U. S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jose Jaen/Released)
Navy Week Sails into Blue Ridge Mountains
160511-N-VD165-287 GULF OF ADEN (May 11, 2016) Amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) transits the Gulf of Aden during small boat operations. Boxer is the flagship for the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 13th MEU, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS)— The Star City will host the world’s greatest Navy during Roanoke Navy Week May 16 through 22, coinciding with the Lynchburg Regional Air Show.
Rear Adm. Mark Fung, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Reserve Director Maritime Operations Battle Staff, will accept a proclamation from the City of Roanoke to declare Navy Week during the kickoff. This free event will begin at 11 a.m. with a concert featuring the U.S. Fleet Forces Ceremonial Band and Four Star Edition, the popular music group.
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.
“By recognizing Navy Week, we hope to raise awareness of the Navy—not only its historic relevance, but its ongoing significance in protecting and defending our country,” said Melinda Mayo, Communications and Media Officer for the City of Roanoke. “It’s important to publicly recognize the service of men and women in the Navy, and to acknowledge their dedication and commitment to our country.”
Several Navy assets will come together to make the week possible. This includes Explosive Ordnance Group (EOD) 2 who will have several engaging, dynamic, hands-on displays available for citizens to participate in throughout the week.
Tuesday, May 17, the group will be at the Virginia Museum of Transportation to feature a display of construction vehicles from the Roanoke Navy Operational Support Center and several other displays where participants can interact with equipment and personnel. Displays include personal aviation survival equipment and Navy Divers and EOD Technicians and equipment.
“Being involved in Navy Week is important for the American people who may not live on the coast to have an opportunity to interact with their naval forces,” said Lt. Liza Dougherty, EOD 2 public affairs officer. “We are excited to participate in Navy Weeks across the country and encourage people to ask us questions and get involved. People can try on bomb suits, diving helmets or even drive a robot!”
Roanoke Navy Week will continue with a memorial ceremony at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia on Wednesday. Participants and veterans are welcome to attend the ceremony and can receive a brief tour of the memorial site following the event.
On Thursday, several Navy assets including the EOD Group, Navy Band, sailors from USS John Warner (SSN 785) and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 2 will visit the Center in the Square for a day of community outreach. The band will play while sailors interact with students from local schools.
Navy Night will be hosted by the Salem Red Sox on Friday, May 20. As they enter the stadium, fans can view various displays of Navy equipment and interact with sailors while they listen to the Fleet Forces Band. Sailors from Navy Recruiting District Roanoke will throw the ceremonial first pitch and the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs, will jump into the stadium to prior to the baseball game.
“We are very excited to be working with the Navy,” said Samantha Barney, marketing and promotions manager for Salem Red Sox. “The Leap Frogs parachuting into the stadium will be a must-see for the 2016 season. Apart from that, there will be numerous Navy vehicles here and sailors in attendance for fans to interact with along with many other attractions.”
Another highlight of the Navy Week will be the Lynchburg Regional Airshow, featuring the U.S. Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels and the Leap Frogs, that will be held at the Lynchburg airport Saturday and Sunday.
Sailors will also attend the Local Colors Festival at Elmwood Park in Roanoke on Saturday and the Navy Band will play a musical tour of the world. The Local Colors Festival is a multicultural festival that will focus on Colombia this year and is free to the public.
Roanoke Navy Week is the fifth 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.