NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) — Almost 30 Navy ships and 128 aircraft will return to Hampton Roads beginning Saturday, according to a news release.

The Navy release said the ships return to homeport will continue in the next few days.

On Saturday, aircraft will return to Hampton Roads bases and surface ships will start to return Sunday, the Navy said.

NAS Oceana F/A-18 Super Hornet squadrons, which were evacuated last week due to Hurricane Florence, will return Sunday, the Navy said.

The return of Norfolk-based aircraft will give priority to rotary wing assets to allow for additional land-based rotary wing DSCA support if needed.

The USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and USS Arlington (LPD 24) will remain underway if needed to provide defense support to civilian authorities, the Navy release said.

“I am very proud of the hard work and dedication of our total force – sailors, civilians and families – who worked so hard to prepare for a major hurricane in our area,” said the commander of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, Rear Adm. Charles Rock.

“We were so fortunate Hurricane Florence did not impact us, but are thinking of those who felt the brunt of the storm in North Carolina.”

Support services such as commissaries and Navy Exchanges are open on the installations and the order to evacuate in Virginia was lifted Friday so personnel can return by tomorrow.

All Navy ships and aircraft in the Hampton Roads area were ordered to sortie Monday ahead of Hurricane Florence.

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