You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Fleet Week kicks off in New York

May. 25, 2011 - 02:18PM   |   Last Updated: May. 25, 2011 - 02:18PM  |  
Sailors stand on the deck as the amphibious transport dock New York passes the Statue of Liberty to kick off Fleet Week in New York on May 25.
Sailors stand on the deck as the amphibious transport dock New York passes the Statue of Liberty to kick off Fleet Week in New York on May 25. (Seth Wenig / The Associated Press)
  • Filed Under
Sailors stand on the deck of the amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima as it passes by the Statue of Liberty to kick off Fleet Week in New York on May 25. (Seth Wenig / The Associated Press)

NEW YORK As the 24th annual Fleet Week festivities got under way Wednesday with a parade of military vessels sailing up the Hudson River, the Navy secretary said the small number of participating boats this year was a reflection of the Navy's work around the world responding to disasters and conflicts.

The "Parade of Ships" started with the vessels passing under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, up the Hudson to the George Washington Bridge. Among them were the amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima and the amphibious transport dock New York, whose hull was forged with steel from the World Trade Center.

Missing this year were any historic tall ships or foreign vessels.

"We are very busy," said Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

For example, he said, on a recent single day in March a so-called Navy Strike Group deployed to Afghanistan was moved to Japan to deliver medical assistance to earthquake and tsunami victims. Elsewhere, Navy ships, submarines and helicopters were deployed to Libya to enforce the NATO-led no-fly zone while other Navy vessels conducted drug interdictions from the Gulf of Mexico to the Horn of Africa and the South Pacific.

Compared to a decade ago, "we're at a much higher operational tempo," Mabus said.

About 325,000 sailors and 220,000 Marines are serving on more than 280 vessels around the world, he said.

Manus and invited guests watched the festivities from a West Side pier near the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum while listening to jazz and enjoying breakfast.

After sailing past the World Trade Center site and other city landmarks, the New York, along with three other Navy vessels, headed for a dock on Staten Island. The Iwo Jima and three Coast Guard cutters docked near the Intrepid.

Myles Post, 46, a retired Navy veteran who developed emphysema and asthma after working at ground zero for 13 months, sat in a wheelchair on the flight deck of the Intrepid waiting for the New York to sail by.

"It's depressing, but it's good to see that they did something with the ground zero scraps to keep the memory alive," Post said.

Fleet Week ends on Memorial Day with a military flyover honoring American military personnel who lost their lives in service.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Navy Times

This Week's Navy Times

Go mustang
LDO and warrant careers offer more authority, a pay hike and big retirement payout

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook