SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NNS) -- The finale of a Navy Week is designed to be something grandiose. It's meant to summarize a week that has celebrated the past, present and future of the U.S. Navy and leave it's host city with a lasting impression of the outstanding work Sailors serving around the globe do.
The curtain call of Navy Week Syracuse delivered on this design by bringing all the members of the Navy Week team together for a final show at the Syracuse Museum of Science and Technology (M.O.S.T.) June 10.
It was a complete takeover of the museum as Sailors from different areas of the country, different jobs and different missions came together to educate the Syracuse youth in attendance. Right from the moment visitors approached the door, they knew the Navy was going to be the theme on this particular day. Waiting to greet them on the front steps was Navy Band Northeast's Woodwind Quartet and, once inside, they also encountered Navy Band Northeast's Acoustic Band.
Navy Band Northeast is a group of active duty Sailors serving as musicians based out of Newport, Rhode Island. They perform an enormous selection of music ranging from the latest top-40 hits to classical and patriotic music. By catering their musical selection to their intended audience, they're able to perform and entertain a diverse range of crowds.
The musicians in Navy Band Northeast left their impact on Navy Week Syracuse by holding over 10 different performances throughout the city and several clinics where they worked with local high school musicians. These clinics allowed Sailors to assist them with their craft and spread information about the Navy's musician programs throughout the schools.
Once you heard the entrance music and stepped through the doors of the M.O.S.T., you were greeted by a slew of Sailors ready to tell their story. Among them were the Sailors of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Albany (SSN 753), who have been leaving their imprint on the city of Syracuse throughout the course of the week. From Monday to Thursday these Sailors engaged with a different nonprofit organization in the city to give a little back to the people in the community who support them.
"The experience has been fantastic," said Chief Information Systems Technician (Submarines) Cory Shawver. "The response we're getting from the community and the organizations we're working for has been very supportive and overwhelming. You can tell that they genuinely appreciate us being here and it just feels great to be able to give back."
Giving back to the community is something entrenched in the history of the Navy that still rings true today.
Another example of naval history still living and breathing is epitomized by the Sailors serving aboard the Navy's oldest commissioned warship, USS Constitution. These Sailors almost seemed out of place at the M.O.S.T., but were able to provide valuable insight on the history of their vessel and give everyone a glimpse of what life was like at the inception of the Navy.
"The history of the U.S. Navy is something that's important to share in order to paint a portrait of how far the Navy's come over the course of its existence," said Chief Culinary Specialist Everardo Gonzalez. "I love coming to these Navy Weeks because informing people that typically don't interact with Sailors about our history can only produce positive results. The more informed they are, the more equipped we are to carry on our traditions and execute our mission."
USS Constitution Sailors successfully executed their mission to inform the people of Syracuse about the rich history of the Navy by speaking to over 500 students at several high schools, elementary schools and locations throughout the city.
In stark contrast to the Sailors sharply wearing the traditional Navy uniform from the 1800's were the Sailors decked out in green digital camouflage and the high tech gadgets with them every step of the way. Representing the modern Navy and the technological advances it makes every day were Navy divers and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technicians.
Throughout the course of the week these Sailors took the time to show off some of their gadgets -- including the SeaBotix Remotely Operated Vehicle, a tethered underwater mobile device -- and educate the public and participate in several training evolutions with the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department. EOD Sailors even assisted the Sheriff's Department with getting Navy Week Syracuse started with a literal bang, staging what they called a "Hollywood" explosion. The result was a 50-foot ball of fire erupting safely into the sky at the New York State Fairground, which provided entertainment value as well as valuable training for the EOD Sailors.
"Working with the sheriff's department gives us the chance to build a relationship and familiarize ourselves with their procedures," Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class John Wise, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 12. "That way we're ready to react and respond if we get a call and lives are on the line."
With both Navy history and the future on display at the M.O.S.T., it was essential to have specialists on hand tasked with preserving both the Navy's history and future.
Construction Electrician 1st Class Alyssa Cope, assigned to Navy Recruiting District Pittsburgh Navy Recruiting Station Watertown, was one of the Sailors tasked with this mission throughout the week. Her job is to find highly qualified men and women in her area to serve, so the Navy's mission can be executed for years to come and it can maintain its title as the world's leading sea power.
"Being part of a big event like this has been an incredible opportunity to get out and talk to people about the opportunity to serve," said Cope. "Events like this assist us tremendously in educating the public about what the Navy's mission is and the role they can play in ensuring the safety and security of our country for years to come."
As the day grew long and time began to wind down on the event at the M.O.S.T., one of their staff members took a moment to express her gratitude.
"The Museum of Science & Technology is humbled to be part of Navy Day," said Kelly Gardner, the M.O.S.T's event director. "We are grateful to be included in this incredible Navy Week of events and activities and for the experience it has provided our visitors."
Navy Week Syracuse wrapped up when the M.O.S.T. closed its doors for the day. With all the events executed and left for history, one of its organizers took the time to reflect back on its success.
"By bringing this outreach initiative to a smaller city like Syracuse it ensures that we are reaching as many people as possible, not just those in fleet-concentrated areas," said Ian Lundy, Navy Week Syracuse's lead planner. "Overall, the city, its businesses and veterans groups were extremely receptive and it went off without a hitch. We are sincerely thankful to the city for having us, and for the Sailors that came to spread the Navy's story throughout the city."
Navy Sailors are stationed throughout the world, on ships and ashore, serving to protect the interests of the United States at home and abroad. This mission is accomplished by maintaining a forward operating sea presence throughout the world in order to deter aggression and, if deterrence fails, win our nation's wars. They are defined by the Navy's core values of honor, courage and commitment and are ready to respond if their country calls them to action.
Navy Weeks are events held throughout the United States to help raise public awareness of the Navy in areas that are not typically exposed to a large naval presence.
For more information, visit http://www.navy.mil/, http://www.facebook.com/usnavy/, or http://www.twitter.com/usnavy/.
For more news from Navy Recruiting District Pittsburgh, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/nrdpitt/.