USS Nimitz Says So Long, San Diego

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Amber
    USS Nimitz.

    USS Nimitz's 'temporary' departure from San Diego to Washington State just became permanent.

    Navy Leaders announced Thursday that the aircraft carrier will not be returning to San Diego when it completes a scheduled docking and maintenance period set to begin next year. 

    Naval Station Everett, Washington will be the carrier's new homeport. 

    USS Nimitz spent nine years in San Diego. The carrier left NAS North Island for Bremerton on Monday.

    The homeport change is no surprise for the sailors assigned to USS Nimitz. A so-called homeport change fair was held over the summer at Naval Base Coronado to help families find schools and places to live in the Bremerton area. Families were buzzing about the switch during a homecoming ceremony for the carrier in March.
     
    San Diego may not be without a third carrier for long.

    Aaron Hunter, spokesman for Congresswoman Susan Davis (D) San Diego, said Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughhead confirmed that another carrier will come to San Diego in 2016. 

    Hunter said the Admiral assured Davis San Diego would continue to be homeport to three carriers in an hour-long phone conversation Thursday afternoon.

    "Not only does this mean a short-term loss in economic impact to our region, but it means the loss of thousands of sailors and their families that make up such an important part of our community, " Davis said in a statement released minutes after the Navy's announcement.
     
    Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said a four-year overhaul planned for USS Abraham Lincoln, which is currently deployed in the Central Command area of operations, was one of the biggest factors in moving USS Nimitz to Everett.

    Work is set to begin on USS Abraham Lincoln in 2012.  It is unclear where the carrier will be home ported when the work is completed.