MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) - (NNS) -- If you want to know more about the Navy the nation needs, Quad Cities Navy Week is the place to be from June 24-30, coinciding with the Quad Cities Airshow June 29-30.
Quad Cities Navy Week will bring Sailors from different Navy units across the United States to conduct focused outreach with members of the 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.
“It’s the fourth Quad Cities Navy Week in our program’s history,” said Lt. John Stevens, Navy Week program manager. “We periodically come back to markets where we’ve had past success with our program in order to sustain our relationship with the community and forge new bonds we hope will endure into the future.” The Quad Cities hosted Navy Weeks in 2009, 2011 and 2015, Stevens said.
The Navy week’s senior executive host will be Rear Adm. Will Pennington, director of the Global Integration and Engagement Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. Pennington will participate in various ceremonies and meet with local business, civic, education and government leaders during the week, including throwing out the first pitch at the Quad Cities River Bandits game June 27.
Pennington, a native of Wilton, Iowa, has ties to the area. This Navy Week provides the unique opportunity to bring him back, further strengthening the connection between the Navy and Quad Cities.
“It is always a pleasure to return home to the Quad City area and a privilege to represent our Navy to the local community,” said Pennington. “Despite the distance from each coast, the area has a strong legacy of both business and personnel support to our naval forces. On behalf of all of our participating sailors, we are looking forward to a great week.”
Some of the major highlights during the week include a wreath laying ceremony at Hero St. Memorial, the Navy’s Blue Angels at the Quad Cities Air Show at Davenport Municipal Airport, and several concerts performed in the area by Navy Band Great Lakes’ full wind, woodwind and brass quintets.
"Navy Band Great Lakes is excited to be one of the many units coming to the Quad Cities to showcase the talents, patriotism and professional expertise of the United States Navy,” said Lt. Patrick Hill, director of Navy Band Great Lakes. “More than 90 percent of commerce is traveled on the oceans and the great states of Illinois and Iowa exported nearly $80 billion in goods last year. The Navy's mission to maintain the freedom of the seas ensures those goods make it to their intended ports without interruption by terrorism or piracy.”
During Navy Week, Sailors from USS The Sullivans (DDG 68), USS Sioux City (LCS 11) and Navy Operational Support Center Rock Island will participate in several community outreach events, including visits to YMCAs and Boys and Girls Clubs.
“Our Sullivans Sailors are honored to be a part of the Quad Cities Navy week,” said Cmdr. Pat Ellison, commanding officer of The Sullivans. “It’s a great opportunity for us to connect with the community of our namesakes – the five Sullivan brothers who grew up in Waterloo, Iowa. We’re looking forward to interacting with the Quad Cities community to convey the Sullivan brothers’ story and how our Sailors strive to live up to their legacy every day in their jobs serving aboard a U.S. warship.”
In addition, Sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Group 1 and USS Constitution are scheduled to visit the Putnam Museum, Arconic Learning Center, Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCA camps. EODGRU 1 Sailors will conduct STEM events while sailors from the USS Constitution, dressed in uniforms from the 1800s, will provide interactions about the ship’s history.
“This event will give kids and adults of all ages the chance to interact with sailors, hear about their jobs and find out what they like about being in the Navy,” said Michele Darland, relationship advancement director of Putnam Museum. “The Putnam Museum and Science Center is grateful for the opportunity to host this event for the Navy and to give our thanks for their support and what they do for both our country and community.”
Quad Cities Navy Week is the eighth of 14 Navy weeks 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.