NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Thousands of sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis will now call Norfolk home.
An excited crowd of friends, family and loved ones was gathered at the naval base Thursday morning, loudly cheering as the ship pulled into port.
The official Naval Station Norfolk Facebook page shared photos of the Stennis’ arrival, saying “Welcome to your new home USS John C. Stennis!”
The aircraft carrier and its 4,500 sailors previously called Bremerton, Washington home. The ship left for Norfolk from Naval Station Mayport in Florida on Tuesday, May 14, along with over 1,000 family members and friends in a tiger cruise.
U.S. Navy officials said the cruise allows them to experience life at sea with their sailors. The cruise was the last phase a deployment thatstarted in mid-October when the Stennis left Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton.
The Stennis will undergo a scheduled midlife refueling and complex overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding.
Its move to Norfolk is part of a three-carrier shift that includes the USS Abraham Lincoln, which left Norfolk in April. The Lincoln will move to San Diego at the end of its deployment.
Also part of the shift is the USS Carl Vinson which moved from San Diego to Bremerton.