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(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-02) sent a letter to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead urging them once again to station an aircraft carrier at Naval Station Everett after the USS Abraham Lincoln departs in fiscal year 2012. Murray and Larsen stressed the advantages of locating an aircraft carrier at Naval Station Everett, where sailors enjoy a first-rate quality of life and strong support from the local community. Murray and Larsen sent a similar letter to Mabus and Roughead in August.

We are writing to express our continued support for stationing a replacement aircraft carrier at Naval Station Everett following the departure of the USS Abraham Lincoln in fiscal year 2012 to conduct refueling operations.  Naval Station Everett offers not only the strategic advantages we highlighted in our letter of August 11, but an outstanding quality of life that makes it a desirable homeport for all sailors,” the members of Congress wrote.  

The full text of the letter appears below:

Dear Secretary Mabus and Admiral Roughead:

We are writing to express our continued support for stationing a replacement aircraft carrier at Naval Station Everett following the departure of the USS Abraham Lincoln in fiscal year 2012 to conduct refueling operations.  Naval Station Everett offers not only the strategic advantages we highlighted in our letter of August 11, but an outstanding quality of life that makes it a desirable homeport for all sailors.

Recent investments in Naval Station Everett have contributed to its reputation as the most modern Navy base in the world.  It is home to two of the four most sustainable buildings in the Navy as rated by the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy Efficiency Design (LEED), including a new barracks building that is the only LEED Gold building in the entire Navy.  A new housing development in Lake Stevens offers enlisted sailors and officers the opportunity to live in spacious homes near first-rate public schools.  And while some sailors at Everett used to have to travel to San Diego to complete training requirements, a new Fleet Readiness Center will allow more sailors to complete more training on base and near their families in the Pacific Northwest.   All of these investments combine to make Naval Station Everett a great place to house and train a carrier crew and their families.

Sailors stationed in Everett also benefit from strong support from the surrounding community.  Local businesses, non-profits, and religious groups eagerly serve the sailors in the community – even the Silvertips, the local hockey team, has named its mascot Lincoln in honor of the carrier.  As an example of this community support, electric utilities, research universities, and local government officials recently gathered with Navy leadership to discuss how local organizations could help the Navy achieve its renewable energy and energy efficiency goals.  

In this era of high operational tempos and frequent family separation, it is essential for the Navy to consider the quality of life impacts of carrier basing.   Bringing a new aircraft carrier to Everett when the USS Abraham Lincoln departs will benefit the thousands of sailors and their families who enjoy the quality of life and sense of community at Naval Station Everett.