Published February 16, 2005
The Navy carrier could be retired more than 10 years ahead of schedule as part of a six-year, $30 billion military spending cut that has been recommended to help offset the cost of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, Gov. Bush says reducing the number of carriers and leaving Mayport Naval Station (search) in Jacksonville is a bad strategic move.
"These are really national security questions and it just makes all the sense in the world to not have all your carrier capability all in one court on the East Coast," Gov. Bush said.
The USS Kennedy has a crew of nearly 5,000 and pumps nearly $200 million into the local economy every year.
"We knew this would happen eventually ... we didn't think it would be this soon," said Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton (search).
At this point, the ship's retirement is only a recommendation. A final decision is expected when Congress votes on Bush's budget later this year.
Click in the box near the top of the story to watch a report by FOX News' Orlando Salinas.