USS Tripoli departs from Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula
After nearly a decade of calling Pascagoula home, the USS Tripoli began its journey to its permanent port this morning.
After seven years of building, the USS Tripoli finally departed from Ingalls Shipbuilding Friday morning for its home port of San Diego.
The United States Navy’s newest large-deck amphibious assault ship sailed away at approximately 9 a.m. with a crowd of supporters waving farewell from Point Park Pascagoula, including Doreen Pfeiffer whose husband is aboard the ship. “We moved here like two years ago, but he’s been with the Tripoli since 2017, August 2017. So we moved here for the Tripoli when it was getting built.”
Construction on the Tripoli began in July 2013 with the fabrication of ship components. On July 15th, 2020, the Navy officially commissioned the Tripoli in a virtual ceremony.
As the 855 foot long ship left Pascagoula, Gabi Fisher of Gautier, along with many others, tried to find her aunt aboard the Tripoli and wave one last farewell before the ship headed out to sea. “We’re not sure if we actually saw her because like everyone looks so alike on the ship. So, I wasn’t sure it was her or not.”
While families of those who serve in the U.S. military are used to long periods of time without seeing loved ones, COVID-19 has limited the time families of the USS Tripoli crew has have been able to spend together even more than usual due to strict quarantine rules. “Since COVID-19, they’ve been doing quarantine, so basically you’re either in your house for twelve days without leaving, without any contact or you’re in the ship for twelve days without leaving, just for safety. So we haven’t been able to see him since July, June, June! I don’t even remember, June 27 or something.”
Pfeiffer relies on email to talk to her husband when he’s on the ship, however, she says network connection on new ships doesn’t always work as well as planned. “We’ll just be praying and he’ll be in our hearts and we know he’ll be safe.”
Pfeiffer and her daughter Adrianna will reunite with her husband in San Diego in the coming weeks.