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Navy Week sails into the Lowcountry

By Airman 1st Class Helena Owens | Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs | March 15, 2019

CHARLESTON, S.C. —

America’s Navy set sail to the Lowcountry of South Carolina March 11-16, 2019, as Charleston was one of 14 cities selected to host a Navy Week.

Charleston Navy Week is designed to give area residents an opportunity to learn about our nation’s Navy. Organizers scheduled the following elements in the week-long celebration: Senior Navy leadership, Sailors from Joint Base Charleston, ship’s company from USS Constitution and the USS Charleston, Navy Divers and more, all attending community events. The events include; high school visits, luncheons, static displays, veteran visits, baseball games and more.

Since 2005, the Navy Week program has served as the Navy’s primary outreach effort into areas of the country which do not have a significant Navy presence, with 228 Navy Weeks held in more than 75 different U.S. markets.  

“Navy Weeks are designed to help Americans understand why having a strong Navy is critical to the American way of life,” said Cmdr. Linda Rojas, director of the Navy Office of Community Outreach. “Because the Navy is concentrated primarily in select locations on both coasts, we’re challenged to communicate our mission away from fleet concentration areas.  That’s where the Navy Week program comes in.

“We’re very excited to bring the Navy to Charleston. Which was a fleet concentration area until the 1990s and still maintains strong Navy ties throughout the community,” Rojas added.

Navy Weeks focus a variety of outreach assets, equipment and personnel on a single city for a week-long series of engagements with key influencers and organizations representing all sectors of the region.

“During Navy Week, we coordinate about 75 outreach events with corporate, civic, government, education, media, veterans, community service and diversity organizations in the city,” said Lt. John Stevens, NAVCO Navy Week program manager.  “The 2019 schedule is exciting for us.  We’re outside the continental U.S. for the first time in our program’s history as we travel to Puerto Rico, we have the potential for some ships joining us in our coastal markets, and we’ll be taking the program to new places like Grand Junction, Colorado.”

“Charleston Navy Week is especially significant to me,” Stevens added.  “I grew up in a Charleston Navy family and I can’t wait to help bring the Navy back to my home city.”