Chattanooga Riverbend Festival Anchors Navy Week

Story Number: NNS180605-12Release Date: 6/5/2018 2:45:00 PM
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By M. Dawn Scott, Navy Office of Community Outreach

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Chattanooga Navy Week "sails" into the River City June 11-17 for a week-long celebration, in conjunction with the Annual Chattanooga Riverbend Festival, which attracts more than half a million people.

Chattanooga Navy Week will bring Sailors from different units around the world to conduct focused outreach events with members of the local community. The week will feature Sailors representing a multitude of specialties in an effort to display the multi-faceted nature of today's force.

"Our sailors are extremely excited to visit Chattanooga and showcase just a small portion of the Navy the nation needs to the American public," said Lt. David Carter, lead planner for Chattanooga Navy Week. "The pride and professionalism they'll display is just a snapshot of the larger U.S. Navy force that stands ready daily to carry out our nation's work across the globe."

Explosive Ordnance Disposal units, the Navy's Office of Small Business, Navy Medicine, USS Constitution, U.S. Fleet Forces Band, Navy Operational Support Center Chattanooga, Navy Meteorology and Oceanography units, Navy Recruiting, Sailors from Tennessee's submarine namesake, USS Tennessee and even Sailors from Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 123, an E-2C Hawkeye squadron on the east coast are all scheduled to participate during the week's events.

The Navy Week's senior representative will be Rear Adm. Paul Pearigen, Commander, Navy Medicine West, a Memphis, Tennessee native who will participate in a variety of events and meet with local leaders.

"It's an honor to participate in Chattanooga Navy Week and be able to share Navy Medicine's role in keeping the Navy and the Marine Corps family healthy, ready and on the job," said Pearigen.

Pearigen will speak at venues and civic organizations across the city, visit medical facilities, interview with local television and radio stations, and participate in Riverbend's Military Appreciation Night celebration.

The U.S. Fleet Forces Band, known as "The Finest of the Fleet" and the Brass Band "Uncharted Waters", have several performances scheduled throughout the week.

"At Fleet Forces Band we are getting ready to visit the beautiful city of Chattanooga this year as they host one of only 14 Navy Weeks happening across the nation this year", said Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick J. Cotter. "There are hundreds of concerts this year, and now we'll be bringing our music to Chattanooga at locations throughout the city, where we'll meet people and tell the story of the Navy and the nation."

In addition to sharing the story of what America's Navy is doing around the world, Sailors will be making an effort to give back to the local community through a series of community service events, working with organizations like Chattanooga Area Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity and the Ronald McDonald House.

"Connecting with the public and being part of local projects that are meaningful to the local community is always a highlight of our visit," said Carter. "Service is inherent to our culture in the Navy and our Sailors are extremely adaptable, so if there's a project we can be part of while we're in town, we'll find a way to get it done."

Sailors operate on, above and below the water, and next week, the Chattanooga community can see a little bit of each. Navy Day at the Tennessee Aquarium is scheduled for Thursday, June 14 from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. A team of Navy divers and dive qualified explosive ordnance disposal technicians will be diving into the aquarium's tanks to feed fish, clean the aquatic habitats, and interact with aquarium visitors. When not in the tank, the divers and EOD technicians will be available to speak to visitors about life in the Navy and what it is like being a Navy diver or an EOD tech.

There will also be an opportunity to connect with most of the visiting units at the Creative Discovery Museum during their Free Family Night, Thursday night.

Tennessee has 9,000 active duty sailors, including sailors from Chattanooga, which is a wonderful representation of the state and the city.

Chattanooga Navy Week is a week-long series of engagements designed to bring America's Navy closer to the people it protects.

For more information and a full schedule of public events, visit

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