Throughout fleet week, which ran Oct. 3 through 10, nearly 23,800 visitors toured amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22), guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mellon (WHEC 717) and Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Calgary (FFH 335), and more than 2,000 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guard members interacted with the local community and participated in a number of community service projects, hosted static displays, and experienced the city while on liberty.
“Fleet Week really gives a good glimpse of what the military has to offer,” said Justin Torrez, a Fleet Week attendee. “Being able to tour the ships and meet service members really opened my eyes to all the amazing things the Sailors do.”
Events during fleet week included ship tours, sports tournaments, multiple performances by "Pipeline" U.S. Pacific Fleet Band, U.S. Navy Band Southwest and 1st Marine Corps Division Band, equipment demonstrations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief evolutions, a parade of ships, and air shows featuring the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron Blue Angels, U.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs, and the Canadian Air Force Demonstration Team, the Breitling Jet Team.
A Defense Support of Civil Authorities exercise was also held during San Francisco Fleet Week. This disaster-preparedness exercise was designed to ensure resources would still be able to flow into the city in the event of limited ingress/egress following a catastrophic event. The exercise also provided a familiarization and training opportunity for amphibious landing operations as Sailors from and Marines from USS San Diego, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Logistics Group, and I Marine Expeditionary Force worked together to practice moving emergency supplies from the ship to commodity distribution points in support of DSCA efforts.
Promoting further cooperation between the sea services and civil authorities, military members participated in shipboard firefighting, urban search and rescue, and a peer-to-peer medical exchange. MEDEX united San Francisco Bay Area medical and first responder communities with the U.S. Navy, Marines and private sector partners in an exercise testing their collective capabilities in patient treatment and movement in a large-scale disaster setting while on board San Diego.
“Training scenarios like MEDEX really bring together the civilian and medical communities,” said Cpl. Robert Garza, a Marine assigned to San Diego. “We use these exercises as a platform to share lessons learned, best practices, and innovation in the medical response community. This is a crucial step toward improving operational readiness and response.”
Fleet Week also included a Senior Leadership Seminar. The two-day event focused on America’s maritime preparedness and future challenges in international waters. Senior leadership from the Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers and the city of San Francisco discussed the dynamics of national and global disaster relief programs and participated in communication, innovation and supply focus groups.
Many service members said participating in the traditional Italian Heritage Day Parade and being cheered on by spectators was a highlight of their week.
“I am so grateful to everyone who came out to support our Sailors, Marines Coast Guard members and Canadian partners,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Eli Peterson, attached to Mobile Bay. “It was an amazing opportunity to march in the Heritage Day Parade. For me, it was one of the proudest moments of my life.”