There are those living in the Mayport area who are of the opinion that the most environmentally friendly thing the state authorities can do for the region is to scrap the Mayport Naval Base. It is one of America’s biggest naval bases. It is home to The United States Fourth Fleet, and has the third largest naval fleet in the USA.
Naturally all these boats, personal and aircraft have a significant impact on the environment. Recently, Mayport has been transforming its fleet from conventional gasoline powered vessels to nuclear powered vessels. This move will no doubt cut down on carbon emissions at the base, but of course poses a potentially far worse threat to the environment in terms of a nuclear disaster.
Carbon emissions are also considerably high from the large airfield at Mayport Naval Base which is large enough to accommodate the largest of military aircraft.
The reason for having the base is obviously tied up with national security. America is at war with terrorism around the world and it must remain forever vigilant against threats to security both at home and abroad.
However, another good reason to have the base is in case of a natural disaster. In March 2011 in Thailand there were virtually unprecedented floods throughout the country. In the ensuing state of emergency it was the Thai navy that rescued tourists from Thongsala in Koh Phangan and other islands cut off because of the storms.
Ever since Hurricane Katrina the public in America are aware like never before about the potential for a huge storm or other natural disaster to strike in the USA. It is at such times that local police, fire services and medical services cannot cope. These are the times when American people will need the help of the navy and the other armed services. Mayport Naval Base is ready to respond 24/7 to any disaster that may befall the USA. This surely trumps the environmental argument to shut down the base.