EVERETT — The USS John Paul Jones docked Monday afternoon in Everett, bringing hundreds of sailors and their families to Snohomish County.
Their families are working on making the “gradual move” from Pearl Harbor, said Navy spokesperson Kristin Ching.
“The crew’s excited to have a new homeport,” Watts said. “We’re glad to be here.”
Several families of the ship’s crew awaited their arrival Monday afternoon. Many held signs welcoming their spouses, parents and friends.
Paula Brooks is settling into Mukilteo for the next four years after moving frequently in her husband’s time in the Navy. She said that unlike Hawaii, it’ll be nice to have true seasons. Christmas didn’t feel quite right in Hawaii, she said. But most of all, Brooks, the mother of a 1½-year-old and a six-month-old, is excited to take a nap.
“It’s not just me anymore,” Brooks said. “I’m stoked.”
Ellie Adler has been in Redmond for about three weeks as her husband was at sea. She’s deciding on whether to take a nursing job in Everett or Seattle. Despite her son hugging Adler’s leg, she said he’s a “daddy’s boy.”
“It’s a relief to have his ship in sight,” she said.
The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is over 500-feet long and will be based in Everett for the foreseeable future. The ship will get a bit of a facelift in the spring when it goes into dry dock, Watts said.
Readers of Tom Clancy’s spy thrillers will recognize the ship from his 1996 novel Executive Orders.
Commissioned in 1993, the destroyer has made four deployments to the Persian Gulf. It also launched the first Tomahawk missiles into Afghanistan in October 2001.
The John Paul Jones is named after the Revolutionary War naval captain. Its motto, “In Harm’s Way,” comes from a John Paul Jones quotation. As it entered the port, a vertical blue banner bore the motto.
In a 2019 report, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, advocated for the city as the best location for future homeporting 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.
Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.