Sunday, August 29, 2010

Baltimore Kicks Off Inaugural Navy Week Celebration

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sean Gallagher, Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs

BALTIMORE (NNS) -- Residents of a city steeped in naval history began a week long series of events Aug. 28 designed to showcase the Navy to residents of the cultural center of the state of Maryland.

Baltimore Navy Week 2010, one of 20 Navy Weeks held across America this year, began with crewmembers of the Boston-based USS Constitution long gun demonstration team simulated the firing of one of the ship's 6,000 pound guns.

The crew, in their 1813-period uniforms, provided crowds the opportunity to see U.S. Navy weaponry used in battles waged in Baltimore Harbor and the surrounding areas nearly 200 years ago.

Nearby, the Little Creek, Va.-based USS Monsoon (PC-4) sailed into Baltimore's Inner Harbor to provide four days of free tours to local residents.

"This is a great opportunity for the US Navy to be here," said Lt. Kevin Ducharme, Monsoon commanding officer. "People can come aboard and get a hands-on view of the ship and experience what it is like to be in the Navy."

Coinciding with Baltimore Navy Week is the Maryland State Fair, an event attracting more than 400,000 visitors each summer. During Baltimore Navy Week, fair goers can learn about the Navy's latest capabilities by riding in the Navy Simulator, which combines video and live motion to offer citizens a sensory experience of the Navy's multiple global missions and operations.

"We're always looking for new things for our folks to see and do at the fair," said Howard Mosner, president and general manager of the Maryland State Fair. "Fair goers are looking for education, and the Navy being here gives the people of Baltimore a unique opportunity to see what the Navy does."

Also featured at the Maryland State Fair are Seabees from Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 202 from Naval Station Anacostia, Va. These Seabees are in Baltimore to explain the Navy's construction forces to the public, and exhibit their equipment to onlookers.

"Most people think that Sailors are only on ships and have never heard of the Seabees," said Builder Constructionman Apprentice Robert Stubblefield. "We're here so people can learn and understand what we do, and so far the response has been excellent."

Adm. John C. Harvey, Jr., Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Rear Adm. Scott A. Weikert, Deputy Commander, 1st Naval Construction Division, Norfolk, Va., are scheduled to meet with Baltimore city and corporate leaders during Baltimore Navy Week, engaging in conversations designed to inform Baltimore area resident of how the Navy operates around the world.

Sailors are also scheduled for community outreach programs, including serving meals at a soup kitchen, giving ship ball caps to children at Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital as part of the Navy's Caps for Kids program and revitalizing a city street during a two-day project for Baltimore CivicWorks with Sailors from Navy Medical Logistics Command in Fort Detrick, Md., and CBMU 202 Seabees.

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