Camden to welcome USS Normandy
Camden — The 567-foot Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60) is expected to drop anchor outside Camden Harbor Thursday, Aug. 30. USS Normandy will remain in Camden during the annual Camden Windjammer Festival Aug. 31 through Sept. 2.
Camden Harbormaster Steve Pixley advised the ship will be anchored "just south of the R2 bell" outside Camden Harbor. The USS Normandy is expected to arrive at 9 a.m. Aug. 30. Officers from the ship are expected to conduct an "initial welcome visit" with a small group of town administrators, safety officials and Camden Windjammer Festival staff later that day, Pixley said.
Pixley urged parties with lobster traps or other gear in the water to take precautions for the visiting ship.
"If you're in that area please move your gear out of the way," he said.
Pixley said gear has been damaged in the past and he does not want damaged gear to exacerbate an already challenging season for fishermen.
"[The visit] will help us celebrate the nautical history of our town," he explained.
Pixley said two transport vessels for the USS Normandy— Equinox and Pied Piper — will be docked at the head of Camden Harbor on the Liberty Dock. Pixley said the dock is normally used by Yachting Solutions but they've volunteered to clear it for the Camden Windjammer Festival.
Pixley said he has been in contact with officers aboard the USS Normandy and festival attendees are expected to have an opportunity to tour the vessel. The Navy will release tour details and security protocols as the festival approaches, according to a press release from Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce. The press release indicates a visiting Naval ship is a customary part of the Camden Windjammer Festival.
Launched in 1988, the USS Normandy was built at Bath Iron Works and commissioned in 1989. She is homeported in Norfolk, Va. According to the chamber press release, USS Normandy was the first U.S. warship since 1945 to go to war on her maiden voyage.
Pixley said four sailors from the USS Normandy plan to participate in the "Build-a-Boat" competition during the Camden Windjammer Festival.
Courier Publications reporter Jenna Lookner can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.