USNS Laramie, USNS McLean return home from deployments

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — More than 200 sailors on the USNS Laramie and USNS William McLean returned home Thursday morning — just in time for the holidays.

161122-N-TI017-055 U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS (Nov. 22, 2016) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter delivers a pallet of supplies to the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) as it conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Laramie (T-AO 203). Wasp is deployed with the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan R. McDonald/Released)
(Nov. 22, 2016) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter delivers a pallet of supplies to the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) as it conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Laramie (T-AO 203). (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan R. McDonald/Released)

A crew of 89 civilian mariners aboard the Laramie arrived at Naval Station Norfolk from a six-month deployment.

Captain Doug McGoff, the commander of the Military Sea Life Command Atlantic, braved the cold temperatures and wind to welcome home the crew.

“I try to come out to just about every ship to be here on the pier to welcome them home,” he said.

The fleet replenishment oiler supported U.S. Naval and NATO Forces in Fifth and Sixth Fleet’s Area of Operations during its deployment.

McGoff says the oiler spent time in the Mediterranean and Arabian Seas.

McGoff was one of the few who came out to greet the returning vessels and says the lack of audience is due to civilian mariners’ frequent deployment schedules.

“Their spouses are pretty used to homecomings,” he said.

One of those spouses was there to pick up her husband by the pier side.

“We talk everyday actually so it seems like it’s just home,” said Pamela Huff.

Huff says she’s been married for 27 years and her husband has worked as a mariner for 17 years. Her husband, Earl, was proud to serve aboard and to be home just in time for the holidays.

“Couldn’t ask for a better Christmas, I tell you,” Huff said.

Wasp Amphibious Ready Group heading home after 6 month deployment

A crew of 129 civilian mariners on the McLean also returned Thursday to Naval Weapons Station Yorktown from a 47-day surge deployment in the Mediterranean Sea.

The McLean helped the Navy’s Multipurpose Amphibious Assault and Transport ships, the USS Wasp and USS San Antonio, as part of Operation Odyssey Lightning.

161208-N-JI086-122 - MEDITERRANEAN SEA (Dec. 8, 2016) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter transits supplies from the Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12), right, to the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) as the guided missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) approaches William McLean for a replenishment-at-sea, Dec. 8, 2016. Porter, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Ford Williams/Released)
161208-N-JI086-122 – MEDITERRANEAN SEA (Dec. 8, 2016) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter transits supplies from the Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12), right, to the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) as the guided missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) approaches William McLean for a replenishment-at-sea, Dec. 8, 2016. Porter, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Ford Williams/Released)