“We have been informed that the Navy is considering commissioning the USS Arlington at several ports outside of the Commonwealth,” the delegation wrote in a letter sent today to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “Given that the ship is named to honor the vital role Virginia played in responding to the attacks of September 11th, we believe it would be a mistake to commission the USS Arlington at any location outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
The bipartisan letter was signed by Sen. Jim Webb, Sen. Mark Warner, Rep. Jim Moran, Rep. Frank Wolf, Rep. Eric Cantor and the rest of the Virginia delegation. Gov. Bob McDonnell has also been lobbying for the commissioning to be held in Norfolk, where the ship will be homeported.
The Arlington, an amphibious transport dock ship, was christened at the Northrop Grumman shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. in March. The USS New York, another San Antonio-class ship named following the Sept. 11th attacks, was commissioned in New York City in 2009.