NORFOLK, Va. – The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS New York (LPD 21) arrived at Naval Station Norfolk, Nov. 22, 2020 concluding the ship’s homeport shift from Mayport, Florida to Virginia, The U.S. Second Fleet said in a release.
The arrival of New York is part of a series of planned homeport shifts set to occur over the next few years, which will consolidate Mayport-based amphibious ships in the Hampton Roads area in exchange for increasing the number of guided-missile destroyers in the Mayport area. This plan will support extended maintenance availabilities at local shipyards in both fleet concentration areas and, personnel changes from the planned homeport shifts are assessed to have a negligible economic impact to either community.
“On behalf of the New York’s crew, I would like to personally thank the community of Naval Station Mayport and the city of Jacksonville for hosting us these past seven years,” said Capt. Pete Kennedy, New York’s commanding officer. “It has been an honor and a pleasure for our sailors and marines to call Mayport home. We are, however, looking forward to our new home in Norfolk where the New York will continue to carry out our powerful legacy of the World Trade Center attacks by playing a crucial role in the security and prosperity of our nation.”
New York’s commanding officer thanked the crew’s family and friends for their support and gave a “Bravo Zulu” to the ship’s crew of nearly 400 Sailors and Marines for their hard work.
“The Sailors and Marines onboard New York deserve the utmost praise for their unrelenting commitment to keeping our ship operational and battle-ready,” said Kennedy. “I am incredibly proud and honored to serve alongside some of the most dedicated men and women of this country. I would also like to thank our families and friends that have never failed to support us during these uncertain times of multiple deployments and a global pandemic. It is because of the love and care of our families and friends, the sailors and marines of the New York are the best this country has to offer.”
New York is one of three amphibious transport dock ships named in honor of the victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The ship’s bow stem was cast using 7.5 tons of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center. The Navy named the eighth and ninth ships of the class Arlington and Somerset, in honor of the victims of the attacks on the Pentagon and United Flight 93, respectively. The ship maintains a close tie with its namesake, and most recently visited New York City in May 2019.
Several memorials to its namesake can be found throughout the ship including uniforms from the first responders of the 9/11 attacks, the original name plate from the previous ship to bear its name, and memorabilia from various Broadway musicals and New York City sports teams. These serve the crew as daily reminders of the ship’s deep, patriotic heritage.
New York most recently deployed as part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BAT ARG), returning to Mayport in July 2020. During the deployment, BAT ARG, Amphibious Squadron 8 and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted exercises and operations in the U.S. 2nd, 6th and 5th Fleet areas of operations. Highlights of the ship’s employment included working with partners from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to coordinate multiple complex training evolutions on the uninhabited Karan and Kurayn islands in the Arabian Gulf and serving as the sea base for Marine Corps UH-1Y Venom and AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters during a dynamic live-fire exercise in Bize, Albania.
The ship was commissioned on Nov. 7, 2009 in New York City and its initial homeport was Naval Station Norfolk, until it moved to Naval Station Mayport on Dec. 6, 2013.