CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to USS Constitution will participate in Boston Navy Week throughout the Boston area as part of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 commemoration taking place June 28-July 5.
Constitution Sailors will kick off their participation by serving as the color guard detail for the opening ceremony at Faneuil Hall.
They will also perform War of 1812-era gun drills and 18th century boarding pike drills daily in the vicinity of Constitution at the Charlestown Navy Yard. The drills will demonstrate to visitors how Sailors prepared and fought in battle at sea during the age of sail.
"We are excited to be able to commemorate the War of 1812 as part of Boston Navy Week," said Cmdr. Matthew Bonner, Constitution's 72nd commanding officer. "The city has been home to Constitution for most of her 214 years, and it so supportive of the Navy. It will be great to have other Navy ships experience this historic and welcoming city."
Additionally, Sailors will support community programs and organizations, such as Caps for Kids, New England Homeless Veterans Center, Boston Rescue Mission, Pine Street Inn and the Boys and Girls Club.
Constitution is also scheduled to get underway for its annual July 4th turnaround cruise. The three-hour underway will host 300 winners of ship's 2012 lottery drawing, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick West and three former commanding officers of Constitution. Due to the cruise, Sailors will not perform boarding pike and gun drills this day.
Later, Sailors will serve as the color guard detail for the July 4th Boston Pops celebration.
"Our goal is to highlight the ability and agility of military branches working together," said Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 1st Class (SW/AW) Jason Keith, events coordinator. "We will spend this week emphasizing the importance of interservice relationships between the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, U.S. Coast Guard and our allies. We cannot be successful as a military without the support of each other."
Other ships that will participate in Boston Navy Week are: USS Wasp (LHD 1), USS Gravely (DDG 107), U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle (WIX 327), German frigate FGS Hessen (F 221), Norwegian frigate HNoMS Thor Heyedahl (F 314), Danish flexible support ship HDMS Esbern Snare (L 17), Canadian destroyer HMCS Iroquois (DDG 280), British royal fleet auxiliary ship RFA Argus (A 135), Brazilian tall ship Cisne Branco, Ecuadorian tall ship BAE Guayas (BE 21), Colombian tall ship ARC Gloria, Indonesian tall ship Dewaruci.
Friendly competitions will be held between the different commands, such as a softball tournament and a tug-of-war contest.
This is the sixth of eight Navy Weeks Constitution Sailors are scheduled to participate in throughout 2012, celebrating the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Boston Navy Week will be held in conjunction with Boston Harborfest, a festival that showcases the colonial and maritime heritage of Boston.
The primary purpose of Navy Week is to increase Navy awareness by presenting the Navy to Americans who live in cities that normally do not have a significant naval presence. Boston Navy Week will showcase the mission, capabilities and achievements of the U.S. Navy and provide residents the opportunity to meet Sailors firsthand.
Constitution is the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors per year. She defended the sea lanes against threat from 1797 to 1855, much like the mission of today's Navy. America's Navy: Keeping the sea free for more than 200 years.
Constitution's mission today is to offer community outreach and education about the ship's history.
For more information, visit www.history.navy.mil/ussconstitution or www.facebook.com/ussconstitutionofficial.
For more news from USS Constitution, visit www.navy.mil/local/constitution/.