If you are fond of warships there is a place in the world that you would love to visit: the Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia (United States). It is the largest base of its kind in the world.
Built in 1917, NAVSTA Norfolk is the main base of the US Navy’s Atlantic fleet. It is more than 6 kilometers long and consists of 14 docks that harbor 75 ships, 6 of them huge aircraft carriers (5 of the Nimitz class, in addition to the USS Gerald R. Ford, which is the first of its kind). The list of ships is completed with destroyers of the Arleigh Burke class, missile cruisers of the Ticonderoga class, submarines and amphibious assault ships (two of them LHD of the Wasp class, the same type of ship as the Spanish aircraft carrier “Juan Carlos I”). Norfolk is the base of four Carrier Attack Groups, four squadrons of destroyers and one of submarines. In addition, more than a dozen ships of the Military Sealift Command of the US Navy are also moored at its docks.
To this we must add that this naval station is attached to an air base, Chambers Field, also created in 1917 and that houses more than a hundred aircraft. It has 11 helicopter squadrons (between MH-60S Kinghthawk and MH-53E Sea Dragon), a C-2 Greyhound transport aircraft squadron (used to deliver supplies and personnel to aircraft carriers) and 5 squadrons of early warning aircrafts E-2 Hawkeye. The Hornet and Super Hornet fighter squadrons are at the NAS Oceana air base, in Virginia Beach (very close to Norfolk, and also famous for being one of the Navy SEALs bases).
Naval News has published an interesting reportAGE in which it covers this naval base and also the General Dynamics and BAE Systems shipyards located near it, as well as the US Coast Guard base in Portsmouth, just next to Norfolk. The video also shows a jewel of World War II that also participated in the 1991 Gulf War: the battleship USS Wisconsin, of the Iowa class. It is one of the four ships of this type that are preserved in the US (the others are in Los Angeles, Camden and Pearl Harbor). In addition, there is also the one that was the largest aircraft carrier in the world, the USS Enterprise (CVN-65), today decommissioned and waiting to be scrapped:
In case you want to explore Google Maps a bit, here you can see an aerial view of the Norfolk Naval Base. The docks are on the left. On the top left there are a couple of aircraft carriers:
In this other map you can see the Chambers Field Naval Air Station. By moving the map down, to the left, you can see the E-2C Hawkeyes with its characteristic circular rotating radome.
Under these lines are the BAE Systems shipyard, where more warships can be seen in repair and maintenance:
And if you have not yet tired of seeing warships, there are even more in the General Dynamics shipyard:
If you’ve been wanting to see the fighters, here is NAS Oceana. You can see the Hornet and Super Hornet by zooming in the area on the bottom left:
I leave the best of everything for last: the USS Wisconsin battleship, located south of the naval base, next to the Hampton Roads Naval Museum:
Photo: US Navy.
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