USS New York sailing for new home in Mayport

OFF COAST OF NORTH CAROLINA - The USS New York is officially underway and heading for her new homeport, Naval Station Mayport.

Channel 4 photographer Joe Drumm and I are aboard the ship for the transport, covering this historic move and helping to introduce the USS New York to Jacksonville. Also on board as guests for the transport is about 60 marines which symbolizes the Navy-Marine Corps team.

IMAGES: Aboard the USS New York

The purpose of the USS New York is to transport marines and their equipment out to the fight. When not deployed, only three Marines are stationed on the ship, but when deployed, the ship can hold up to 799 Marines plus their equipment.

Wednesday afternoon, Command Master Chief Shawn Isbel and Commanding Officer Jon Kreitz will sit down for interviews about the preparation that went into shifting homeports.

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More than 300 sailors are aboard the USS New York and will soon call Mayport home.

Transit time is now downtime for this crew.

Flight operations scheduled aboard the ship were cancelled Wednesday because of poor weather conditions, but they are expected to resume Thursday. Deck landing qualifications were planned, which assists pilots in getting their required amount of flight hours in so flying out to the USS New York while it's in transport serves as excellent practice time.

Wednesday evening, sailors required to stand armed watches will go through weapons training using a full-screen simulator.

Also on board the ship is personnel from Naval Station Mayport to meet with sailors to answer questions about living and working in Mayport. All sailors were given 10 days "house hunting leave" to take a trip to Jacksonville prior to moving to the First Coast. Internet and phone service is limited aboard the ship, but we are using a computer on board to send updates back to Channel 4.

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