The USS Samuel B. Roberts arrived at its home port piggyback style Saturday, its side bearing rippled metal where an Iranian mine explosion ripped through its hull in the Persian Gulf three months ago.
"Glad to be back," Cmdr. John W. Townes called from the flight deck of the guided missile frigate, which was hauled to Newport on the back of the heavy-lift ship Mighty Servant II.The two ships left Dubai, United Arab Emirates, about five weeks ago. Ten crew members were injured when the Samuel Roberts struck the floating mine on April 14.
Carrying about 30 crewmembers, the ships passed under the Newport Bridge early Saturday and was to be refloated about 1,000 yards from the Newport Naval Complex.
The crippled frigate is scheduled to steam to the base for a welcoming ceremony Sunday.
In a brief, private affair Sunday, the crew will meet their families for the first time since the ship left six months ago for its first Gulf tour. The 170 crewmembers who arrived in Newport on June 20 will be on hand to greet their mates.