MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Following the March 2 commissioning of USS Charleston (LCS 18) in Charleston, S.C., America’s Navy is setting sail to the Lowcountry for Navy Week, one of the Navy’s signature outreach programs.
Charleston Navy Week is scheduled for March 11-16, the week of St. Patrick’s Day, and is designed to give area residents an opportunity to learn about the Navy our nation needs.
Rear Adm. Daniel Fillion, a College of Charleston graduate and native of Goose Creek, S.C., and Rear Adm. Stephen Evans, a Citadel graduate and native of Beaufort, S.C., will act as Navy Week hosts, heading up a robust complement of naval units including:
- USS Hue City (CG 66), conducting a scheduled port visit
- Sailors from locally assigned units in the community
- Sailors assigned to the brand-new namesake ship, USS Charleston (LCS 18)
- Sailors from the oldest warship afloat, USS Constitution
- Navy Divers
- U.S. Fleet Forces Band
- Naval History and Heritage Command
- Navy Meteorological and Oceanographic Command
- The U.S. Naval Academy
- Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 40
“We’ll conduct more than 80 events throughout the week,” said Lt. John Stevens, a Charleston native and the NAVCO Navy Week program manager. “Most of our events are targeted educational outreach in Charleston’s public schools, but we’ll have several events open to the public and a few community service initiatives with organizations like the Habitat for Humanity.
“Our Navy Week hosts are each scheduled for three days of executive-level engagements with key leadership in the community,” Stevens added, “and they’ll participate in some of the public events as well.”
Some of the highlights of the week include:
- Navy Week Proclamation at Patriot’s Point, Monday, March 11
- Pregame participation during the Citadel vs. University of South Carolina baseball game, Tuesday, March 12 at Joe Riley Park
- Pregame participation during the Charleston Southern University vs. College of Charleston baseball game, Wednesday, March 13 at CSU
- Participation in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Saturday, March 16
- Public displays and demonstrations at the South Carolina Aquarium and Patriot’s Point, Saturday, March 16
- U.S. Fleet Forces Band concerts at the College of Charleston and Marion Square
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. The last Charleston Navy Week was in 2010.
“Navy Weeks are designed to help Americans 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.”
For a schedule of public Charleston Navy Week events, visit http://outreach.navy.mil/Navy-Weeks/Charleston-South-Carolina/.
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