Story by PO1 Travis Alston on 09/03/2019SAN PEDRO, CA The fourth annual Los Angeles Fleet Week (LAFW) wrapped up Sept. 2, with more than 1,200 Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen from six ships experiencing the hospitality of "The City of Angels" and the city of San Pedro.
Los Angeles Fleet Week offered the public an opportunity to tour Naval ships, engage with servicemembers, and enjoy a variety of displays and events throughout the week. It also gave the public an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the sea services and how they support our country's national defense strategy.
"Los Angeles natives love the U.S. military so we are more than honored that servicemembers had the opportunity to show us what their nation and Navy are all about," said Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles. "I want to thank the leaders who made this annual tradition, now in its fourth year, building on the many years of success of Navy days before that, possible."
Although most of the week-long events are aimed at engaging with the public, the first two days, U.S. 3rd Fleet, Navy Region Southwest, local agencies and government officials gathered for an annual Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) workshop and senior leadership seminar, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in San Pedro, California.
DSCA allows U.S. military personnel and assets to assist local governments with missions normally performed by civil authorities in response to natural disasters.
"DSCA workshops are excellent opportunities to have a conversation that can be held at all levels, before an actual disaster happens," said Robbie Spears, emergency management coordinator for the City of Los Angeles and DSCA workshop coordinator. "A big part of it is relationship building. We come from different agencies with different points of view, and this workshop allows us to facilitate a conversation where we can translate different organizational needs or capabilities, whether it be at a city, state, federal or military level, and figure out how we can best work together."
Throughout the week, more than 140 Sailors took a break from their regular military duties to help others in the community by volunteering for several community relations (COMREL) event in the area.
"I want to give a shout out and thank all of the Sailors, Marines and Coastguardsmen who took the time to help at these events," said Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, Commander, Navy Region Southwest, while preparing lunch for homeless patrons at St. Francis Center. "These type of outreach events are great opportunities for us to give back and support those that are less fortunate than us."
This year's Fleet Week included nearly 100,000 visitors who had the opportunity to tour Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45), Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111), the Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Tulsa (LCS 16), and the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Scout (MCM 8) as well as U.S. Coast Guard Cutters Forrest Rednour (WPC-1129) and Alert (WMEC-630).
Additionally, LAFW included multiple performances by the Navy Band Southwest, a concert hosted by American rock band "Cheap Trick", performances by the the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the "Leap Frogs" and the eleventh annual 5.3 mile, "Conquer the Bridge" run.
"As a former Sailor and Inglewood resident, it makes me proud to see how excited locals are during fleet week," said Adrian White. "Even though I've served aboard several aircraft carriers and shore-based commands, I always look forward to seeing the Navy's capabilities, equipment and top-notch Sailors first hand."
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