By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert, USS Wasp Public Affairs
NEW ORLEANS (NNS) -- The Royal Canadian Navy's top officer hosted allied participants of Fleet Week New Orleans April 25 aboard the Royal Canadian Navy Iroquois-class destroyer HMCS Athabaskan (DDG 282).
Vice Adm. Mike Norman, commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, welcomed aboard Sailors and Marines from the U.S. and U.K. who are in New Orleans until April 29.
The Fleet Week is a weeklong celebration and collaboration between six ships representing the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and the community of New Orleans.
U.S. Navy ships participating in Fleet Week NOLA include the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1), and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Cole (DDG 67) and USS James E. Williams (DDG 95). The Royal Navy sent the Duke-class British frigate HMS Lancaster (F229).
Events throughout the week allow the community an opportunity to learn more about the represented navies and provide Sailors with a chance to learn more about allied Sailors.
With Wasp docked next to the Athabaskan, Capt. Kurt Kastner, Wasp's commanding officer, talked about the friendship between the U.S., Canada and the U.K.
"Any time we get to work with our partners we not only get to show off our naval power but also we get to learn more about our allies and our similarities and differences," said Kastner. "This helps contribute to the strong legacy and relationship our countries have through coordination and cooperation."
Vice Adm. Mike Norman also spoke to assembled Sailors about the importance of cooperation between the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and other allied nations.
"I can't think of partners that have any more in common," said Norman. "We have more in common, more shared history, more shared interests and responsibilities in the future of global security than anyone."
Cmdr. Matt Plaschka, the commanding officer of Athabaskan, also highlighted the interaction with the community and each other. Plaschka reflected on the importance of sharing concepts, practices and traditions to create a well-rounded and strong allied force.
"It is an honor to be here in New Orleans," said Plaschka. "Myself and my crew value the time spent and look forward to all future endeavors with our partners, friends and allies."