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America's Navy Sails into Hip, Historic Charleston for Navy Week

by Rick Burke
04 October 2019
The Navy the nation needs is heading to Charleston, West Virginia, for Navy Week Oct. 7-12, coinciding with the FestivALL Fall.

The Navy the nation needs is heading to Charleston, West Virginia, for Navy Week Oct. 7-12, coinciding with the FestivALL Fall.

Navy Week will bring Sailors from different Navy units across the United States to conduct focused outreach with members of the Charleston community.

Navy Weeks are a series of outreach events coordinated by the Navy Office of Community Outreach designed to give Americans an opportunity to learn about the Navy, its people and its importance to national security and prosperity. Since 2005, the Navy Week program has served as the Navy’s flagship outreach effort into areas of the country without a significant Navy presence, providing the public a firsthand look at the Navy the nation needs.

Navy Weeks play a vital role in connecting the American public with a large array of Sailors, assets and equipment. The weeklong event strives to engage with local communities who do not have frequent visibility of the Navy.

“We have been planning this Navy Week since late summer and all throughout the process everyone I have worked with has been great,” said Lt. Davis Anderson, lead planner for Charleston Navy Week.  “That has made this week wonderful to plan, and now I am looking forward to executing this event.  This is going to be a great chance for the residents in Charleston to meet Sailors in their Navy and see what we do.”

Dr. Susan Goodfellow, director of Energy and Environmental Readiness Division on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, will be the senior Navy leader during the week and will meet with local business, civic, education and government leaders to tell them about their Navy.

“I am very excited to be heading to Charleston for the Navy Week,” said Goodfellow. “This is the first Navy Week we have ever had in West Virginia and we are meeting with people all across the area to show them why their Navy is important here, even though the closest Navy base is four hundred miles away.” 

Some of the major highlights during the week include a wreath-laying event with West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance, Ceremonial Guard Drill Team performances and the University of Charleston vs. Notre Dame College (Ohio) football game, and concerts performed in the area by U.S. Fleet Force Band’s full wind, woodwind and brass quintets.

"U.S. Fleet Forces Band is thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in Navy Week and engage with the local populace,” said Lt. Gregory Fritz, U.S. Fleet Forces Band bandmaster. “This is a time for us to show the citizens of Charleston the pride and professionalism of their Navy, while informing them of all the great work we do around the world. We look forward to meeting audience members and hope to make them proud of their country and military.”

Historically, Navy Week events draw thousands of attendees to participate and create a dialogue between Sailors and local residents.

For Sailors from the submarine, USS West Virginia (SSBN 736), this week has special meaning.

"The crew is honored to participate in Charleston Navy Week and to represent USS West Virginia,” said Cmdr. Jay D. Bijeau, USS West Virginia (Gold) commanding officer. “We want to showcase the Navy and our ship during the visit and display how honored we are to be West Virginia Sailors. We look forward to meeting and connecting with members of the community. Let's go! Mountaineers!"

In addition, Explosive Ordnance Group 2 Sailors will conduct STEM events at West Virginia State University and local schools while Sailors from USS Constitution, wearing their 1812 uniforms, will tell people about the ship’s (and Navy’s) history.

Charleston is the 14th and final Navy Week in 2019 focusing on a variety of assets, equipment and personnel on a single city for a weeklong series of engagements designed to bring America's Navy closer to the people it protects. It provides a visible example of the Navy the nation needs.

For more about Charleston Navy Week, contact Lt. Davis Anderson,, or visit for a full schedule of public events.


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