DETROIT (NNS) – August 25, 2015 — Detroit, also known as the “Motor City” for its role in the pioneering of the automotive industry, will host the U.S. Navy during Detroit Navy Week, Aug. 24-29.
The events and special programs to be held throughout the “Motor City” are the culmination of planning and preparation over many months by the Navy Office of Community Outreach, multiple Navy assets, and city leaders.
“Planning for Detroit Navy week has been exciting,” said Genna Young, in-city planner for Detroit Navy Week. “It has also proved to be a bit overwhelming at times, simply because the Navy has so many great stories, people and assets to share with the people of Detroit.”
Navy Weeks focus a variety of assets, equipment and personnel on a single area for a week-long series of engagements designed to bring America’s Navy closer to the people it protects.
Detroit native Rear Adm. John E. Jolliffe, deputy commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, will receive a proclamation declaring Navy Week from the Mayor’s office at Campus Martius Park, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. This free, public event will also feature a patriotic musical performance by U.S. Navy Band Great Lakes.
“I am most excited for the kickoff event in the heart of Detroit at Campus Martius Park,” said Young. “We’ll have all hands on deck to celebrate the launch of Detroit Navy Week, and introduce the public to Navy Band Great Lakes, Navy divers, explosive ordnance disposal technicians and the crew of PCU Detroit.”
Sailors from Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Crew 103, the “Rough Riders,” who will be one of the crews of the future USS Detroit when it is commissioned in 2016, will also be a part of Detroit Navy Week.
“I think it’s important for the wonderful people of Detroit to meet some of the officers and crew who will eventually sail USS Detroit,” said Cmdr. Mike Desmond, prospective commanding officer of LCS Crew 103. “We are honored to be the ones who will bring Detroit’s namesake ship to life. Their support means a great deal to us.”
Littoral combat ships are the Navy’s newest class of ship, designed to operate in hostile near-shore environments, yet capable of open-ocean operations.
“All littoral combat ship crews have uniquely strong ties with their namesake cities; more than any other ships that I’ve seen,” said Desmond. “This Navy Week is Crew 103’s chance to help lay the foundation for just such an enduring relationship.”
Crew 103 said they feel honored to be the ones to eventually sail the sixth ship named after the “Motor City,” and to have the opportunity to be a part of Detroit Navy Week.
“We look forward to meeting face-to-face with the many community leaders who we’ve only been able to communicate with by phone or email,” said Desmond. “There are so many remarkable supporters of the Navy and of USS Detroit here, and we are eager to get to know them and to interact with the general public as much as possible.”
The commander added that Detroit has played a major role in the shaping of America, and it’s fitting for this city to have a new ship named after it and to host a Navy Week.
“The city of Detroit has always played an exceptionally important role in keeping America strong, just like USS Detroit will have in building strong international partnerships and in maintaining our Navy’s uniquely important role in global stability,” said Desmond.
Along with Crew 103, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2, Navy Recruiting District Michigan, Navy Operational Support Center Detroit, and Navy Medicine will all be in attendance, participating in community outreach events throughout the week at the YMCA, Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, Boys and Girls Club, VA Medical Center and food banks.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 will also conduct demonstrations with Navy robotics systems at the Detroit Zoo and Michigan Science Center, while Navy Medicine will inform citizens about their job, medical opportunities in the Navy, and personal health.
Detroit Navy Week is the ninth of 12 Navy Weeks in 2015, and is expected to increase the bond between the “Motor City” and America’s Navy.
“When I first joined the Detroit Navy Week planning team, I didn’t know what to expect,” said Young. “Now I know that the movie “Top Gun” is based on the Navy and I am starting to master the Navy lingo. The goal is for Detroiters who are unfamiliar with the Navy, much like I was, to get a better understanding of the Navy, its people and everything it does to keep our country safe.”