JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced Friday at Naval Station Mayport the first of three new ships stationed at the base will arrive next year.
The USS New York is expected to arrive in late 2013. The USS Iwo Jima and the USS Fort McHenry will arrive the following year.
Combined, the ships will bring 2,000 sailors to the First Coast.
The USS New York originally participated in naval combat operations near Okinawa in World War II. The battleship was later rebuilt using steel from the World Trade Center, destroyed by a terrorist attack September 11, 2001.
Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said, "Ander Crenshaw and I've worked with the Navy for years to make this happen and to underscore the importance of Mayport."
"It's great news for the local economy; the security of our fleet; it's great news for our country and it's great news for the ship repair in business in Jacksonville," Nelson continued.
Congressman Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) said, "A new vessel containing steel from the Twin Towers, the USS New York reminds us that freedom deserves protection at all costs. She will be a proud addition as she serves Mayport's mission to protect our national security at home and abroad."
The commander of the USS New York, a nephew of a New York firefighter, said the ship represents everything the nation has overcome since the 9/11 attacks. The ship's bow incorporates more than seven tons of steel removed from the rubble of the twin towers.
Mabus says a carrier is still not out of picture for Mayport, but he added three amphibious ready ships that will arrive soon should help the base and the community.
"I want to repeat a carrier under any circumstance 2019 is first time would have gotten here," said Mabus.
First Coast News