NORFOLK, Va. (NBC/WAVY) — The U.S. Military is changing the way it handles sailor deployments and homecomings.
Due to “operational security reasons” the Defense Department will no longer announce when naval forces deploy or return from a tour of duty.
The shift is part of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, which has called for the military to be less predictable and more agile. The strategy was put in place by President Donald Trump and then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Deployments and homecomings are a regular occurance in Hampton Roads — which is home to installations including Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story and the world’s largest naval base, Naval Station Norfolk.
On Monday, thousands of sailors deployed from Norfolk as a part of the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Stike Group. It was the first deployment for some the sailors assaigned to the group’s flagship, the USS Abraham Lincoln.
Many military families say they don’t like the new Defense Department policy, while others understand and support the change. NBC 7 in San Diego spoke with families of sailors from the USS Decatur, which returned to Naval Base San Diego from a deployment on Monday.
San Diego resident Daimon Mussell told NBC 7, “Don’t you think people should know that servicemen are coming home to recognize their service?”
Meanwhile, Navy veteran Godfrey Ramirez said, “Safety first. Especially in our homeland, we have to be careful what we do now. That’s just the way the world is now.”