US Fourth Fleet
Naval Station Mayport is a major US Navy base located near Jacksonville in Florida. It is the third-largest naval facility in the US. The Naval Station also includes an airfield known as Admiral David L McDonald Field.
Mayport is a unique naval base with a harbour and a runway handling 34 US Navy ships and Department of Defense (DoD) aircraft.
Naval Station Mayport is located near the Port of Jacksonville on the St Johns River in northeast Florida. The naval station lies inside the entrance jetties and towards the west of St Johns Point. The base facilities are spread over an area of 3,409 acres that are easily accessed from inland waterways and the open ocean.
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 commissioned in April 1944. The naval section base and the NAAS supported the US fleet during World War II. Both were decommissioned after the war. Mayport again commenced its operations as a naval outlying landing field in June 1948. The base area was increased to 1,680 acres and the runway was extended in the mid 1950s.
USS Tarawa (CVS-40) became the first capital ship to use the new carrier basin in October 1952. The base was renamed 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.
Naval Station Mayport is the home port of 22 US Navy ships, including guided-missile cruisers, guided-missile destroyers and guided-missile frigates. Guided-missile cruisers assigned to Mayport are USS Philippine Sea (CG-58), USS Gettysburg (CG-64), USS Hue City (CG-66) and USS Vicksburg (CG-69).
The guided-missile destroyers homeported are USS Carney (DDG-64), USS The Sullivans (DDG-68), USS Roosevelt (DDG-80) and USS Farragut (DDG-99). The guided-missile frigates including USS McInerney (FFG-8), USS Boone (FFG-28), USS Stephen W Groves (FFG-29), USS John L Hall (FFG-32), USS Underwood (FFG-36), USS Doyle (FFG-39), USS Halyburton (FFG-40), USS Klakring (FFG-42), USS DeWert (FFG-45), USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG-49), USS Taylor (FFG-50), USS Simpson (FFG-56) and USS Samuel B Roberts (FFG-58). Mobile sea range training support vessel and USNS Hunter are also stationed at the base.
The Harbour Operations Department manages berthing facilities and provides firefighting support, search and rescue assistance, spill clean-up response, salvage assistance, emergency personnel transfers at sea and degaussing range services.
The harbour at the naval station has 16 berths located around the turning basin. The facilities can accommodate 34 warships including two aircraft carriers. The turning basin measures approximately 2,000ft×3,000ft. A 500ft-wide entrance channel connects the turning basin with the St Johns River. Berths feature two primary carrier piers known as C1 and C2 and other piers that handle smaller naval ships.
Piers E and F are configured to fulfil the maintenance requirements of the ships. The maintenance and berthing services for ships homeported at the naval station are provided at a floating dry dock located on the north of the St Johns River.
Naval Station Mayport is home to more than 70 tenant commands including Afloat Training Group (ATG); Commander, US Naval Forces South (COMUSNAVSO); Commander, Destroyer Squadron Fourteen (COMDESRON 14); Commander, Destroyer Group Four-Zero (COMDESRON 40); Commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing; US Atlantic Fleet (CHSMWL) and six light airborne multipurpose system (LAMPS) mk3 helicopter squadrons.
The operational and training headquarters of SH-60B Seahawk LAMPS mk3 are also located at the naval station.
The air operations department manages and controls the airfield at the naval station. The airfield features an 8,000ft runway which accommodates all types of DoD aircraft. The airfield witnesses over 100,000 helicopter and fixed-wing flights a year and military passenger flights from this air terminal transfer 13,000 passengers a year. The department also provides air traffic control services, air terminal and maintenance services, aircraft arresting gear and ground handling services.
A major expansion is being planned for Naval Station Mayport to house a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier transferred from the Naval Station Norfolk. The East Coast littoral combat ships (LCS) will also be homeported at Mayport in 2016. Two of these ships were initially based at San Diego Naval Base.
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