NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- The Naval Station Rota community kicked off the 34th annual National Night Out celebration with a parade which lead to various law enforcement exhibitions Aug. 8.
The National Night Out program was introduced by the National Association of Town Watch in 1984 and is celebrated among law enforcement organizations and the community to strengthen partnerships and camaraderie.
From the Captain's Circle to Sea View Pines Park, parade participants tossed candy to cheerful onlookers as they passed by.
"Originally it started out where the local population could see and understand what local law enforcement does," said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Jayson Debord, one of the head event coordinators. "It's a grown exponentially from there to include fire departments, ambulances; it's essentially emergency management so they can see what we can do."
The event included free food, music as well as numerous exhibits and activities interlaced with educational information about the organizations' role on the community.
Numerous organizations, including U.S. and Spanish security, Spain's Guardia Civil, and local police, collaborated to showcase machinery, equipment and vehicles used in everyday operations. Children had the opportunity to explore fire trucks, done heavy explosive ordnance disposal accessories and watch a demonstration of military working dogs in action.
"The event is important for our community because it's a joint base," said Debord. "We work with the Spanish so they know how we operate and vice versa. There are differences in how we operate so having that relationship with the locals helps tremendously."
Capt. Michael MacNicholl, commander, U.S. Naval Activities Spain, thanked the many organizations that brought the event together in his opening remarks after leading the parade to Sea View Pines.
"Crime prevention is everybody's job," said MacNicholl. "I really appreciate everybody in the community taking a look at all these things and seeing how they can contribute to our safety. Also realizing what your own contributions are to our safety out in the community. Take advantage of this evening to look at all those things that they have and see what you can do to help out within your own community."
Naval Station Rota enables and supports operations of U.S. and allied forces and provides quality services in support of the fleet, fighter and family for Commander, Navy Installations Command in Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia (EURAFSWA).
Just as a ship performs lines of operation that provide a capability, Navy Region EURAFSWA bases perform the same eight lines of operation to provide capability to the fleet, joint and allied forces. These eight lines of operation are: air operations, port operations, safety, security, housing, MWR, Fleet and Fleet and Family Services and what is called the core: the fuels, water and power that keep the bases running. Through our lines of operation, our installations are force multipliers that maximize combat capability of operational units.
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For more news from Naval Station Rota, Spain, visit www.navy.mil/local/rota/.