Reunion: New York Meets New York in New York

The USS New York (LPD 21) is scheduled to arrive in its Big Apple namesake Nov 2.

While ships visit cities all the time, it is rare they are bonded in the way these two New Yorkers are: the Navy’s latest San Antonio class amphibious transport dock ship, includes 7.5 tons of steel extracted from the rubble of what had been the city’s beloved World Trade Center.

The ship left the yards at Avondale, La., not far from New Orleans Oct 13, making its way northward in Mardi Gras style with marching bands galore and a couple of 21-gun salutes thrown in. Two other Sept. 11 “tribute” ships are also under construction at Avondale, the Arlington and Somerset. The Northrop Grumman San Antonio class replaces four amphibious ship classes, which may explain the her eye-popping billion-plus price tag or maybe Program Executive Officer (PEO) Ship’s penchant for change and cost overruns – we’re just speculating. Sniping aside, builders were able to use the Twin Towers steel to forge the ship’s bow stem, a fitting home for the heart-wrenching remains. The Navy will long watch over New York in her moment of need.

The New York’s motto is “Strength forged through Sacrifice. Never forget.” (The first sentence alone would have been much stronger, but no one asked us.)

Embarked on the New York (aside from the ship’s crew of 360) for this homecoming is a contingent from 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, according to its commander, Col. Mark Desens, a Boy from Company Two. Desens and the 26th MEU returned in March after a seven-month deployment saving the world supporting operations around the Horn of Africa and Iraq, among other areas.

The New York will be homeported in Norfolk – if they can make it past locals when it is time to head home.

The maiden vessel will be docked at Pier 88 near the Intrepid floating museum. No packages or backpacks and bring a photo ID. A complete and update schedule can be viewed online.

Commissioning is scheduled for Nov. 7.

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