ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) celebrated the Navy’s 243rd birthday while en route to support the largest NATO exercise in over 20 years.
The ship and crew serve as a testament to the Navy’s unwavering dedication to service and embodies this year’s birthday theme, “Forged by the Sea.”
Early this year, New York deployed for six months in support of maritime security operations and national security interests in Africa and Europe. After a brief maintenance period, New York left its homeport in route to Newport, Rhode Island, for the 23rd Annual International Seapower Symposium, helping to foster and strengthen global relationships between the U.S. and over 100 countries around the world.
New York most recently departed in support of Trident Juncture, a NATO led exercise taking place in portions of Norway, Sweden and Finland during October and November.
"The New York and all of our Marine teammates have had an incredibly successful year, deployed forward – twice – to support and defend freedom around the globe while furthering our nation's goals,” said Capt. Brent DeVore, New York’s commanding officer. “Our strength at sea, cemented in our bonds of teamwork and common purpose, permits us to operate at this high of a level. To celebrate this Navy birthday at sea, on our way to Trident Juncture to work with our allied and partner navies, is appropriate to the kind of year we have had and our navy's ability to respond to regional crises."
In keeping with a time-honored Navy tradition, the birthday celebration began with a cake cutting ceremony. The first slice of cake was cut by the youngest Sailor, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Apprentice Jared Carter and the oldest Sailor, Navy Chaplin Merlin Stephan, signifying the pass down of information from one generation to the next.
“I feel very honored to be able to be a part of the New York’s celebration of the Navy’s birthday, said Carter. “Given the Navy history and all the Sailors who have come before me and all the Sailors who come after me, it is a big honor to just be a small part of a much larger picture.”
The celebration continued with an ice cream social, followed by a N.A.V.Y. themed Bingo and movie night held in the ship’s chapel.
“I feel like it is the best way to celebrate the Navy’s birthday because you are out to sea,” said Yeoman Seaman Apprentice Raashaun Noaks. “There is no better way to celebrate. I think of winning and lots of success but also, when you think of the 243 years, you think of all the people who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the Navy. We celebrate this day for them.”
In support of the U.S. Navy’s 243 years of service, New York continues to press forward, extending around the world to promote global security and strengthening partnerships while never missing the opportunity to join in and celebrate out to sea.