The USS Iwo Jima, USS New York, and the USS Fort McHenry are all moving to Jacksonville, Florida, as part of an effort to boost the local economy and to ensure the survival of Naval Station Mayport.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, members of the U.S. Navy were quite amused when a real life Captain James Kirk took the helm of the USS Zumwalt, leading to many a Star Trek joke. Even William Shatner wrote to Captain Kirk, although funnily enough the actor is afraid of outer space.
According to a Naval Station Mayport release, the reason for the homeport change for the Iwo Jima Amphibious Readiness Group is to ensure the preservation of the ship repair industrial base in Mayport. The final two-thirds of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Readiness Group will arrive in Mayport on Sunday, which is good news for about 100 sailors who are returning to their native state of Florida.
The USS Iwo Jima was launched in 2001 and is the second U.S. Navy ship to take the name. Captain Jim McGovern calls his ship “40,000 tons of American fighting steel” and praises it for its features, which include:
- Four missile launchers.
- Two.50-caliber machine guns.
- Two 600-pound boilers.
- Two geared steam turbines with 70,000 total horsepower available, making it the last conventionally powered steam ship in the Navy.
Other members of the crew of the USS Iwo Jima refer to her as the “mother ship” since “she’s one that gets us back and forth, takes care of us and takes care of the nation.” Petty Officer 2nd Class Richard Agbado even compares the protection of the USS Iow Jima to a mother’s embrace:
“I feel in my heart it’s a she because our mothers have us, accept us and give us all the qualities we need to grow up and become good gentlemen. Fathers straighten us out, but we always fall back on our mothers for support.”
Referencing mothers is probably appropriate considering how family is attached to the shp. All in all, about a thousand families will be moving to Jacksonville due to the U.S. Navy ships being docked in the area. In addition to the USS Iwo Jima, USS New York, and the USS Fort McHenry, the Mayport expansion will also include six littoral combat ships, which will bring another 900 sailors and support personnel in 2016.