NORFOLK — A Navy warship being overhauled at a private shipyard here became the target of a bomb threat Tuesday, authorities said.
Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson, spokeswoman for Naval Surface Force Atlantic said the Monterey received the threat around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday while the guided-missile cruiser was “pierside at a local Norfolk shipyard.”
“Immediate measures were taken, shipyard and local law enforcement were notified. Security sweeps and extensive inspections are complete. Nothing suspicious was found.”
Hillson said agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service are probing the incident but declined to provide details on the case and it remains unclear how the threat was communicated.
Marine Hydraulics Industries’ Ship Repair and Services yard in downtown Norfolk, near the entrance to the Midtown Tunnel, scored a contract in late 2018 to perform habitability work on the Monterey.
Monterey has been one of the Navy’s busiest warships over the past two years, completing a pair of seven-month deployments separated by a nine-month break in Norfolk.
The cruiser’s second tour was a “surge” deployment, the initial test of the Navy’s Optimized Fleet Response Plan.
The warship left Norfolk on Oct. 16, 2017 and returned on May 6, 2018 as part of a global reshuffling of ballistic-missile defense vessels in the wake of the collisions involving the destroyers McCain and Fitzgerald in the Western Pacific.
The guided-missile destroyer O’Kane originally was slated to sail to waters patrolled by the 5th and 6th Fleets but instead was redirected from Hawaii to the Japan-based 7th Fleet to cover the BMD gap caused by the collisions.
The Monterey traveled to the Red Sea in the destroyer’s place and launched Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles at targets in Syria before returning to Norfolk.