- Join the local Facebook groups- Norfolk Naval Shipyard is very small, but it’s super close to the biggest Naval base in the world! Here are some Facebook pages to the Norfolk Naval Base that will keep you informed on the local events. This one is a page where you can get advice from the local military spouses, and this one will keep you up to date on the shipyard. Wavy 10 is the local news channel. They also have an app you can download. Here is the Facebook page for Norfolk Naval Station.
- Living on base? – Don’t. Lincoln Military Housing is the housing company for the Navy bases in Virginia. They are terrible. Multiple times our power went out, our water shut off without warning, and the housing office never answers the phone. Our heater went out in the winter and it was 30 degrees outside. Do you know what maintenance told me? That the heater was old so it won’t be able to keep up with the cold, and there’s nothing they could do about it. I lived in a 45-degree house until my husband got back from deployment and got his command involved. They also have been sued for mold issues. We struggled with mold issues ourselves. We lived in Stanley Court and we learned something scary while there…that the attics to some of the units are connected. That means that our neighbors could go through their attic door, crawl over to our house, and enter our home through our attic door. Scary! Don’t be fooled by Stanley Court’s flat rate rent either. The units are run-down and in a very crime-ridden community. The military housing is not gated. I would, personally, rent a house or apartment in nearby towns such as Chesapeake or Suffolk for a safer community and better maintenance experiences.
- Get an E-Z Pass- The main roads, tunnels, and bridges in the Hampton Road (Norfolk, Portsmouth, VA Beach) area are all tolled. You can drive through without an E-Z Pass and they’ll take a picture of your plate then send you a bill in the mail. They’ve had issues with billing in the past though, so I would get an E-Z Pass to save yourself from the billing hassle and save some money. E-Z Pass users get discounted toll charges. You can purchase an E-Z Pass at the Norfolk base NEX or read this link for more locations.
- Checkout the base website for information on classes, business hours, and more. This is the Norfolk base MWR page.
Once you’re all settled in check out this post for fun things to do in the area and this post for fun things to do in D.C. There is so much to do in Virginia, it really can be a fun duty station to get sent to. Just pick your housing well, then enjoy your time there! This post will give you some advice on surviving the rigorous shipyard schedules. Getting orders to a shipyard does not always mean no deployments (my husband was sent on a deployment with another submarine as a “rider” while attached to a boat in the Portsmouth shipyards), and the hours are long and unpredictable. Keep yourself busy and you’ll make it through!