Monday, January 24, 2011

Navy Week 2011 Season Kicks Off in Tampa Bay

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jennifer P. Harman, Navy Office of Community Outreach

TAMPA, Fla. (NNS) -- The first of 21 Navy Weeks across the country scheduled for 2011 kicked off when Tampa's mayor proclaimed Jan. 22-29 as Tampa Bay Navy Week 2011 during the Children's Gasparilla Parade in Tampa, Fla.

Tampa's Mayor Pam Iorio presented the commanding officer of Navy Operational Support Center Tampa Capt. Therese Craddock with a formal proclamation certificate.

"I am always so proud to have the Navy as a part of Gasparilla," said Iorio. "First of all, we have the best Navy in the entire world, and Tampa, of course, is kicking off Navy Weeks across the nation. I'm always very proud as mayor, to be able to honor the wonderful men and women who make up our great Navy."

Tampa Bay Navy Week includes a jam-packed schedule of family activities, concerts, sporting and community service events.

One of the more popular attractions, the Navy simulator was a crowd pleaser at the children's parade, drawing more than 650 participants.

One of the children at the parade, excited about what he had seen riding the simulator and seeing the Navy at the parade, said that this was the first time he had actually seen a Sailor in uniform.

Some of the special visitors during Tampa Bay Navy Week will include Sailors from the USS Constitution, Navy Band Southeast "Pride" and Navy divers from Trident Refit Facility, Kings Bay, Ga.

"It really is a pleasure to share our Navy professionals with the community," said Craddock, about the Navy's participation. "America's Navy is a global force for good, but during Tampa Bay Navy Week, we are also a local force for good."

The goal of every Navy Week is to give area residents an opportunity to meet some of the Navy's Sailors and learn about the Navy's critical missions and its broad-ranging capabilities. The Navy Week program gives the public an up-close look at the men and women of the U.S. Navy serving throughout the world and the jobs they do.

Each event throughout the week is designed to increase awareness of the Navy, provide opportunities to meet Sailors first hand and to inform the public about the latest capabilities and opportunities in the U.S. Navy.

In addition to free Navy entertainment and special events scheduled throughout the week, Sailors will visit schools, hospitals and civic organizations to speak about the Navy and show community support. Local Sailors will also trade in their uniforms for jeans and T-shirts, as they take part in a Habitat for Humanity building project.

Tampa Bay Navy Week will close at the Navy Night Celebration at the St. Petersburg Pier with the St. Petersburg Mayoral Proclamation, followed by a battle with the pirates at the 107th annual Gasparilla Pirate Fest.

For more information on Tampa Bay Navy Week news and events, visit

For more news from Navy Office of Community Outreach, visit

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