SAN FRANCISCO (NNS) -- More than 1,800 Sailors and Marines from the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) serving aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) arrived in San Francisco, Oct. 3 to take part in the 31st Annual San Francisco Fleet Week (SSFW) celebration.
SSFW 2012 is scheduled from, Oct. 3-8 and will bring more than 2,500 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guard personnel from four ships to the city of San Francisco in order to highlight the personnel, technology and capabilities of the sea services.
As part of SSFW events, Makin Island will be the location for the Senior Leadership Seminar (SLS), Oct. 4-5 where senior Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard leaders will meet with local, state and regional civilian leaders to discuss disaster preparedness and response capabilities.
"We are delighted to be participating in the 32nd Annual San Francisco Fleet Week, opening the ship for public tours, and being selected as the location for the SLS," said Capt. Cedric E. Pringle, Makin Island's commanding officer. "The SLS will focus on federal response capabilities available to local governments in the event a major disaster took place in the San Francisco Bay area."
Pringle said Makin Island is a fitting location for the SLS because it affords an opportunity to showcase the humanitarian assistance and disaster response capabilities of the Navy's amphibious assault ships.
"We appreciate the rich naval history of San Francisco and look forward to our Sailors and Marines enjoying their time in this part of the country," said Pringle. "Like the citizens of San Francisco, our Sailors and Marines come from diverse backgrounds but each shares the common virtues of selfless service and devotion to duty."
While in San Francisco, Makin Island Sailors and Marines have also volunteered to take part in a variety of community relations projects including visiting two local Veterans Administration hospitals, a children's hospital. Additionally, volunteers will be performing cleanup at area parks, trails and beaches.
"Men and women who serve in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard are inclined by nature to serve their communities," said Lt. Cmdr. Roy Hoffman, Makin Island's command chaplain. "Service is not only the essence of what they do, it is at the core of who they are."
Hoffman said that the large number of Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who have committed themselves to San Francisco Bay area community projects during Fleet Week demonstrates how committed they are to the good of others.
"The men and women of the sea services are grateful to be afforded the opportunity to undertake a host of worthwhile projects for the people of San Francisco and all who visit the Bay area," added Hoffman.
In addition to Makin Island, other ships taking part in SSFW 2012 include the guided missile destroyers USS Preble (DDG 88) and USS Spruance (DDG 111) and the U.S. Coast Guard high endurance cutter Sherman (WHEC 720).
Makin Island recently returned from a seven-month deployment and was the first U.S. Navy ship to deploy using a hybrid-electric propulsion system. By using this unique propulsion system, the ship saved over $15 million in fuel costs and the Navy expects to see fuel cost savings of more than $250 million, over the course of the ship's lifecycle. Lessons learned during Makin Island's maiden deployment prove the Navy's commitment to energy awareness and conservation and will positively influence future ship designs for several decades.
This initiative is one of many throughout the Navy and Marine Corps that will enable the Department of the Navy to achieve the Secretary of the Navy's energy goals to improve our energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore, increase our energy independence and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy.
For more news from USS Makin Island (LHD 8), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd8/.