San Diegans may increasingly see three nuclear-powered aircraft carriers docked at Naval Air Station North Island under a Navy proposal to increase West Coast military readiness.
Earlier this month, the Navy announced it will update an environmental analysis to measure the impact of having three aircraft carriers docked up to half of the year compared to less than a month now.
The berthing plan is intended “to maintain military readiness of naval forces for prompt and sustained combat … to meet the needs of war, now and into the future,” the Navy said in a statement.
Three Nimitz-class carriers, the USS Carl Vinson, USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Abraham Lincoln, are currently based in San Diego. The Navy said there are no plans to homeport a fourth carrier, but other carriers will visit more frequently.
“The presence of three aircraft carriers may include all three NAS North Island-homeported aircraft carriers or two NAS North Island-homeported aircraft carriers and one transient aircraft carrier,” the Navy said.
The new Ford-class carriers will also dock at North Island from time to time.
“Because of the number of variables involved with predicting aircraft carrier berthing requirements, the Navy plans to analyze the impacts of an anticipated need for three aircraft carriers to be in port simultaneously for an average of 180 intermittent, non-consecutive days per year,” the Navy said.
The Navy plans to review the impacts on traffic, air quality, noise and water resources, as well the effects from new infrastructure and land use. Three public meetings are scheduled.