City of Mobile Welcomes 2019 Mardi Gras Ships

City of Mobile Welcomes 2019 Mardi Gras Ships


Mobile, Ala. –February 25, 2019. The Navy League of Mobile, the Alabama State Port Authority and GulfQuest Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico will host this year’s Mardi Gras Ships, the USS JAMES E. WILLIAMS (DDG 95) and the USCG CUTTER MANOWAR. The USS JAMES E. WILLIAMS will berth at the Alabama State Port Authority’s Pier 2 Terminal located on Water Street, downtown, Mobile, Ala. The USCG CUTTER MANOWAR will berth at GulfQuest located on South Water Street, downtown Mobile, Ala.

The Navy ship, whose motto is “Lead from the Front”, should begin transiting the Mobile Ship Channel shortly after daybreak the morning of March 1, 2019, with an anticipated arrival at Pier 2 sometime around 11:00 am. CST. Members of the media are invited to cover the Navy ship’s welcoming festivities and should arrive early to photograph/record vessel approach to the dock. The U.S. Navy will host a press forum with the Commanding Officer, the Executive Officer and the Command Chief immediately following the welcoming ceremony. Crew hailing from the region will also be available on the forecastle deck of the ship.

The USS JAMES E WILLIAMS (DDG 95) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. The ship was named for First Class Petty Officer James Elliott Williams (1930–1999), a River Patrol Boat commander and Medal of Honor recipient from the Vietnam War who is considered the most decorated enlisted man in Navy history. Commissioned on December 11, 2004, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems built the USS JAMES E WILLIAMS at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The ship’s leadership includes Commander Joseph E. Fals, as her Commanding Officer, Commander Christopher Norris, as her Executive Officer, and Command Master Chief, Vernon Al Milligan, as her Command Master Chief. Learn more at

The USCGC MANOWAR is a Marine Protector class of coastal patrol boats of the United States Coast Guard. The 87-foot-long vessels are based on the Stan 2600 design by Damen Group, and built by Bollinger Shipyards of Lockport, Louisiana. Each boat is named after a marine predator. This vessel class, which can reach speeds of 26 knots, carry a mission to combat drug smuggling, illegal immigration, marine fisheries enforcement and search and rescue support. Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, many have a homeland security mission in the form of ports, waterways and coastal security (PWCS) patrols. The Commanding Officer of the MANOWAR is LTJG Julia Mundy. The motto of the U.S. Coast Guard is Semper Paratus, meaning “Always Ready.”

USS JAMES E WILLIAMS (DDG 95) Welcome Ceremony and Public Tours Info

Welcome Ceremony: 11:00 am, CST, Friday, March 1, 2019. Alabama State Port Authority, Pier 2. Gates open at 9:30 am (CST).

Public Tours: March 2-5, 2019 between the hours of 8:00 am – 11:00 am and 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm (CST) Pier 2 Terminal, downtown Mobile, Ala.
The gate entrance is located on the north side of the Mobile Convention Center on Water Street, Downtown Mobile, Ala.

USCGC MANOWAR Public Tours Info

March 2-3, 2019 between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm (CST) at the GulfQuest Maritime Museum, 155 S Water Street, in downtown Mobile, Ala.

Judith Adams, Alabama State Port Authority:

CDR Brian Campbell, United States Navy
+1 251-441-7003 / +1 251-751-3497 +1 251-776-4000

Mobile Council Quarterly Newsletter

Happy New Year to all of our Mobile Council Navy League Members.

We have hosted a couple of events over the last few months that were exciting. We had our Annual Holiday Meeting on December 4, 2018 at the Battleship Memorial Park.

We served a BBQ dinner for the crew of the USNS BURLINGTON (EPF 10) prior to their departure from Austal

We try to host a BBQ for each departing ship. If you have not participated in this ship visit, let us know. You get a very nice tour of the ship and get a chance to speak with the crew of these Austal ships prior to departure.

On December 14, 2018, we witnessed the keel authentication for the USS MOBILE (LCS 26). Mrs. Rebecca Byrne authenticated the first plate cut for the USS MOBILE. She is the Ship’s sponsor for this ship.

Mardi Gras Events

The Alabama State Port Authority will host the USS JAMES E. WILLIAMS (DDG 95) on Friday, March 1, 2019. The ship will remain through Mardi Gras weekend and will depart on March 6, 2019. There may be some opportunities for a ride up the bay on the ship. If you are interested in riding the ship, please contact Bill Haffner at (251) 421-2033. There will be daily public tours of the vessel while at the State Port Authority. Contact Brian Campbell at (251) 776-4000 if you are interested in touring the ship.

The Mobile Council of the Navy League will hold our Annual Mardi Gras party on Friday, March 1, 2019 at the Chamber of Commerce on Government Street in Mobile. This is our biggest annual event and will include sailors from the USS JAMES E. WILLIAMS, USNS PUERTO RICO and USS CHARLESTON. We will post information on making reservations for this event on our webpage.

Save The Date

Mobile Chamber of Commerce – Military Appreciation Luncheon will be held at the Battleship ALABAMA on April 3, 2019. More information coming soon!

Annual Fish Fry and Recognition Dinner – June 11, 2019 at the Mobile Yacht Club. More information to be coming soon.

If you have Navy League news you would like to share, please email us at or

We will continue to move toward the use of our website for getting information out to our members regarding upcoming events and paying dues. We will also be working toward allowing members to RSVP for events and pay for the event using a credit card online. We hope to eliminate our use of paper mail outs and to exclusively electronic notifications in the near future.

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On February 5, 2019, members of the Mobile Council of the Navy League hosted a BBQ dinner for the crew onboard the USS CHARLESTON (LCS 18). We had a great visit with the crew and a tour of the ship. 



Dinner was served by the Navy League onboard the USNS BURLINGTON (EPF-10) on Friday, December 14th. We had a very nice tour of the ship and good time speaking with the crew of the ship.

USS Charleston Crew Attend Annual Dinner

USS Charleston Crew Attend Annual Dinner

USS Charleston Crew
Several crew members from the USS CHARLESTON (LCS 18) at joined us for our Annual Dinner, December 4, 2019. The Executive Officer spoke at the dinner and gave everyone an update on their progress with the ship. The ship will be commissioned in Charleston in March 2019.

LCS 16 Launched from Mobile

LCS 16 Launched from Mobile

The Navy’s newest littoral combat ship, the future USS TULSA (LCS 16), departed from Mobile, Alabama, October 5. USS TULSA is the 13th littoral combat ship to be delivered to the U.S. Navy. She will head to homeport in San Diego, before making her way to San Francisco for the commissioning in early 2019.