PHOTOS: Ships and Helicopters Entertain Thousands of New Yorkers During Fleet Week 2010
For the 26th year since its inception in 1984, New York City Fleet Week took off full steam ahead on May 26th, starting with the parade of ships up the Hudson to the West side of Manhattan.
Its conjunction with Memorial Day each year is especially significant as it honors veterans and military personnel of all generations and to those who gave their lives serving our country. Thousands from the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard were on location in the Big Apple during this special week, coordinating community activities, events and providing various demonstrations of what they do everyday. While in Manhattan there were ships to tour, concerts to hear and fun to be had at night, The United States Marine Corps once again made the special effort in bringing an interactive airshow out into the community.
Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) air to ground demos were held in numerous parks and schools throughout the five boroughs, Westchester and Long Island. Flying aircraft into community parks allowed for a first hand look at what our service men and women do every day. Simulating air to ground attacks, the Marines used Ch-46 Sea Knights, AH-1W Super Cobras and the newest addition to their flying lineup, the MV-22 Osprey to put on the show. Once the demos were over, the aircraft landed and shut down in the parks, open for spectators to tour.
“We’ve been coming to Eisenhower Park the past three years for the Fleet Week demo,” said a spectator named Jack, from Long Island. “We come here rather than the Jones Beach airshow because the event is much less crowded and more interpersonal for people. You can watch the demo, talk to Marines, walk through the helicopters and still be home to grill hot dogs for lunch.”
Marine Squadron HMM-774 “Wild Geese” took part in the festivities again this year by bringing their CH-46 Sea Knights up from Norfolk, Virginia providing troop transport for the demos. Up from New River, North Carolina this year were HMLA-167 and their AH-1W Cobra gunships, as well as VMM-263 with their MV-22B Ospreys. “I came to see the Ospreys fly,” said Jason, a 32 year old Nassau County police officer. “This is the first year they are flying here for Fleet Week and I wanted to come watch them fly in person rather than on TV.”
By the conclusion of the week the Marines had performed a total of eight MAGTF demos throughout Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island and Westchester. While the Marines proudly stand up to this responsibility to New York each year, their uniqueness in bringing the show directly to spectators in various community settings is truly unprecedented. Here’s to another 25 years of their unique capabilities.