Original Page as archived from Andy Hoyt's original LHA4.com website:
Nassau Decommissioning Status
8 PM - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 Here’s what we know so far:
Ship Tour - March 30, 2011
A full tour of the ship is not possible because the ship’s CO will have turned over all spaces to the Military Sealift Command (who will be taking NASSAU to her final resting place). However, the ship has agreed to tours of the Hangar Bay and Flight Deck on Wednesday March 30th.
The ship will only be able to handle one hundred visitors at a time. As it stands now, we are well over that mark with in excess of 200 former crewmembers signed up to attend. And many of them have expressed interest in bringing family members. There is no limit on the numbers of guests each crewmember may bring for the ship tour. The tour times have been established as: 0900, 1100, and 1300 hours, on Wednesday, March 30, 2011.
The registration form has been updated so you can make your request. It will be on a first come first serve basis. To make it easier for those who have already registered, just send Andy Hoyt an email with your time slot request.
It is suggested (and hoped) that those attendees from the local area request to participate in the earlier tours, thereby affording those traveling from afar some wiggle room in their itineraries. Click the image at right to view approaches and parking info.
The command advises that the shipboard environment this day will be “interesting”, which I interpret as hectic. Apparently, they also have to rehearse the decommissioning ceremony, which just might get in our way, or we in theirs. Thusly, we’re going to have to be flexible on this and be prepared for late breaking diffugilties to arise.
Divine Service - March 30, 2011
Also taking place on Wednesday the 30th will be a Divine Service at 1500 in the Naval Station’s Our Lady of Victory Chapel. Nassau’s Chaplain, LT Victoria Chappell CHC USN, will be conducting this service to memorialize the ship’s proud history and all those who have served aboard. All hands (of any, all, or no faith) are encouraged to attend. Use this map to get directions.
Due to the overwhelming response from all of you we’ve outgrown the capacity of Marriott’s Springhill Suites in Norfolk. As such, we were forced to look elsewhere for a larger meeting space and do believe that John Tokarcik has found a gem in Virginia Beach. It’s on the strip and on the beach! What follows has been completely revised to reflect this.
The Nassau Crewmembers Association will meet at the Surfside Oceanfront Inn and Suites on March the 30th. The meeting will formally kick off at 6:30 PM with a call to order of our association during which we’ll be conducting various housekeeping matters of business such as: our mission statement; electing new officers; determining dates of our next gathering; formation of various committees; determination on membership dues, if any; and so forth. A finalized agenda will be published here as soon as possible.
It’s expected that this session will last no more than forty-five minutes, or so. We have the room for the entire evening, and it’s hoped that everyone will stick around to visit and catch up with one another for as long as possible.
There will be the usual assortment of soft drinks, coffee, tea, and snacks available throughout the evening. To cover the cost of these items and the meeting room itself (yup, these things cost money) we will be assessing a $10 charge per adult. Kids munch for free! A cash bar will be open for those “rare” individuals interested in that sort of thing.
This hotel is located at the corner of 14th Street & Atlantic Avenue which puts the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier right out the back door. See the bottom of this page for an interactive Google map.
A special room rate has been established for us. For example, a room with two queen beds is just $59 (plus tax). This rate is not available online; so to get it you must call the hotel’s reservation line at 800-437-2497. Be sure to mention that you’re with the Nassau Group when you call. Those of you who have rooms reserved elsewhere are encouraged to make changes soon so as to avoid any cancellation fees.
Decommissioning Day - March 31, 2011
The Nassau will indeed be decommissioned on March 31, 2011. The ceremony will commence at 1000 hours.
The ceremony will take place pierside next to the ship at the Norfolk Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia. This is in accordance with naval tradition. There will be no access to the ship on decommissioning day for ceremony attendees. There is no discussion opportunity on this point.
All former crew members from any period of the ship’s 32 year history are welcome to attend.
Each former crewman may indeed bring guests, butthe limit for the ceremony is two per crewman.
Uniform of the Day for active duty guests will be Service Dress Blues.
There will be a major pierside group photo opportunity at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Access to the base could get awkward if attendees are not on a guest list issued by the ship.
The cutoff date for getting on that guest list is March 1, 2011.
The best way to get on the guest list is to fill out the updated form on this page and join our association.
For those of you active on FaceBook, know that there’s now a special page set up for the decommissioning event. Click here to access it. It’s asked however, if you indicate on that page you’re attending, you also fill out our internal form here. This is quite critical for the Naval Station’s security protocols to be satisfied. The Navy is only accepting this sort of input from us.
If you’ve previously filled out our form, no worries, just do so again. Using this form is also a great way to update your contact information at anytime.
The submitted data will be shared with the ship on a weekly basis until March 1st.
The ship has promised to keep us apprised of all decommissioning details as they evolve and this page will be updated accordingly.
Immediately following the decommissioning, the Nassau will be taken in tow by the USNS Grapple and dragged (begrudgingly while throwing a huge hissy-fit, I hope) to the Inactive Reserve Fleet Facility in Beaumont, Texas.
For those of you interested in such things, here’s how the states are currently set to be represented at the decommissioning ceremony.
District of Columbia
And here’s how the departments will be making muster
And based on when we reported aboard, we stack up like this: