U.S. Navy ships depart Seattle, wrapping up Seafair Fleet Week

Seafair Parade of Ships

160802-N-ZP059-034 SEATTLE, Wash. (Aug. 2, 2016) – The guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) circles the Port of Seattle during Seafair Fleet Week’s parade of ships. Seafair Fleet Week is an annual celebration of the sea services wherein Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen from visiting U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships and ships from Canada make the city a port of call. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob G. Sisco/Released)

SEATTLE, Wash. – USS Gridley (DDG 101) and USS Somerset (LPD 25) departed the Port of Seattle Piers 66 and 90, concluding Seattle Seafair Fleet Week, Aug. 8.

Seattle Fleet Week was filled with tours of both the U.S. Navy’s 51st Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101), the fourth ship to hold the namesake, and the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Somerset (LPD 25), the fifth ship to hold the namesake, among multiple other community outreach events including performances by the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, Navy Band Northwest, and Navy Band Southwest.

 

The namesake city of Seattle Fleet Week is a part of the Navy’s third largest fleet concentration, in the Pacific Northwest, headed by Capt. William Bulis, commander of Navy Region Northwest.

“The U.S. Navy has called the Puget Sound home for more than a century and we have been proud to uphold the tradition of Seattle Fleet Week for 67 of those years,” said Bulis.

More than 130 Marines from Marine Expeditionary Unit 11, aboard Somerset, joined Third Fleet Sailors and Blue Angels through eight separate community relations projects including a naturalization ceremony aboard Somerset, hospital, senior and veteran visits, feeding the less fortunate and refurbishing projects across the Emerald City.

Visitors aboard the Gridley and Somerset totaled 16,612, while the Seattle Seafair reached more than two million people.

“We thank our Seafair hosts, and our Pacific Northwest community, for so graciously hosting our Navy family,” said Bulis.

Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, commander, U.S. Third Fleet, engaged in local Seattle Fleet Week events Saturday as she wrapped up the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise.

The Navy’s first Fleet Week was hosted by San Diego in 1935 and has expanded to New York City, Portland, Oregon, San Francisco and Port Everglades, Florida.

Fleet Week counterparts are Navy Weeks, hosted by landlocked cities, the next being in Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 15-21.

For a list of Navy Weeks throughout 2016, visit: http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=93262.

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