JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Mayor Alvin Brown announcing Tuesday that the Navy has agreed to send the USS Bataan to Naval Station Mayport to serve as the platform for the 2012 Navy-Marine Corps Classic basketball game hosted by the city Nov. 9.
Additionally, accompanying Bataan as a representational amphibious ready group will be USS Mesa Verde and USS Carter Hall.
The game will feature the Florida Gators and the Georgetown Hoyas. It will be the first of the 2012-13 regular season for both teams and is one of the highlight events of a week in Jacksonville honoring military members and their families.
"The USS Bataan and crew will find much more than a game in Jacksonville. This is a well-earned chance for our city to embrace the national spotlight to show appreciation to the brave men and women who defend our country," Brown said. "On behalf of thousands of service members and veterans who call Jacksonville home, we are grateful to Secretary Mabus and the Department of the Navy for selecting an amphibious carrier to host the game -- and for giving our city a preview of the class of ships being relocated to Mayport starting in 2013."
Department of the Navy officials say the game represents an opportunity to showcase their ships, sailors and Marines.
"The Navy is America's Away Team; when we are on the job, we operate forward around the globe and often out of sight of the American people," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "This is a unique opportunity to showcase the Navy and Marine Corps team, and to join together to honor our veterans and active duty military. This event reaffirms the Navy's long-term partnership with the city of Jacksonville and the surrounding community."
The Bataan ARG is a representation of the group of ships Mabus announced earlier this year that will be homeported in Mayport beginning the last quarter of 2013. USS New York will arrive in Mayport in the last quarter of 2013. USS Iwo Jima and USS Fort McHenry will follow in 2014.
By serving as the homeport for an ARG, Mayport will be home to 2,000 additional sailors and their families, and sustain the area's ship repair facilities, local ship maintenance expertise and the industrial base.
Information about planned pregame activities, ticket distribution and seating configuration will be announced by the city of Jacksonville, Sports and Entertainment Department in the coming weeks.
For more information about USS Bataan, visit www.bataan.navy.mil/.
For more information about USS Mesa Verde, visit www.mesa-verde.navy.mil/.
For more information about USS Carter Hall, visit www.carter-hall.navy.mil/.