USS Gridley first destroyer to change homeport in 2016

The U.S. Navy’s newest base, Naval Station Everett (NSE) welcomed the newest addition to the base, the guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101), on July 9.

Gridley is the first of four destroyers to be reassigned over the course of the coming year as part of an ongoing homeport realignment.

The ship arrived late in the afternoon after transiting from its original homeport of San Diego, California. The move has been anticipated since Sept. 2015.

Recently there have only been two Navy ships stationed in Everett after the decommissioning of four frigates and the departure of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Gridley is therefore a welcomed addition for the base.

“We are thrilled the Gridley is coming here today,” said Capt. Mark A. Lakamp, commanding officer, NSE.

“I can tell you from my crew’s perspective that we’re very happy to be here now. At some point we were just like ‘Okay, we just want to get to Everett now, now, now,’ so it’s good to finally be here,” said Cmdr. Marc D. Crawford, commanding officer, USS Gridley.

For the base, each new ship means more personnel to care for. A fact NSE is ready to embrace.

“Every ship that comes in has over 300 new Sailors and their families coming here, so for the base that means we have more people we can support as far as having our [Morale, Welfare and Recreation], and our fleet and family services increased,” said Lakamp. “We have some customers now. With no carrier here and only two DDGs, we had a lot of people wanting to help Sailors and now we have that again.”