FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida – For the next week, Southeast Florida residents will have the opportunity to see and tour Navy and U.S. Coast Guard ships as the 32nd
Fleet Week Port Everglades kicks into gear.
U.S. Navy destroyer, USS Cole (DDG 67), a ship commissioned in 1996 in Fort Lauderdale, was the first to arrive followed by the amphibious dock ship USS New York (LPD 21), expeditionary fast transport USNS Newport (T-EPF-12) and the fast attack submarine USS Indiana (SSN 789) early, Sunday morning, April 23. USCGC William Flores (WPC-1103) will arrive Monday.
Reservations were taken to tour the ships and more than 9,000 slots were filled in advance of the arrival for Monday through Saturday tours.
The Navy Band will perform at more than 15 venues across the city including performing the national anthem for the Florida Panthers playoff game April 23 and the Miami Marlins Friday, April 28.
“We look forward to being in Port Everglades to spend time with the outstanding citizens of South Florida,” said Rear Adm. Tom Williams, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group TWO. "We are proud to be able show the community our ships as well as the outstanding Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and Merchant Mariners who make our Naval Service - Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Military Sealift Command - the very best in the world.”
In addition to the ships; equipment displays, Marine and Navy recruiting information and Navy environmental programs will be available for visitors to see as they wait for their tours.
More than 100 servicemembers will also endeavor to say “thank you” to the local community through volunteer efforts at various locations across Fort Lauderdale. Sailors and Coast Guardsmen will mentor and visit with students from several area schools, help refurbish areas around the Naval Air History Museum, visit veterans at a senior facility, and support youth fitness at two separate YMCA events.
Monday brings a new event where the ships will host more than 800 JROTC students from Broward County Schools for tours as part of a Fleet Week STEM summit. About 300 JROTC cadets from Miami will visit Tuesday morning as part of the youth VIP tours.
The Sailors will also participate in a series of other events including: an all-hands welcome ceremony involving the mayor; a salute to veterans event and a salute to women in the military; a traditional chili cook-off against local fire and police teams; and a Damage Control Olympics competition which will pit teams of Sailors from each ship and the USCG against each other through a series of challenging events at a damage control trainer.
Arleigh Burke-class Aegis-equipped guided-missile destroyer, USS Cole is homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. USS Cole is named in honor of Marine Sgt. Darrell S. Cole, a machine gunner who was killed in action at the Battle of Iwo Jima, Japan, on Feb. 19, 1945, during World War II.
USS New York is the fifth ship in the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, and the sixth ship of the U.S. Navy to be named after the great state of New York. A special tribute to the people that died on 9/11 is the 7 and ½ tons of steel recovered from the World Trade Center and cast as USS New York’s bow stem.
USS Indiana was the 16th
Virginia-class fast-attack submarine built. Fast-attack submarines like USS Indiana are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence.
USNS Newport is a 338-foot-long aluminum catamaran designed to be fast, flexible and maneuverable, even in austere ports, making it ideal for rapidly transporting troops and equipment within a theater of operations. The ship can be tasked with, anything from carrying containerized portable hospitals to support disaster relief to transporting tanks and troops. The ship is the twelfth Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport and operated by Military Sealift Command
Information on events and activities may be found by visiting https://browardnavydaysinc.org/
or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FleetWeekPortEverglades