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26 May 2017

The decommissioned US Navy aircraft carrier the USS Independence is set to dock at the Port of Brownsville, Texas on June 1st, after a 16,000-mile trip from Bremerton, Washington, around the tip of South America.

International Shipbreaking Ltd., part of the EMR Group, will be holding a special ceremony at Isla Blanca Park on the day of the arrival for veterans, school children and members of the local community to honour the vessel, which was home to tens of thousands of veterans throughout its 39-years’ of service, until it was decommissioned in 1998. US Congressman Filemon Vela and many other federal, state and local elected officials will be in attendance.

A commemorative booklet has been produced to mark the special occasion with pictures and a history of the Independence’s service to the nation. In response to feedback from veterans and their families, mementos made from parts of the ship will also be available to purchase on eBay.

Chris Green, Senior Manager of the Brownsville facility said: “Dismantling such a large vessel is an enormous undertaking, but it’s important to remember that the carriers themselves have a significant sentimental meaning for the people who were stationed on them throughout its life.

“According to veterans groups, as many as 85% veterans that served on these vessels and retired in the last 20 years are still living. Therefore, we felt it was important and appropriate to give the USS Independence and those who served on it a deserving tribute.”

The Brownsville site is a metal recycling yard operated by International Shipbreaking Ltd., part of the EMR Group. The company won the Navy bid to recycle the 60,000-ton vessel, the last of the Forrestal-class of “supercarriers” and it will be the third vessel of its kind to be recycled at the world class facility. In fact the company lifted the last piece of the former USS Constellation out of the water on May 10th, making way for the arrival of the USS Independence. Once it has arrived in Brownsville, the carrier will undergo an extensive dismantling and recycling process which is expected to take around a year and a half to complete.

“Preparations at the Brownsville yard are complete and the team is excited for her arrival,” added Green. “We take great pride in having been awarded another US Navy ship recycling contract to dismantle this historic vessel in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.”

For more information, please contact or follow #USSIndependence on Twitter for the latest updates.

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