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Welcome Aboard

Welcome aboard the “Big 5”, the Navy’s finest amphibious-assault ship. You will soon be a crewmember of a mighty warship and we’re proud to welcome you! As you prepare to transfer, your department on board “Big 5” will assign you a sponsor, a fellow BATAAN sailor, who will help answer your questions and work to make your transition a smooth one. You are invited to email our Command Sponsor on your own to make first contact with the sponsor process even earlier. Again, welcome aboard, shipmate! We look forward to serve with you and making your tour on board “Big 5” a success!

If you are flying in to Norfolk International Airport and need transportation to the ship, please visit the USO located on the 2nd Level in the New Terminal. The phone number is (757) 444-3443.

If your report date coincides with a Bataan underway date, please contact the Transient Personnel Unit (TPU) at (757)444-1640.

Sailor's with families can contact the Navy housing office at 1-800-628-7510, (757) 445-2832 or online at Temporary lodging is available at the Navy Lodge, (757) 489-2656 or online at For additional local housing information, please contact our Command Sponsor.


City car decals are required for respective cities unless a service member’s car is registered in another state.

If you wish to obtain a Virginia title, plates and registration, you must obtain a city decal. The $15 to $25 charge for the decal may be waived if the car is registered in the service member’s name alone. In order to receive the waiver and decal the service member must present a Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) or if required, a copy of the prior year’s tax return or a letter from the command to the city treasurer’s office.

Vehicles registered in Virginia or other states that require safety inspections must display their current inspection stickers. Vehicles registered in states not requiring safety inspections must have evidence of being inspected by an authorized Virginia state inspection agent. Safety inspections are required annually and cost around $10.

For services requiring a visit to the department of motor vehicles, DMV hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday.


Hampton Roads is divided up into two physically and psychologically different places: the peninsula and the south side. The peninsula contains Hampton, Newport News and Poquoson. The south side contains Norfolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Suffolk and Portsmouth.

The two are connected by the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (I-64) on the east and the newer and bigger Monitor/Merrimack Bridge Tunnel (I-664) on the west. Both are two lanes each way. An accident in one will force traffic over to the other and cause backups for miles. In the past, this has effectively cut off the two sides from each other.

Traffic on the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel will back up for just about any reason with waits of up to an hour to get to the tunnel entrance. Huge signs up and down I-64 warn motorists how long the wait is (as if they have a choice). Traffic in the Monitor/Merrimack tends to flow better, but that’s because it’s away from I-64, the main artery. There is a way to get from I-664 to I-64 and that’s through the Downtown Tunnel (I-264). But this option clogs up fast during rush hours.

Sailors from BATAAN and other units settle just about everywhere. Those that don’t want to go home and feel like they’re still in the Navy choose Suffolk, Portsmouth and points on the peninsula. Peninsula Sailors that need to get to Naval Station Norfolk must take I-64, as that is their only option. A local newspaper has estimated that about 200 HST Sailors live on the peninsula.

Sailors in Suffolk or Portsmouth must take the Downtown Tunnel eastbound, then go north on I-64 to get to the base. The only time these Sailors get a break is if their ship is undergoing an overhaul at Norfolk Naval Shipyards in Portsmouth . Then everyone else has a long commute.

The vast majority of Sailors settle on the south side where all the Navy bases are. Sailors who live in Virginia Beach , for example, have several alternate routes should I-64 or I-264 become jammed. Wherever you decide to “hang your hat” is pretty much up to you. Just keep in mind that you’re going to encounter traffic no matter where you go in the Hampton Roads area.

The Ship’s Address is as follows:

USS Bataan (LHD 5)
Unit 100309 Box 1
FPO AE 09554-1657