This past Dec. 20, the naval base in Norfolk, VA, which is the largest naval base in the world, was home to five aircraft carriers (out of 10 currently in service) and four big-deck amphibious assault ships, along with a number of surface warships, nuclear submarines, and other support ships. Quite a sight. The U.S. Navy makes a point of giving its sailors shore leave around the Christmas holiday so that as many of its service men and women can spend this time of the year with their families. The sight of so many ships at Norfolk may become a rarity in future years, however, as the Navy is steadily pivoting its fleet to the Pacific, as plans are for nearly 60 percent of the Navy’s ships to be homeported at a Pacific base – a departure from the Cold War years, when the emphasis was on the Atlantic. By the way, the Navy currently has plans to introduce a new class of aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford, by 2015, at an estimated cost of $12.3 billion.
Home for Christmas: 9 Flattops at Norfolk [via DefenseNews]