America’s Navy is setting sail to the Lowcountry of South Carolina in 2019, as Charleston is one of 14 cities selected to host a Navy Week, one of the Navy’s signature outreach programs.
Charleston Navy Week is scheduled for March 11-16, 2019, and is designed to give area residents an opportunity to learn about the Navy our nation needs. The Navy plans to include the following elements in the week-long celebration:
- Senior Navy leadership
- Sailors from locally assigned units in the community
- Sailors from the oldest warship afloat, USS Constitution
- Sailors assigned to the brand-new namesake ship, USS Charleston (LCS 18)
- Navy Divers and Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams
- U.S. Fleet Forces Band performances
- The Navy’s History and Heritage Command
- Navy Meteorological and Oceanographic static displays
- The U.S. Naval Academy
Since 2005, the Navy Week program has served as the Navy’s primary outreach effort into areas of the country which do not have a significant Navy presence, with 228 Navy Weeks held in more than 75 different U.S. markets.
“Navy Weeks are designed to help Americans, and in this case understand why having a strong Navy is critical to the American way of life,” said Cmdr. Linda Rojas, director of the Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO), which plans and executes the Navy Week program. “Because the Navy is concentrated primarily in select locations on both coasts, we’re challenged to communicate our mission away from fleet concentration areas. That’s where the Navy Week program comes in.
“We’re very excited to bring the Navy to Charleston,” Rojas added, “which was a fleet concentration area until the 1990s, and still maintains strong Navy ties throughout the community.”
Navy Weeks focus a variety of outreach assets, equipment and personnel on a single city for a week-long series of engagements with key influencers and organizations representing all sectors of the market.
“During a Navy Week, we coordinate about 75 outreach events with corporate, civic, government, education, media, veterans, community service and diversity organizations in the city,” said Lt. John Stevens, NAVCO Navy Week program manager. “The 2019 schedule is exciting for us. We’re outside the continental U.S. for the first time in our program’s history as we travel to Puerto Rico, we have the potential for some ships joining us in our coastal markets, and we’ll be taking the program to new places like Grand Junction, Colorado.”
“Charleston Navy Week is especially significant to me,” Stevens said. “I grew up in a Charleston Navy family and I can’t wait to help bring the Navy back to my home city.”
For more information on Navy Weeks and the 2019 schedule, visit http://outreach.navy.mil/Navy-Weeks-2019/
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