Military Ships to Parade Up the Hudson River on Wednesday Morning
The tradition of military ships visiting New York to celebrate the maritime services began in 1988, but the idea goes back to 1898 when Admiral George Dewey arrived here following his victory over the Spanish navy in the Philippines. The Fleet Weeks of today celebrate preparedness rather than battle success, and focus instead on advances in military technology and the contributions of U.S. sailors, Marines and Coast Guard men and women.
To kick off this year’s Fleet Week festivities, a parade of U.S. ships—joined by vessels from NATO allies Great Britain, Italy, and Canada—enters New York Harbor around 7:30am on Wednesday, May 24. By 8:30am they’ll be steaming up the Hudson, escorted by FDNY fireboats, the tall ship Clipper City, and other smaller vessels. In the following days, ship tours, events and demonstrations will provide opportunities for active duty personnel to interact with the public, telling us what they do and explaining the impressive capabilities of today’s maritime services. For the latest information on Fleet Week events, check FleetWeekNewYork on Facebook and follow @FleetWeekNYC on Twitter and Instagram.
For most visitors, the highlights will be tours aboard the ships tied up at Staten Island near Stapleton Waterfront Park, or at Piers 86, 88, and 90 in Manhattan between West 46th and West 50th Streets. The largest visiting ship by far is the USS Wasp (right), a 40,500-ton, 843-foot long amphibious assault vessel resembling an aircraft carrier and similar in size to the Intrepid museum ship. First deployed in 1991, she has supported action in Somalia and Iraq as well as large-scale exercises in the Caribbean and elsewhere. Sharing space with the Wasp at Pier 88 will be HMS Scott, a British ocean survey vessel named for the famed Antarctic explorer. Next door at Pier 90, the Italian frigate Virginio Fasan will welcome visitors, as will the Canadian coastal defense vessel HMCS Glace Bay. A Coast Guard cutter will be tied up at the end of Pier 86, near the Intrepid. Staten Island will host the 580-foot USS Oak Hill, a dock landing ship that carries amphibious vehicles, hovercraft,and helicopters. Next to her will be the 270-foot Coast Guard cutter Legare and the unusual USNS Newport, a non-combatant Expeditionary Fast Transport vessel that is also used for humanitarian operations.