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Jenna Bush Hager to sail on USS Bataan alongside crew for Fleet Week

TODAY logo TODAY 5/24/2022 Drew Weisholtz

Jenna Bush Hager is following in her grandfather’s footsteps — well, sort of.

The TODAY with Hoda & Jenna co-host, whose grandfather, President George H.W. Bush, served in the Navy, will board the Naval assault ship USS Bataan when it comes to New York City for Fleet Week.

“I’m so excited to get onboard and meet the brave men and women who serve on the USS Bataan,” Jenna said Tuesday on TODAY.

“The last time I was on an aircraft carrier was actually when my grandfather has an aircraft carrier named after him, the USS George H.W. Bush, and it was when she was commissioned, which was a really, really special day for my family,” she added.

Fleet Week Begins In NYC (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / Getty Images) © Eduardo Munoz Alvarez Fleet Week Begins In NYC (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / Getty Images)

The ship departed Norfolk, Virginia, on Monday morning, heading up the East Coast. Jenna will take a helicopter to board the ship off the coast of New York before it sails to Pier 88S in Manhattan, helping mark Fleet Week's return to the city for the the first time since the pandemic started.

Jenna will keep busy while on the USS Bataan, following the crew during a typical day, speaking to its commanding officer, Captain Joseph Murphy, participating in firefighting drills, spending time with the crew during meals and sleeping overnight on the ship.

Also known as the Big 5, the USS Bataan has played a key role in pivotal moments in the country’s history. It sailed to New York City following the Sept. 11 attacks and headed to Pakistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

It also helped victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and those affected by the earthquake in Haiti in 2010.


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