As Fleet Week New York continued into the second day, May 22, Sailors and Marines aboard amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) hosted ship-wide tours that were free and open to the public, showcasing the latest maritime service capabilities of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
“It’s my first time being able to participate in Fleet Week and I have to say, they love us out here,” said Marine Lance Cpl. Manuel Guzman, assigned to the 2nd Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) Battalion, stationed out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. “Being able to show off what today’s military is capable of gives the people a sense of security.”
A wide range of people turned out, from locals and residents of the tri-state area to tourists wanting to see a warship up close and personal.
“I attend Fleet Week every year and I’m running on five hours of sleep right now just so I can be here early,” said Michelle Otto, a local New York resident. “I like how the service members demonstrated how their equipment functions and talked about their jobs and struggles. Most people don’t understand the honor, respect and brotherhood that is in our military. It’s nice to give the people a chance to talk to our service members to better understand that.”
Various Marine AAVs, light armored tanks, Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) and a V-22 Osprey were present for public viewing, as well as a wide range of firearms used by Marines during combat.
“It’s very exciting for me to be out here and be able to talk about what today’s Navy can do,” said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Frederick Salazar, a recruiter assigned to Navy Recruiting District New York. “Our Navy is so versatile, we have a wide variety of ships and aircrafts that come in all sizes. We have everything and that’s why we’re the world’s finest Navy.”
Fleet Week New York, now in its 26th year, is the city’s time-honored celebration of sea services. It is an unparalleled opportunity for the people of New York and the surrounding tri-state area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today’s maritime services.
Press Release, May 26, 2014; Image: US Navy