MILLINGTON (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy set its sails toward Mobile, Alabama, to celebrate "Fat Tuesday" in the United States' oldest Carnival festival in conjunction with a port visit from guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) during Mobile Navy Week, Feb. 22-28.
Mobile Navy Week is designed to give area residents an opportunity to learn about the Navy, its people, and its importance to national security and prosperity.
"Our Sailors are extremely excited to visit Mobile and showcase just a small portion of our Navy's capabilities to the American public," said Lt. David Carter, lead planner for Mobile Navy Week. "The pride and professionalism they'll display is just a snapshot of the larger U.S. Navy force that stands ready to carry out our nation's work across the globe daily."
Navy Weeks focus a variety of outreach assets, equipment, and personnel on a single city for a weeklong series of engagements with key influencers and organizations representing all sectors of the market.
"It is an honor and privilege to come home and participate in Mobile Navy Week," said Rear Adm. Thomas Ishee, deputy commander of Joint Functional Component Command for Global Strike. "In this challenging global environment, maintaining maritime superiority is important to protect America from attack and preserve our influence in the world. The citizens of Alabama and the city of Mobile understand the importance of a naval fleet that can operate decisively at home and abroad, and have helped America's Navy and our Sailors to be ready to answer the call to duty today and in the future."
U.S. Navy's parachute team "Leap Frogs," Navy Band Southeast's musical groups, Sailors from Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Alabama (SSBN 731), Sailors from America's oldest commissioned Navy vessel USS Constitution, Seabees, Navy Oceanographic Office, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 2 will all be participating in Mobile Navy Week.
"The explosive ordnance disposal technicians and Navy divers of EODGRU2 are looking forward to bringing the expeditionary Navy to Mobile," said Lt. Liza Dougherty, public affairs officer for EODGRU 2. "Whether it is through our comprehensive school program or walk-up displays at a variety of events around the city where members of the public can try on our gear, drive a robot, or interact with a diver in our dive tank, we're ready to engage and let folks know what their Navy is doing, and how Navy EOD and Navy divers are a part of that story every day."
Throughout the Navy Week, Sailors from various commands will engage with local schools with the intention of focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education through a variety of interactive displays and Sailors currently working within those fields across the fleet.
Along with the demonstrations from EODGRU 2, Sailors from USS Alabama and future littoral combat ship USS Gabriel Giffords (LCS 10) are scheduled to participate in community relations events at local Boys and Girls Clubs, Habitat for Humanity, and Feeding the Gulf Coast Food Bank.
Navy Band Southeast's Sailors are scheduled to give musical performances at Mardi Gras Park, USS Alabama Battleship Park, as well as during several Mardi Gras parades.
The Leap Frogs are also scheduled to jump into action Thursday evening at Mardi Gras Park in downtown Mobile prior to the parade.
Navy Weeks also provide the unique opportunity to bring hometown Sailors back to the cities where they grew up, further strengthening the connection between the Navy and Navy Week city.
"As a Mobile native, I'm very excited to come back home and share some of the naval history and heritage I've encountered and been part of over the last 27 years," said aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Command Master Chief Antonio Perryman. "I'm coming into town to represent the 3,300 Sailors I have the pleasure of leading each day, and hope my time in Mobile further sheds light on the pride and professionalism that exists across our entire Navy force."
Since 2005, the Navy Week program has served as the Navy's signature outreach effort into areas of the country which do not have a significant Navy presence, with 195 Navy Weeks being held in 72 different U.S. cities.
Mobile Navy Week is the 1st of 15 Navy Weeks in 2017 which 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 public events, visit http://www.outreach.navy.mil/.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO), visit http://www.navy.mil/local/navco/.