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Ships Arrive in Seattle for Seafair, Sail in Parade of Ships

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS090730-09
Release Date: 7/30/2009 4:59:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chantel M. Clayton, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Det. Northwest

SEATTLE (NNS) -- The citizens of Seattle, along with high-ranking Navy and Coast Guard officials and dignitaries, gathered along Elliot Bay for a parade of ships, marking the fleet's official arrival for Seattle's 60th Seafair celebration.

Alongside the hundreds of people who turned out to see the parade of ships was the Navy's top leader, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead.

"I'm here for Seafair. It's always great to come back to Seattle and to spend some time with the Sailors and people," said Roughead. "This gives me an opportunity to visit with Sailors here, and to thank the people of Seattle for their hospitality.

"I think everyone has a great time. Our Sailors love Seattle, and I hope that the citizens of Seattle enjoy meeting our Sailors and jump on the opportunity to tour the visiting ships. I think it's terrific that the people of Seattle can see their Navy, because it is their Navy. I can't be more proud of our folks, and I know that they will enjoy it."

As the Navy Band Northwest played in the background, people from the Seattle area, both young and old, came out to witness the parade of ships, as ships from the United States Navy, Coast Guard and Canadian Navy sailed in Elliot Bay. For many, this was the first time they had witnessed such a display.

"I read about it in the newspaper and wanted to come out here and see the ships. I thought it was really awesome to watch them come in, and it was an awesome experience," said Gay Beckman, a citizen of Puyallup, Wash. "I lived in Washington since 2005, and this is my first time experiencing Seafair. Even though it was hot today, it was worth it to come out."

For Rear Adm. James A. Symonds, commander, Navy Region Northwest, Seafair is an opportunity for Sailors to interact with the people of Seattle, while citizens show their appreciation for what Sailors do for the country.

"Seafair really means a lot to all of us here in the Puget Sound area," said Symonds. "This is a tremendous partnership. The great citizens of Seattle show their support every year not only during Seafair but throughout the year to our young Sailors. For ships like the Momsen and Shoup, who are stationed up in Everett, it means a lot to them. Every day it means a lot to them when they are on deployment on foreign shores."

Vice Adm. Richard Hunt, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, urged the citizens of Seattle to take advantage of the opportunity such as Seafair to meet Sailors.

"I think people should come take a look at the ships, get to know our Sailors and see what they do. It's all about our Navy; it's all about our Sailors and how we contribute to maritime security," said Hunt. "Our Sailors are doing a phenomenal job up here, and we appreciate the opportunity to showcase them and what they as individuals and working as a team contribute to our Navy."

Seattle Seafair is an annual celebration, which takes place during the month of July. The U.S. Navy, along with the Canadian navy and U.S. Coast Guard, participate in the annual event, during which selected ships sail into Seattle for the public to see. Sailors have the opportunity to experience the sights of Seattle, and citizens have the chance to meet Sailors and tour the participating ships. The U.S. Navy ships participating this year are the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Momsen (DDG 92) and USS Shoup (DDG 86), both homeported in Everett, Wash.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Northwest, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrnw/.



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