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NEW YORK -- Six U.S. Navy ships, three U.S. Coast Guard cutters and 12 coalition ships from around the world sailed into New York harbor to commence Fleet Week New York 2012, May 23.
Approximately 6,000 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen descended upon the city to celebrate the 25th Fleet Week New York, taking place May 23-30.
This year the sea services join together to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Fleet Week has been New York City's celebration of the sea services since 1984. It is an unparalleled opportunity for citizens of New York and the surrounding area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as see, firsthand, the latest capabilities of today's maritime services.
"I'm glad to be here with the Wasp to commemorate the War of 1812 and to get to be home and see my family since I haven't seen them in quite some time," said Aviation Support Equipment Technician 2nd Class Angel Garcia, from Bronx, N.Y. and currently stationed aboard USS Wasp (LHD 1).
Navy ships participating in this year's commemoration include multipurpose amphibious assault ship Wasp, the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Mitscher (DDG 57), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80).
Wasp and Roosevelt will dock in Manhattan at Piers 90 and 92. All other U.S. Navy ships will dock at Sullivan's Homeport Pier in Staten Island. The U.S. Coast Guard signature ship, Eagle, will dock at Pier 90 in Manhattan, while two additional Coast Guard cutters, along with several coalition ships will dock in Brooklyn at the Port Authority Piers.
Public visitations of the U.S. Navy ships will commence May 24 and conclude May 29. Manhattan ships at Piers 90 and 92, as well as Staten Island ships located at the Homeport Pier, are open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Coalition ships located at Port Authority Piers in Brooklyn are open Saturday, Sunday and Monday, May 26-28, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Throughout the week, a number of exhibits and displays will show off the technology of the maritime services to include air shows and ground demonstrations by members of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard team.
"Being a part of Fleet Week is awesome. Last year I was in Afghanistan on the bird to go over there, and this year I'm here at Fleet Week in New York City, back in my hometown," said Lance Corporal Dennis Cox, from Manhattan, N.Y., currently attached to the Ground Combat Element from1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment. "I joined the Marine Corps because of 9/11. That kind of sealed the deal for me. If I could have, I would have joined right then and there, but I had to wait to graduate high school first."
This year, Fleet Week New York is one of the signature events around the country commemorating OpSail 2012, the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the Star-Spangled Banner. The commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 is a salute to all Sailors and Marines who fought gallantly in that conflict, all who served in the nation's conflicts since then, and who are defending freedom around the world today.