Strategic Homeporting: National Strategy or Bureaucratic Politics?
NATIONAL WAR COLL WASHINGTON DC
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In 1982, the Navy initiated a plan to revamp the basing of ships homeported in the United States. This plan, which became known as the strategic homeporting program, was intended to accommodate the anticipated growth of the fleet to 600 ships and prevent overloading of existing homeports. The plan adjusted the ship mix at existing homeports and proposed the development of new homeports to correct strategic shortfalls in the existing homeports structure. The plan was based on five strategic principles force dispersal to complicate Soviet targeting, battlegroup integrity, wider industrial base utilization, logistics suitability and geographic considerations such as reduced transit times to likely operating areas, By 1985, strategic homeporting was moving forward with building momentum. The Navy had Identified the desired geographic areas for the new homeports and had initiated a competitive sit election process. Cities desiring to be a homeport were asked to submit proposals, including offsets and incentives. Proposals were evaluated according to a selection criteria which included cost, land, Industrial support, environmental impact and, as will be discussed later, community support.
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