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My son just graduated Prototype in GC and is being sent to Norfolk to the USS Newport News sub.  He says all he knows is that he will be living in barracks, but can't get any more information than that.  

Does anyone here have experience with barracks housing in Norfolk?  Thanks very much in advance.

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My son is/was on the USS Newport News.  He is headed to shore duty for the next 2 1/2 years and is going to Yorktown.  He got to the boat in 2015 so I am trying to remember how it was for him at the time.  If I remember correctly he had barracks for a few months and then they deployed and when he returned he went into PPV. PPV is like dorm rooms where you share a common area and have separate bedrooms and baths.  They did inspect the PPV and even if his room was clean but the common area and kitchen was not he could and would get in trouble. He was got married that year and moved out once his wife moved to Norfolk.  I can tell you there is a lot of turn over on the boat at this time as several are going to shore duty or different bases.  Not sure if the XO and chief are staying the same.  They have had a great Ombudsman but her husband is headed to HI so they have a new ombudsman.  Wendy is nice and learned a lot from our past ombudsman so she should be very good about keeping you informed if your son remembers to put you on the ombudsman list.  He will have to do it you can't.  I also know they will be deploying this year and depending on when your son gets there he may leave with the boat or if they will send him out when they port.  Do not expect much info or communication is there deployment is like the earlier this year.  In fact they were extended for an extra month.  Total 220 days and a lot of it the boat was running silent, meaning no communication.  if he does not have a car he may have a hard time getting around.  :Large base and long walk to their pier.  Hope this helps.  Do not worry he will be fine.  They have done a lot of work on the boat since they got back in Oct.  We toured the boat at Christmas as it would be the last time we could before out son left it.  

Thank you so much that is great information!  He is planning on getting a car when he arrives, as the one he had in GC just died.  I will tell him about the ombudsman's list.  

When they are deployed are they allowed to get off and visit places when they stop?  He talked about getting a passport last time I saw him, but I don't think he has yet.  He probably should huh?

I'm actually not worried about him at all.  He's the most stable and sensible of my kids, and I know he'll be fine on a sub.  I'm more worried about myself ;)

A passport is not required but it is definitely a good idea to have one.  My son's command recommended it so got his when he was in.  It makes it easier when they are in port in other countries to do a little traveling if time permits.  I think it's harder on a sub (to travel) but still it's not a bad idea to have it. 

my son wanted his renewed but it just wasnt going to happen, when do they find themselves needing one.  the only example he could give me was if I died and he needed to come home for the funeral.  (gosh- great example).  

Smoothsailing - when they deploy they often have port stops in other countries.  If they want to do any travelling while they have some leave time (and perhaps visit another country) then they would need their passport.  It's more for when they have free time or they are doing something that is not on Navy time.

I will tell you that the chief of the Newport News REQUIRED all sailors have a passport on the last deployment.  On my son's first deployment he had a different chief and he did not require they have a passport,  My son has had one since he was 4 so it was no big deal but he did say some sailors had to pay a rush fee to get one.  If he can get it applied for before he heads to Norfolk and have it mailed to your home so you can send it to him once it is processed I would advise it. I do think they have the same chief and he is not going to shore duty with the others.  If I can help you with any other questions let me know.  You will be fine and he is level headed so he should do well. 


The “barracks” are nothing like what housing was like in GC or prototype.

My grandson, shared a space with two other sailors. With no room for his belongings.

He had to keep his belongings in his car. This space was in a converted old school.

He went from feeling like he was in college with a nice room to now feeling like he was in the military!

Fortuanlly he was able to finally get permission for “off base” housing with a room to himself.

That was after about 4m time.

Hope this helps

You will be able to email and he will
Email but it will be very rarely. The subs are known as the silent service for a reason. Unless they come up the communications are very sporadic. Also not fussing but try not the put dates on media. They could change all plans and shut down their communications. This is the new normal.

oh thanks!  got it - deleted 


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