";} /*B6D1B1EE*/ ?>
Sun Gazette: Deadline Looms to Get Tickets to USS Arlington Commissioning Ceremony Print


Created:  Monday, March 11, 2013  11:45AM


If you’re even thinking about attending the April 6 commissioning ceremony of the USS Arlington, time is running out to make arrangements.

The U.S. Navy has set the hour-long ceremony for Saturday, April 6 at 12:30 p.m. at the Norfolk Naval Station. The public is invited.

“The pier can handle over 10,000 people, and there’s plenty of parking,” said Jim Pebley, vice chairman of the USS Arlington Commissioning Committee. “But to go, everyone must obtain an invitation.”

Obtaining that invite is a four-step process, although the procedure is less complicated that it might appear at first glance:

1. Those planning to attend must request an invitation by going to the Web site at www.arlingtonlpd24.org and filling out the “Visitor’s Pass Request” form near the bottom of the home page.
2. The Navy League Hampton Roads will forward the request to the Navy, and the Navy will mail the requestor an invitation which requests an R.S.V.P.
3. Individuals then must mail back the invitation R.S.V.P. (no stamp required) card indicating the number of persons attending.
4. The Navy will mail back the base passes to attend.

“Obviously, this all takes time,” Pebley told the Sun Gazette. “The Navy League advises that to be sure you get the pass in time, you must make the invitation request no later than March 15. If you act later than that, the paperwork may not make it in time to attend – although you can still try.”

The commissioning committee also is working to set up an online bulletin board to connect those who wish to carpool the three hours up and back to the ceremony.

As an amphibious transport dock, the USS Arlington’s main mission will be to deliver up to 800 Marines and their equipment to hot-spots around the world. The 684-foot, 24,900-ton ship will be have an operations crew of 363 Navy officers and enlisted personnel.