Mayor LaToya Cantrell today was joined by U.S. Navy Rear Admiral John Menoni, Expeditionary Strike Group TWO, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Ronald Piret, CNMOC; and U S. Coast Guard District 8 Chief of Staff Captain John Reed to announce the kick-off of Navy Week 2022. The City of New Orleans welcomed the arrival of two Arleigh-Burke Class U.S. Navy Destroyers, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Daniel Tarr; and French Naval Destroyer La Combattante to the Port of New Orleans.
“I am excited about the return of Navy Week to our city here at the Port of New Orleans,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “It has been several years since we’ve hosted this event,
and it is very important to our economy and to the visitors coming our way that New Orleans regains its place locally, nationally, and internationally. This is an example of the strong ties that we have with our military forces in the Southeastern Region of Louisiana and across the board, as we continue to thank the men and women of our military for the sacrifices that they make because freedom isn’t free.”
Ships from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and French Navy, along with the Marine Forces Reserve, Navy Stewards of the Sea and Navy Meterology and Oceanography Command arrived at the Port of New Orleans today and will open to the general public for tours daily from Tuesday, April 19 to Thursday, April 21. In addition to the ships, displays of military equipment, information on Navy environmental programs, U.S. Marine Corps vehicles and equipment, Unmanned Underwater Vehicles from Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, recruiting displays, U.S. Coast Guard small boats and navigational aids will be located on the pier for guests to view.
During this week’s events, Mayor Cantrell will attend the NOLA Navy Week Mayoral Welcome event and the Return Calls Luncheon. Other events include the French Reception, Louisiana Seafood Cookoff, matching top New Orleans chefs with military culinary specialists in a cooking contest, and the Admirals Reception that will culminate with a fireworks display. The visiting sailors and volunteers will host community and park restoration projects and a clean-up event at Holt Cemetery. The official Ringing of The Bells will take place on Friday, April 22, which celebrates the departure of the ships.
“It’s really important and exciting for us to show New Orleans their Navy, America’s Navy,” said U.S. Navy Rear Admiral John Menoni. “This mission allows the sailors and coastguardsmen an opportunity to come ashore and conduct public outreach and volunteer projects within the community. Navy Week also gives more than 280 participating multi-missioned sailors on board a chance to get out and experience the culture of this city and to visit other cities, which they have not been able to do because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“It is a great honor to be here today to showcase the Coast Guard’s unwavering commitment to the American people,” said U.S. Coast Guard District 8 Captain Kelly Denning. “This week, the Coast Guard will have the chance to show you our incredible, capable and diverse workforce, to include the assets and people that help us carry out our unique and vital missions.”
This year’s celebration marks the fourth visit to New Orleans following a cancellation in 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic, bringing more than 1,000 Navy, Marine, Coast Guard and French Navy service members to the city. It provides an opportunity for residents and visitors to tour the vessels and witness the quality of naval and coast guard personnel, modern military technology, interact with the nation’s defenders and to reinforce the area’s military and maritime history.