Executive Officer Joseph Gunta reaches out to hug his daughter Charlotte, 2, after arriving on the USS John S. McCain in Everett on Friday. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Executive Officer Joseph Gunta reaches out to hug his daughter Charlotte, 2, after arriving on the USS John S. McCain in Everett on Friday. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

After 24 years abroad, USS John S. McCain calls Everett home

The ship brings with it over 300 sailors and their families to the area from Yokosuka, Japan.

EVERETT — Out of a low-lying fog Friday morning comes a ship. A flag waves in the wind.

As it gets closer, the words emblazoned on the navy background become clearer: Big Bad John. The USS John S. McCain has a new home at Naval Station Everett.

It brings with it over 300 sailors and their families to the area from Yokosuka, Japan, Cmdr. Tin Tran said.

“The emphasis is getting our sailors back meeting their families, reintegrating,” Tran said. “We have sailors that have never been here to the Everett location, just as myself. And we want to be able to know the community and get involved in the community.”

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer left Japan on Sept. 17. In the meantime, it had a port visit in Hawaii and participated in San Francisco Fleet Week.

Augustus Jaskiewicz reunited with his wife Friday alongside his mother-in-law, who came from Alaska, and 1½-year-old daughter, Nynaeve. It has been a stressful few weeks as he moved to Marysville and waited for his wife, a member of the McCain’s crew. They’ve been communicating via email about projects on their fixer-upper home there.

But “the joy of reuniting overcame all the stress,” Jaskiewicz said.

He thinks Marysville will be a good place to raise a family.

Commissioned in 1994, the ship’s motto is “Fortune Favors the Brave.” It is named after three John S. McCains. The former U.S. senator and presidential candidate was added as a namesake just before his 2018 death. His father and grandfather, both of whom served in the Navy, were the original namesakes.

The destroyer was at the center of a controversy in 2019 after a report that the Trump administration wanted the ship moved “out of sight” on the then-president’s visit to Japan. The former president frequently targeted its youngest namesake, often focusing on his service during the Vietnam War.

The ship had been deployed overseas for 24 years before arriving in Everett. In the Seventh Fleet, its missions included securing the Indo-Pacific region. In 2009, it pursued a North Korean cargo ship. In 2011, it assisted with relief efforts after the earthquake in Japan.

It is now based in the Third Fleet, joining a squadron known as the “Little Beavers.”

The McCain docked next to the USS Kidd on Friday, which returned to its Everett home port in September after a four-month deployment. The base also welcomed the USS John Paul Jones in August, bringing another crew of over 330 sailors to the area.

In a 2019 report, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, advocated for Naval Station Everett as the best location for future home-porting due to its modern shipyard and natural deepwater port.

“For its modern facilities, welcoming community and high quality of life, (Naval Station Everett) has rightly earned a reputation as the ‘Sailor’s Choice,’” wrote Larsen, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

In June, the Navy announced Everett as the future home port for the first ships of a new generation of guided missile frigates.

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

Talk to us

More in Local News

King County map logo
Tribal members dance to start an assemble on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day Friday evening at Tulalip Gathering Hall in Tulalip, Washington on September 30, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘Still here’: Tulalip boarding school descendants celebrate resilience

On Orange Shirt Day, a national day of remembrance, the Tulalip Tribes honored those who suffered due to violent cultural suppression.

Councilmember Megan Dunn, left, stands next to County Executive Dave Somers as he presents his 2023 budget proposal to her, Councilmember Nate Nehring and Councilmember Sam Low. (Snohomish County)
As County Council begins budget talks, here’s how you can weigh in.

Department heads will make their pitches in the next few days. Residents will get a say at a forum and two hearings this month

Representative Rick Larsen speaks at the March For Our Lives rally on Saturday, June 11, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Larsen to hold community meeting in Everett on Monday

The veteran Democratic lawmaker will address recent legislation passed by Congress and other topics.

Everett
Everett gets state Auditor’s Office stewardship award

State Auditor Pat McCarthy presented the award during the most recent Everett City Council meeting.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Monroe in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
FBI: Monroe man trafficked, abused Mexican woman through marriage ruse

Rangel Ramirez-Manzano was charged with paying for a woman to be smuggled across the border, then essentially holding her hostage.

Toggle’s Bottle Shop is closed permanently on Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Citing landlord dispute, Toggle’s closes in downtown Everett

The popular taproom shuttered Sunday. “Everett needs a cooperative landlord-tenant relationship in the commercial district,” a co-owner said.

Community Transit chief financial officer Eunjoo Greenhouse
Community Transit hires King County staffer as CFO

Eunjoo Greenhouse is set to join the agency Oct. 24 after years in King County government.

(Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest - US Forest Service)
U.S. 2 reopens east of Index as Bolt Creek wildfire moves north

The highway was blocked off earlier this week as the fire spread.

Most Read