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Welcome Aboard

Welcome Aboard

Welcome aboard and congratulations on your assignment to USS Whidbey Island -- First in her class, First always. You are about to embark on the most rewarding and challenging tours of your naval career. Whidbey Island officers and crew have set very high standards and the ships reputation speaks for itself. As one of the best ships on the east coast, the officers, chiefs and crew aboard Whidbey Island, together with elements of a marine expeditionary unit and other detachments, perform as an integrated amphibious warfare blue/green team.

We are standing by to assign you a sponsor to help with any questions you may have. Just contact our Command Sponsor Coordinator and be in direct contact with the Commanding Officer, Command Master Chief, and the command sponsor coordinator.

For more information contact the Fleet and Family Support Centers of Hampton Roads, Norfolk 24 hours a day at (757) 564-6289, (757) 444-6289 or 1-800-372-5463 (1-800-fsc-line).


When you have a question or a problem and aren't sure where to turn, contact our ombudsman. The ombudsman is a spouse of one of the command's active duty members. Ombudsman are volunteers personally selected by the commanding officer. Being an ombudsman takes dedication, patience, and a desire to help. As official representatives of the Nashville families, our ombudsman play a vital role in establishing good communications between the command and the family members assigned to USS Whidbey Island. Ombudsman are the tool for passing along information, such as the ship's schedule, deployment program information, messages sent from the ship when deployed, resources available in the civilian or military community, and an understanding of the military lifestyle.

Ombudsmen also help to provide comfort and support to the command's family members. They provide information, problem-solving abilities, friendship, and a helping hand.  The ombudsman is not a mediator and does not get involved in chain-of-command matters. Rather, the ombudsman can quickly direct you to the right resource to provide help with your particular concern. They handle problems ranging from minor to very serious.

Family Services Center

Over a million people live in Hampton Roads, and activities abound which may interest you. Fishing, camping, historic sites, "live" theater, opera, ballet, symphony, zoos, museums, and more are available.  The climate is generally moderate, and there are four distinct seasons. Winters see occasional light snowfalls, while summers tend to be hot and humid.  When making your move to Hampton Roads, Virginia, the Navy Family Services Centers are ready and available to assist you. Call 1-800-FSC-LINE(800-372-5463) , 24-hours-a-day.  The Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) at the Navy Family Services Center provides the following services for military personnel and their families.  Welcome to Hampton Program: Acquaints families with the Navy lifestyle, benefits, and other available services. Topics include: spouse employment, medical care, housing referral, financial planning, legal assistance, base police, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, and the Ombudsman Program.  Hospitality Items: Card tables, high chairs, kitchenware and utensils, playpens, weekender beds, linens, and other items are available for temporary use until your household shipment arrives, Child safety seats are available at no cost.  Upon arrival, visit RAP for further information on base and community services. RAP is here to welcome you and assist with your relocation to Hampton Roads. links to local Family Support Information,

The Area

Hampton Roads is approximately 90 minutes from Richmond, Va., and three hours from Washington, D.C. Interstate 64 (which transits the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel) is the primary thoroughfare to and through Hampton Roads. Several other highways intersect the area. Naval Station Norfolk is located at the end of Interstate 564. Virginia Beach, a popular tourist destination, is at the eastern end of Route 44/Interstate 264. Downtown Norfolk, also home to several local attractions including the Waterside District, Nauticus Museum, Harbor Park and Scope, is located off Interstate 264.

Property Rentals

Monthly property rentals in the area range from $300 for one-bedroom efficiencies to $2,000 for single detached homes. The average two-bedroom apartment goes for $650 to $850. For a listing of available property rentals, visit or contact Navy housing at (757)-433-2195.


Navy Housing - Navy housing for married personnel in the Hampton Roads area consists of several thousand enlisted units and several hundred officer units. Requests for application should be made in person or by writing the Housing Referral Office nearest your new duty station.

Housing Welcome Centers - Your orders require you to check into one of the Hampton Roads Housing Offices before you negotiate for off-base housing. They can help you locate civilian vacancies. The following are local Housing telephone numbers and their addresses.

  • Navy Housing Welcome Center
    Navy Public Works Center
    9742 Maryland Avenue
    Norfolk, VA 23511-3095
  • Housing Welcome Center
    Navy Security Group Activity, Northwest
    1320 Northwest Blvd., Suite 100
    Chesapeake, VA 23322-4094
  • Housing Welcome Center
    Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth
    845 Sterling Cook Street
    Portsmouth, VA 23708-5100
    757-398-5404 EXT 5404, DSN 564-0111
  • Portsmouth Housing Office
    Norfolk Housing Shipyard
    129 1/2 Morning Side Dr.
    Portsmouth, VA 23702
    757-399-0611, DSN 961-7620
  • Housing Welcome Center
    Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek
    2100 Independence Blvd.
    Virginia Beach, VA 23455
    757-464-7448, DSN 680-7448
  • Housing Welcome Center
    Naval Air Station, Oceana
    4000 Paul Jones Circle
    Virginia Beach, VA 23460-5120
    757-433-2195, DSN 433-3465
  • Family Housing
    Naval Weapons Station, Code 095
    P.O. Drawer 160
    Yorktown, VA 23691-0160

Electricity Deposit Clubs

Some of the defense credit unions have implemented a new program, in cooperation with Virginia Power, to waive the security deposit for their customers. You must maintain a minimal balance, plus pay a membership fee. The fee is non-refundable. Although the program is designed primarily for active duty personnel, anyone who is eligible for membership at the participating credit unions can use this service. The following is a list of available clubs:

  • Energizer Club
    Atlantic Fleet Federal CU
  • Utility Deposit Guarantee Program
    Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Power Club
    Naval Amphibious Base CU

It is recommended that you obtain a letter of credit from utility companies with which you have had service for a minimum of 12 months. Often these letters can eliminate sizable deposits required by utility companies in Hampton Roads.

