brought many jobs to San Diego and billions of dollars in economic activity, making this decision all the more difficult to accept.

“Relocating the Nimitz appears to be a decision based more on strategic planning than regional politics.  Regardless of the Navy’s reasoning, I want to know more about how the Navy arrived at this decision and why it believes moving the Nimitz out of San Diego – where certain infrastructure and training facilities already exist – is in our national interest.  It’s also important to ascertain whether it’s the Navy’s intention to relocate other resources to San Diego as a result.      

“What can’t be overlooked is the simple fact that this Administration and Defense Department refuse to build enough ships to meet force projection requirements and prepare for future threats – a point emphasized recently by a bipartisan defense panel recommending expanding the current fleet of 282 ships to 313 ships.  The Navy is falling behind in the areas of modernization and readiness, and the relocation of the Nimitz is just another example of a Navy that is undersized and unprepared to face emerging threats.”   
     
Congressman Hunter requested a briefing from the Navy in the coming days on its decision to relocate the Nimitz.  Additionally, Hunter continues to lead calls in Congress to strengthen domestic ship production, reiterating a bipartisan defense panel’s recommendation for more ships (press release here) while currently serving on the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces.