USS Gravely’s deployment delayed after isolated electrical fire

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — An isolated electrical fire delayed the deployment of the USS Gravely at Naval Station Norfolk for an estimated four hours. 

WAVY’s Aesia Toliver reports the ship needs a new piece of equipment because of the fire.

No one was injured.

A U.S. Navy spokesperson tells 10 On Your Side they were rescheduled to deploy at 5 p.m. 

U.S. Navy officials say the guided-missile destroyer is deploying to the Mediterranean Sea to conduct maritime operations as the flagship for NATO’s Standing NATO Maritime Group 1.

Sailors and Marines with the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) deployed to that region earlier this month.

It was a bittersweet goodbye for family and friends of sailors boarding the USS Gravely for deployment. 

“This Christmas was pretty special that we could be here with Elliott, that we had that time before he left,” said parents of one sailor, Candie Smith and Bryan Speires. 

Megan Powers and her husband just got married a few months ago- and this will be their first deployment since saying “I do.”

“It was definitely not a carefree Christmas. It was like a pending, we knew this was going to have to happen, so I think we both weren’t as happy go lucky as we normally are during the holidays,” said Powers. 

Commanding Officer Justin Hodges says about 330 sailors are aboard the guided-missile destroyer for the eight-month deployment. 

“This is the first time in quite a few years that a U.S Flagship will be serving as part of NATO’s standing maritime group, so we’re pretty excited to be that flagship,” said Hodges.

Their duties will include crisis response to routine operations, Hodges said, and weather might be one of the bigger challenges they face while on their mission.

The sailors are expected back sometime mid-August. Family members say they’re already counting down the days until they return. 

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