EVERETT — Just as ships come and go, so do leaders at Naval Station Everett.
Before a large gathering of sailors and civilians, U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Lakamp gave his last State of the Station address Thursday. Lakamp came to Everett in May 2015, and his tenure is up in June. Lakamp briefly discussed the next new arrival that will soon make its home port in Everett.
The USS Ralph Johnson’s arrival date is unknown, but it was scheduled to head toward Everett after being commissioned in South Carolina on March 24. The ship’s commanding officer is Jason Patterson and its crew numbers 330.
It is named after Marine Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson, who received a Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. It will be the 64th Arleigh-Burke class destroyer.
The most recent ships to call Everett home were the USS Gridley, USS Sampson and USS Kidd in 2017, Naval Station Everett spokeswoman Kristin Ching said. The addition of USS Ralph Johnson brings the station’s number of ships to six.
Within the past year, the USS Kidd and USS Shoup were deployed with Carrier Strike Group 11. The ships sailed more than 78,000 miles into the Arabian Gulf and the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. There, aircraft from the strike group made more than 1,000 missions into Iraq and Syria.
“All members of Carrier Strike Group 11 returned home in December, just before the holidays,” Lakamp said.
The USS Sampson also deployed in October, but its return date is still unknown. By the time it comes home, the ship would have been in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Oman, and the Arabian Gulf.
The new ships haven’t been the only changes at the naval station. There also have been updates to make the base more energy efficient.
In recent times, solar panels have been installed there and LED lights are expected to replace all other bulbs.
Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; firstname.lastname@example.org.