Virginia Power Offices

Main Office
2700 Cromwell Road
Norfolk, VA 23509

To Connect Service in Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Suffolk, and Hampton: 858-4660

Garbage Pickup

Garbage pickup is provided by each city. The service charge is included in the bi-monthly water bill in all cities except Norfolk which has a direct charge. Cost is approximately $7 per month.

Public Utilities - Water

  • Department of Utilities
    P.O. Box 1080
    Norfolk, VA 23501
    Phone: 664-6700
  • P.O. Box 15225
    Chesapeake, VA 23328
  • 801 Crawford Street
    Portsmouth, VA 23705
  • Municipal Center
    Virginia Beach, VA 23456
  • P.O. Box 979
    Newport News, VA 23607


  • Dominion VA Power: 1.888.667.3000
  • VA Natural Gas: 466.5550
  • Verizon: 954-6222
  • Customer Care: 1.800.858.2273
  • Maint: 1.800.275.2355,1,2
  • New Services 954-6222
  • Billing Center 954.6251


To place a child in licensed child care or to enroll your child in school you must have proof of immunizations against a number of contagious diseases. Children entering kindergarten through seventh grade must submit the child's birth certificate Have had a complete physical examination within the past twelve months be age five on or before 30 September of the enrollment year. If your child is in Special Education or has developmental disabilities, have copies of your child's Individual Education Plan (IEP) and any partial or completed evaluative testing performed by previous schools. The Navy Family Services Centers have Education Specialists who have additional information and phone numbers for area schools and community agencies. Call your local NFSC listed on the front of this pamphlet.

Some Hampton Roads area schools require that children rent or purchase their textbooks. The rental amount varies by school district or grade and must be paid upon enrollment. The rental fees usually range between approximately $10 and $35 per year, per student.  Addresses and telephone numbers for the Hampton Roads cities' public school systems are as follows:

  • Chesapeake
    300 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, VA 23320
  • Hampton
    1819 Nickerson Blvd., Hampton, VA 23663
  • Newport News
    12465 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23606
  • Norfolk
    800 E. City Hall Ave. Norfolk, VA 23510
  • Portsmouth
    801 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704
  • Suffolk
    524 N. Main Street, Suffolk, VA 23439
  • Virginia Beach
    P.O. Box 6038
    Virginia Beach, VA 23456

Automobile Registration

ID Base Stickers: Due to the current security posture, base stickers are required to enter Naval Station Norfolk. Stickers can be attained at the Pass and ID Office on Hampton Boulevard. The following documents must be presented to receive a base sticker: valid driver’s license, current registration, proof of insurance, vehicle inspection and military identification card. The phone number to the Pass and ID Office is 757-322-2978.

Application for a base decal is made on a Vehicle Registration Form which is supplied by the office. The completed form and the following are required:

Identification - Proper Department of Defense (DOD) identification.

Virginia Driver's License - If you are an active-duty member of the Armed Forces and stationed in Virginia, you, your spouse and dependent children who are 16 years of age or older may drive with a valid driver's license issued by your home state or country. Vehicles registered in your name may be driven with valid out-of-state license plates. If you choose to register your vehicle in Virginia, you do not have to obtain a Virginia driver's license. Note: Your spouse and dependent children, if gainfully employed in Virginia, will be required to obtain a Virginia driver's license.

DMV Hours
8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. M-F
8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. S
Phone: (757) 461-1919

Insurance - Applicants must present evidence or appropriate certification of compliance with the Virginia Motor Vehicle Responsibility Act. The insurance must cover the vehicle and the driver.

City Car Decals - Each Hampton Roads area city requires a city decal for automobiles owned by individuals residing within the city. Active duty personnel whose vehicle is registered (title, registration, and plates) in another state are not required to obtain a city decal.

Military non-residents of Virginia wishing to obtain a Virginia title, plates, and registration will be required to obtain a city decal. The $15-$25 charge for the decal may be waived if the automobile is registered in the name of the military member alone. In order to obtain the waiver and the decal, the active duty person must submit one of the following: a current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), a copy of the prior year's income tax return, or a letter from his/her command to the city treasurer's office.

Effective Safety Inspection Certificates - Vehicles registered in states having safety inspection laws must display current safety inspection stickers, either from the state of registration or Virginia. Safety inspections in Virginia are required annually and cost around $15.

Local Navy Lodges

When you arrive in Norfolk, you and your family may need to stay in the Navy Lodge while awaiting housing. There are three Navy Lodges in the Hampton Roads area. Be aware, they are very popular and you will need to book your room as far in advance as possible. Talk to the housing office about your housing options before you finalize plans to bring your family to Norfolk.

There are two Navy Lodges in the Hampton Roads area. They are:

  • Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek
    (Located on base) $46 per day
  • Naval Base, Norfolk
    (off base) $46 per day
    7811 Hampton Boulevard
    Norfolk, VA 757-489-2656
    For reservations call 1-800-NAVY-INN