Government

USS New York, Made with Steel from World Trade Center, Comes to Mayport

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: December 7, 2013 3:55 AM
USS New York

USS New York

The USS New York, which includes steel salvaged from the World Trade Center after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, arrived in Mayport Naval Station on the First Coast on Friday. Originally based in Virginia, the USS New York will now be home-ported at Mayport. The amphibious transport ship, the fifth naval ship named after New York, has a crew of 360 and can transport as many as 700 Marines if needed.

Despite being commissioned in 2009, the USS New York does have some history behind it. After the 9/11 attacks, then-Gov. George Pataki of New York asked the Navy to name a new ship after the Empire State. The ship was being built in Louisiana when Hurricane Katrina hit. The motto of the USS New York reflects this history: "Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget."

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., issued a statement on Friday welcoming the ship to Mayport. 

“In Florida, we are blessed to have several military communities throughout our state,” Rubio said. “I am excited about the USS New York’s arrival and welcome its crew members and their families to Jacksonville’s military family.

“Our state and nation are grateful for their service and sacrifices, and now we are proud to call them our neighbors,” Rubio added. “We are also humbled to now be the home port of a ship built after 9/11 with remnants of the World Trade Center.

“Mayport is a crown jewel of our Navy and a key part of our national security infrastructure,” Rubio said in conclusion. “The on-time relocation of the USS New York from Norfolk is a critical step toward the strategic dispersal of our naval fleet, and I will continue working to ensure the two remaining ships that will comprise the Amphibious Ready Group eventually arrive on schedule as well.”

As Rubio noted, two other Naval Amphibious Readiness Groups ships will soon be headed from Norfolk to Mayport. Both the USS Iwo Jima and the USS Fort McHenry are scheduled to transfer to the First Coast in 2014.

U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., a member of the House Defense Appropriations Committee, was on the USS New York when it arrived at Mayport on Friday and he spoke at the ceremony welcoming the ship and its crew to the First Coast. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., was also in attendance.

“I think we can all agree that the First Coast is an anchor to our national security,” Crenshaw said at Mayport on Friday. “Today, the Navy underscores its commitment to that mission with the arrival of this vessel -- the USS New York -- the first of three Naval Amphibious Readiness Group ships that will call Naval Station Mayport home. We welcome the USS New York and her crew of 360 with open arms. They and their families will become a part of our community fabric. And while she is docked at these piers, our region’s dedicated and hard-working ship repair industrial base will keep her at the ready to answer our nation’s call.”



Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.


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