FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Fleet Week has officially kicked off at Port Everglades with the arrival of five U.S. Navy ships and two from the U.S. Coast Guard along with a contingent of Marines from the II Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp LeJeune and the Navy Region Southeast Band from Jacksonville.
“The love and support of Broward County, both from the civilians, residents here, and also from the local PD. It has been fantastic,” US Navy Lt. Valerie Tucciarone said.
The visiting Navy ships are an amphibious transport dock, a guided missile cruiser, destroyer, littoral (near shore) combat ship and a nuclear submarine.
One of them is USS New York, which has steel from the Twin Towers.
There was an official ship greeting reception at 5 p.m. Monday at the Museum of Discovery and Science followed by the annual All Hands on Deck Welcoming Party at Esplanade Park.
“It’s definitely a fun time and it’s actually very meaningful and it’s actually a mission for us,” said Fleet Week Commander Rear Admiral Brad Skillman.
The sailors, marines and Coast Guardsmen are scheduled to take part in events all week long that honor them and show gratitude for their service.
They include the Fleet Week Golf Classic, a Salute to Veterans, the Take a Hero Fishing Tournament, a Celebrity Chefs Luncheon and taking in a Marlins game.
A full schedule of this week’s events can be found here.
The event is also a way for the men and women of the military to show the public the job they do and the type of military technology they use to protect and defend our country.
“This is what your tax dollars pay for. This is professional young men and women who serve and they serve for you,” Skillman said.
The 29th annual Fleet Week is organized by the nonprofit Broward Navy Days to celebrate the military.
Some leaders believe events like that will help attract a new generation.
“We are looking for young men and women to inspire that little six or seven year old [with] the excitement of going to sea,” Capt. Brent DeVore said.