U.S. Navy Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen arrived in Port Everglades, Fla., to participate in the U.S. Navy’s largest community outreach program in South Florida, April 28.
Participating military units include:
- USS New York (LPD 21) from Naval Station Mayport, Fla.
- USCGC Dependable from Cape May, N.J.
- USCGC Bernard Webber from Miami
- 2nd Marine Air Wing from Cherry Point, N.C.
- 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion from Camp LeJeune, N.C.
- Navy Recruiting District Miami
- Navy Operational Support Center Miami
- Navy Operational Support Center West Palm Beach
- Coastal Riverine Squadron 10 from Norfolk, Va.
Broward Navy Days, Inc. hosts the 24th annual event, which is sponsored by Humana Military Healthcare Services and will run through May 5.
“Fleet Week Port Everglades is South Florida’s annual opportunity to salute the brave men and women of our sea services. We look forward to welcoming the hundreds of Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen to South Florida and encourage residents to join us at the many public events during the week to thank them for their service,” said Mary Anne Gray, executive director of Broward Navy Days, Inc., the local 501(c)(3) organization that organizes Fleet Week.
The weeklong celebration of the sea services honors the men and women of the military through public events and recognition. It also provides an opportunity to showcase the capabilities and skills of the men and women of the nation’s sea services. Service members will participate in a variety of community service projects and recreational activities during Fleet Week Port Everglades 2014.
“We are extremely excited and honored to bring USS New York to Fleet Week Port Everglades and share her with the citizens of Broward County,” said Navy Capt. Christopher W. Brunett, USS New York’s commanding officer. “New York is not only a highly-advanced and capable warship, she is a floating memorial to the brave men and women who gave their lives on 9/11. She has a spirit of her own that is kept alive by the Sailors and Marines of her crew – some of America’s very best. We look forward to sharing that spirit with the community.”
One of the Navy’s newest ships, USS New York was constructed from steel recovered from the wreckage of the Twin Towers in New York City following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. There are six Sailors aboard the ship who are from South Florida.
“As part of our long-standing tradition, Port Everglades and Broward County welcome all the participating military units that are here for Fleet Week,” said Steven Cernak, Port Everglades chief executive and port director. “Receiving the USS New York, which gets which gets its namesake from using the steel salvaged from the World Trade Center, is particularly touching as there is a little bit of New York in all of us here in south Florida.”
During Fleet Week, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen will participate in friendly interservice competition, including Galley Wars and Damage Control Olympics, volunteer with local community outreach organizations and experience the sights, sounds and hospitality of South Florida.
“Rarely in the Navy do we get an opportunity to bring our mission back the place it all started for us,” said Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Gregory Simms, a South Florida native who is assigned to USS New York. “Usually it’s family and friends showing us off to the community with a great sense of pride and enthusiasm. Fleet week on board USS New York gives me and opportunity to give back to the folks who support my decision to fight for my country. It’s truly a blessing!”
Press Release, May 5, 2014; Image: US Navy