MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- New Mexico's most populous city is scheduled to host members of the U.S. Navy during Albuquerque Navy Week, Sept. 12-18, coinciding with the New Mexico State Fair.
Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer, deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, will speak during a kickoff event at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial. The free event will begin at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 12 and will include Navy divers, Navy Band Northwest, USS Constitution Sailors, Navy recruiters, Navy Medicine ambassadors, Sailors from the local area and Naval ROTC midshipmen from the University of New Mexico.
During Albuquerque Navy Week, Sawyer will also meet with corporate, civic, education and government leaders throughout the week in an effort to increase awareness of the Navy, its mission, and the importance of the Navy to the people of Albuquerque.
Historically, Navy Week events draw thousands of attendees to participate and create a dialogue between Sailors and local residents. The events are designed to raise awareness about the Navy in areas that do not have a large naval presence.
"It's extremely rewarding when Navy Week comes to places like Albuquerque and you get to see Sailors interacting with the people of the community," said Lt. Jason Fischer, lead planner for Albuquerque Navy Week. "The Sailors also get a chance to meet the very people who support them while they're forward deployed, conducting the business of our nation."
Along with a performance at the kickoff event, Navy Band Northwest will have several other performances throughout the week, including concerts at National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, a rodeo at the New Mexico Expo, and the New Mexico State Fair.
"Navy bands have always been a significant aspect of these annual events (Navy Weeks), not only because we get to bring high-quality entertainment and enjoyment to the American people, but we get to do it while representing all active-duty Sailors -- helping Americans understand that their Navy is deployed all over the world, around the clock, ready to defend our great country at all times," said Musician 3rd Class Daniel Arute. "Navy Band Northwest is extremely excited about visiting Albuquerque next week."
Navy Band Northwest will be performing with a multitude of different musical groups, providing a variety of musical styles and concerts -- from a rock band to a marching parade band, all the way down to brass quartets and a woodwind trio.
Navy divers will also participate in Albuquerque Navy Week by providing engaging, dynamic, hands-on displays available for citizens throughout the week, including presentations at the Albuquerque Biological Park and local Boys and Girls Clubs.
Sailors from the local Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) will also be engaged with the community during the week. The Sailors will volunteer at a local food bank, as well as provide color guard support at major events.
"As some of the few Sailors located in Albuquerque, my staff and I were excited to hear that our city is hosting a Navy Week," said Cmdr. Jon Ward, commanding officer of NOSC Albuquerque. "Being an Air Force town, many people here don't seem to understand how important the U.S. Navy is to protecting their way of life. I'm excited for the people of Albuquerque to gain a better understanding of why supporting the Navy is important."
Another highlight of the Navy Week will be the United States Navy Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs, performing various demonstration jumps. Those attending the Horse Race at the Downs will see the Leap Frogs jump Sept. 17 at approximately 12:30 p.m.
"Navy Week Albuquerque is a wonderful way for the citizens of the Greater Albuquerque area to get up close and personal to their U.S. Navy Sailors," said Fischer. "The Navy typically operates far away from home, so for Navy Week we bring those Sailors back home so we can thank the citizens for their support and share with them the stories of our Sailors is great!"
Albuquerque Navy Week is the 12th of 15 Navy Weeks in 2016 that focus 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.
For more information and a full schedule of events, visit http://www.outreach.navy.mil/.
For more information, visit http://www.navy.mil/, http://www.facebook.com/usnavy/ or http://www.twitter.com/usnavy/.