Ahead of the Cleveland National Air Show with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, sailors from the guided missile nuclear submarine the U.S.S. Ohio have descended on Cleveland this week.
They're joined by the U.S. Fleet Forces Band, U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard Drill Team, the Navy Operational Support Center in Akron, the Navy’s Office of Small Business Programs, Naval Recruiting District Ohio, Navy Divers, Navy Oceanography and Meteorology Command, Defense Finance, and Accounting Services Cleveland—in total about 125 Navy sailors and personnel.
Cleveland is the eleventh stop out of 14 U.S. cities participating in Navy Week, an outreach event to show everyday Americans what the Navy does, says Senior Chief Shane Adkins, a Cleveland native.
“When we’re not deployed, this is a chance to come back and talk about what we do,” Adkins says. “I think a lot of people don’t really know that the Navy is working 24/7, 365 [days a year]. I hope people get a better understanding of what we do on a daily basis—at the end of the day, we’re here for them, whether we’re deployed or whether we’re home.”
As chief petty officer on the USS Ohio, which is based in Bangor, Washington, Adkins trains and qualifies fellow Navy personnel on the submarine. “I teach people how to target tomahawk missiles,” he explains. “It’s very rewarding most of the time, but also a bit of work.”
The USS Ohio is at sea for two years at a time, with two crews alternating in four- to six-month rotations.
Many of the scheduled events planned during Cleveland Navy Week include opportunities for the public to come see the U.S. Fleet Forces Band and the Navy Ceremonial Guard Drill Team perform.
Today, Tuesday, August 28, Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson will host a proclamation ceremony at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Public Square from 5:00 to 5:30 p.m. with Vice Admiral Faison, the Ceremonial Drill Team, U.S. Fleet Forces Band, and USS Ohio sailors. The Fleet Forces Band will also perform at the Cleveland Clinic tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 29 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Navy members will host Family Night Under the Stars at Luke Easter Park (3090 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive), on Wednesday, along with Cleveland police, fire, and EMS. The Fleet Band and drill team will again perform and Navy divers, Navy oceanography meteorology, USS Ohio Sailors, Navy recruiting, and the Navy History and Heritage Command will also be on hand to meet the public and perform demonstrations.
Friday, August 31 marks the beginning of the Air Show, which runs through Monday, September 3. For a full list of events, click here. Saturday, August 2 is Navy Night during the Cleveland Indians game against the Minnesota Twins, with Under Secretary of the Navy, The Honorable Thomas B. Modly, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, a tentative F-18 flyover, and various Navy displays throughout the ballpark.
While here, Navy members will perform community service work with organizations like Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity.
Adkins says he is personally looking forward to checking out the downtown Cleveland food scene and the Cleveland Metroparks. “We don’t get to eat good food very often because we’re so busy,” he says. “I want to take a little run through the Metroparks because it’s beautiful. So far, it’s been a great time. It’s an amazing city.”