MILLINGTON, Tennessee (NNS) -- To help Americans stay connected to their Navy while staying safe at home, the Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO) is developing an array of outreach content and harnessing the power of social media to deliver it.
The program, “SHIP2SHORE: From the sea while you’re safe at home,” is
organized primarily along three lines of effort.
The first is the reconstitution of three Navy Weeks that had to be canceled as part of the nation’s ongoing Coronavirus mitigation efforts. Virtual Navy Weeks in Tri Cities, Tennessee; Abilene, Texas; and Trenton, New Jersey, will seek to re-create as much of the engagement planned for those cities as possible in the virtual domain. If successful, future virtual Navy Weeks could be planned for other cities, said Lt. Cmdr. Ben Anderson, NAVCO’s event-planning department head.
“While public health and safety will always be our number one priority, we made deep connections in those cities prior to cancelling,” Anderson said. “It was tough to make those calls to our community partners who had invested so much of their time and energy into having the Navy come to their towns. Our hope is that we can use virtual means to have safe and meaningful conversations and build lasting relationships in these communities."
For the Navy’s afloat units, NAVCO is standing by to help ships and submarines around the Fleet stay connected with their namesake cities and states. Since 2005, NAVCO has relied on ship and submarine namesake crewmembers as a key element of the Navy Week program. Live virtual tours, on-board demonstrations and general mission presentations are among options being explored.
Finally, NAVCO is working with its network of Fleet outreach partners to make educational content available in both live/interactive and archived formats, said Cmdr. Karin Burzynski, NAVCO’s director.
“With schools closed across the country, America has millions of homebound children and parents who have been pressed into service as ad hoc teachers,” Burzynski said. “The Navy by nature is a very STEM-focused organization, so this seems a natural fit. If we can help fill the education void even a little, it will be worth it.”
Explosive Ordnance Disposal robotics demonstrations, lectures by Navy historians, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography exhibitions, Navy Band music clinics and Naval Aviation presentations are examples of outreach tactics NAVCO has employed with success with in-person audiences. “These events are alwayswell received face-to-face. And, our goal is to replicate those events virtually using social media,” Burzynski said.
Commands and personnel wishing to participate in the SHIP2SHORE program should
contact Lt. Cmdr. Ben Anderson at Benjamin.email@example.com.