More than 1,300 Sailors and Marines departed Manhattan aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) on their way home to Norfolk, Va., at the conclusion of Fleet Week New York 2017, May 30.
During their six days in port, Kearsarge service members interacted with the community, hosting two receptions on board, conducting tours of the ship for the general public, and participating in 74 events in the area.
“The people of New York were thrilled to have us here,” said Command Master Chief Jason A. Knupp, Kearsarge’s senior enlisted leader. “I can say from the smiles around the ship that our Sailors also are glad they were able to come to Fleet Week. They did Kearsarge proud in everything they participated in from manning the rails, to the tug-of-war, to marching in all the parades.”
In total, Kearsarge hosted an estimated 30,000 visitors, including Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio and Pearl Harbor survivor former Army Cpl. John Seelie.
“For the past 29 years, Fleet Week has set aside time for all of us to recognize and pay tribute to the dedicated men and women of the United States Navy, the United States Marine Corps and the United States Coast Guard who selflessly answer the call to serve and protect our nation at home and abroad,” said de Blasio.
Kearsarge Sailors said they were proud to interact with the citizens of New York and give back to the city that showed them such a welcome.
“It feels good to be helping out,” said Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class Anthony Skinner. “I’m glad we do these events because we can show appreciation to those who support us. It feels good to be able to give back, instead of just enjoying all the benefits.”
Knupp was honored to celebrate the week on board Kearsarge, which hasn’t been a part of Fleet Week New York since 2008.
“This is something that may only happen once in a lifetime and to be able to do it alongside such wonderful Sailors and Marines is something I will fondly remember for the rest of my life,” said Knupp.
Fleet Week New York, now in its 29th year, is the city’s time-honored celebration of the sea services, and an unparalleled opportunity for the citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today’s maritime services. Fleet Week New York has been held nearly every year since 1984.