NORFOLK – The aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush will be commissioned Saturday. The carrier was built in Newport News, but it will be commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk.
But whether it stays in Norfolk remains to be seen.
The Bush will get its big party Saturday morning. There will be a long list of V.I.P.s in attendance including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and both presidents Bush.
Today, members of the media get a chance to see the ship, talk with some of the crew, and get video of the carrier.
However, the celebration is somewhat clouded because the future of the carrier is still up in the air.
Norfolk will be home at least for awhile, but Mayport, Florida could become its permanent home.
The Navy has said that spreading out the east coast fleet would improve security, but Virginia legislators disagree.They say Norfolk is the most logical spot, and have promised to fight tooth and nail to keep it here.
"There is no justification economically or strategically for it, so I think these facts are going to carry the day, they certainly should," said Senator Jim Webb of Virginia.
Even though the commissioning is tomorrow, the carrier isn't quite ready for action. It still has to go through sea trials and have minor work done.