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Fleet Week begins in San Diego

Fleet Week San Diego is getting underway, with a boatload of events for veterans, civilians and children.

“It’s just a great family event. It’s great for the community and it’s great for the military," said Larry Blumberg, a Navy veteran and the executive director of Fleet Week San Diego. “This is our opportunity here in San Diego to really connect with these young men and women who serve us on a daily basis.”

In preparation for Fleet Week, on Wednesday the littoral combat ship USS Montgomery docked at the Broadway Pier, and a convoy of vehicles arrived from the U.S. Marine Corps I Marine Expeditionary Force.

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Sailors aboard the USS Montgomery for Fleet Week San Diego 2022
Matthew Bowler
/
KPBS
Several service members aboard the USS Montgomery for the start of Fleet Week San Diego 2022 at the Broadway Pier in Downtown San Diego on Nov. 2, 2022.

“You get to see them up close and personal. You get to tour the ships. You get to talk to the people who operate the equipment,” Blumberg said.

The USS Montgomery will be open to the public for tours starting Friday. The Marine Corps Equipment from MCAS Miramar and Camp Pendleton are available to see up close too.

There are currently more than 100,000 active duty personnel who live in San Diego.

“If you ask anybody who's been stationed here in San Diego. They will tell you that there’s a unique vibe about San Diego that doesn’t exist in other places where the military is at,” Blumberg said. “It’s just really special and our idea is to bring this community and the military, to make sure we maintain that uniqueness.”

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One of the Marines participating in Fleet Week is 2nd Lt. Gregory Jones. He said he is most excited about the kids who will visit during Fleet Week.

“The younger set of people that are going to be coming out here, who really like to see the cool stuff that they see on movies and video games and stuff like that. So (we're) getting the opportunity to show how cool our job is," Jones said. "I wake up everyday and I’m really grateful that I get to do the job that I get to do.”

Jones also appreciates the support the community has for the military.

“This is what we do. This is how we do it. This is why we do it and the why that we do it for you guys is national defense. Making sure you guys are safe to do the things that you like to do everyday,” Jones said.

Blumberg said there are a few new features at this year’s event

“On Sunday we’ve got an MRE cooking contest, meals ready to eat. We’re going to invite the active duty members to participate and see if they can gourmet it up and it should be a fun event,” Blumberg said. “Our innovation zone is greatly expanded this year. We’ve got some new companies that are represented there as well as the military.”

Other Fleet Week events include student STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) days on Thursday and Friday, a veterans' art exhibit from Nov. 4-13 and a boat parade on Veterans Day.

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