Members of Virginia’s congressional delegation wrote to the Pentagon Wednesday to express their fears that the new ship USS Arlington will be commissioned in another state, even though it is named to honor a place in Virginia.
The Arlington — an amphibious transport dock — gets its name from the location of the Pentagon. It is one of three ships named to pay tribute to places that were attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, along with the USS New York and the USS Somerset (Pa.). The Arlington has been christened — Arlington County Fire Chief James Schwartz spoke at the christening ceremony -- but not yet commissioned, or placed into active service.
The Navy has not announced where that will take place. But to Virginia’s members of Congress, it’s obvious the Arlington should be commissioned in Norfolk.
“Unfortunately, we have been informed that the Navy is considering commissioning the USS Arlington at several ports outside of the Commonwealth,” all 13 of the state’s House and Senate members wrote in a letter to the Navy Secretary.
“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. This would be consistent with the way the Pentagon has handled this unique class of ships, which included the commissioning of the USS New York in New York City.”
The lawmakers asked the Pentagon for “a timely response” to their request.