by: Lorena Incl\u00E1n Updated:MAYPORT, Fla. —
The USS Iwo Jima has arrived at its new homeport of Mayport.
The ship arrived shortly after 12 p.m., pulling in behind the USS Fort McHenry.
The two ships are joining the USS New York, which is already stationed at Mayport.
The three ships came from Norfolk, Virginia.
The move completes the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group homeport change in support of strategic dispersal and two viable East Coast surface ship homeports.
“We are honored to be the new homeport of the USS Iwo Jima and USS Fort McHenry,” said Mayor Brown. “We welcome the ship crew and their families as our new neighbors. Jacksonville plays a key role in supporting our nation’s security posture and the United States Navy is a vital part of our community.
The city of Jacksonville and the Navy agreed to open base access through Hanna Park at 6 a.m. to help offset the increase in traffic at the main gate. The early access begins Monday at 6 a.m., and will be available Monday through Friday. The agreement also allows the public to enjoy Hanna Park for an additional hour during the week.
"Naval Station Mayport is thankful for the level of support that the City of Jacksonville gives to its military neighbors. By opening this gate an hour earlier, we will be able to alleviate a large amount of traffic congestion at our main gate on Mayport Road and enhance the quality of life at the base and surrounding communities," said Captain Wesley McCall, commanding officer of NS Mayport.