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.
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.
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.