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2010 Fleet Week celebration will be the biggest in 20 years

SAN FRANCISCO — This year’s Fleet Week celebration, an annual event that celebrates the city’s rich contribution to the United States armed forces, will be the largest one held in 20 years, organizers and city officials said Wednesday.

Ten ships, eight of them active military vessels, will take part in this year’s event, scheduled to kick off today and run through Monday. The eight active military ships — including two from the Canadian naval fleet — will bring nearly 1,000 sailors into San Francisco, according to Fleet Week organizers.

“Fleet Week is a San Francisco tradition where we celebrate our City’s rich naval history and maritime traditions and salute the men and women of our Armed Forces for their devotion and service to the defense of our country,” San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a written statement.

Newsom joined Fleet Week organizers and pilots of the United States Navy’s Blue Angels at a press event at City Hall Wednesday to announce the start of the annual event.

Newsom, who is running for Lieutenant Governor in the November election, proudly heralded a new hybrid-electric U.S. Naval amphibious assault ship, the USS Makin Island, that sailed into San Francisco Wednesday and will be docked at Piers 30/32 until Tuesday.

Organizers announced that nine other ships will participate in Saturday’s Parade of Ships, scheduled to start at 10 a.m:

  • USS Pinckney (DDG 91)
  • USS Curts (FFG 38)
  • USS Champion (MCM 4)
  • USS Pioneer (MCM 9)
  • USS Chief (MCM 14)
  • US Coast Guard Cutter Active (WMEC-618)
  • Canadian Naval vessels HMCS Whitehorse (MM 705) and HMCS Brandon (MM 710)
  • The historic WWII Liberty Ship Jeremiah O’Brien (read more about it here)
  • A Vietnam-era Liberty PT-26 from Sacramento, California with its all-female crew of sea cadets.

The Blue Angels will conduct practice and survey flights Thursday and Friday afternoon. The F/A-18s of the Navy’s flight demonstration squadron will fly over the city beginning at 1 p.m. on Thursday and at 3 p.m. on Friday.

On Saturday and Sunday, the annual Fleet Week airshow over San Francisco Bay is expected to attract over 1 million people into the city, with the event’s main draw, the Blue Angels, flying at 3 p.m. on both days.

Tours of all the Fleet Week ships will be available Sunday and Monday.

A complete listing of Fleet Week events can be found on our Fleet Week Insider’s Guide.

Contact the Beat at news@californiabeat.org.

2 Comments »

  • Robert Miller said:

    I drove into San Francisco on Monday, October 11, to tour the remaining ships docked for fleetweek.

    Sorry to note that I am not “informed”, as I do not know where to check the schedules for Fleetweek. I do not live in San Francisco, I live on the Peninsula. I do not take the SF Chronicle anymore.

    So, HOW do we get the schedual of the CLOSING times? I had the door “shut-in my face” when I finally got down there to see the anphibious ship docked at pier 32. ALSO, I was treated VERY RUDELY by the Navy Security at the gate, mainly a female officer who refused to give her name, but I will describer her: Brunett hair with Brown Eyes. Her back up officer, Macs McNuccle, was equally rude to me.

    Fleetweek is over, I can’t tour the ship, but, I deserve an oppology for the way I was treated.

    These people (Navy Security) should be less arrogant to the civillians who pay their salaries. McNucckle did not like it when I said that (I pay their salaries). The Brunette said “well, we may be here next year, but we just might not offer anymore tours since you all are complaining”.

    If that is the attitude of these people, they should be in a different line of work.

    Those of us who took the time to drive into San Francisco, (and if you know the traffic, you would avoid it if possible), did not deserve to be treated with such disdain. We are owed an oppolgy from these sassy individuals. Hundreds of people were turned away, and, I understand that this happened on all three days of fleetweek.

    In a city that does not even want the military anywhere near there, you should be greatful for those of us who support the military and wanted to come up and tour your ships. We were alienated by your very rude personnel who turned us away after the effort to get there.

    So, what about next year? I think I will stay home. It is not worth the hassle!!

  • CDR Greg hicks said:

    To Mr. Robert Miller – If you’re still interested or wish to visit in 2011, please contact me at greg.hicks@navy.mil and I’d be happy to assist you with seeing some of ships this year at a time of your convenience.

    R/ Greg