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Sailors from USS Jacksonville (SSN-699)
Participate in International Naval Review 2000

By JO1 Gerald Harris, INR Public Affairs Office

The Silent Service was in the spotlight the week of July 4 as a U.S. Navy nuclear-powered attack submarine joined International Naval Review 2000 in and around New York City. USS Jacksonville (SSN-699), one of the most technologically advanced warships plying the seas, joined the international flotilla July 2. For security reasons, Jacksonville pulled into Naval Weapons Station Earle, in New Jersey, across the harbor from New York City. "Being a nuclear-powered submarine, we have to have a certain amount of security and it wasn't available in New York," explained ETC(SS) Bruce Jackson, Jacksonville's public affairs officer. Even with the increased security, thousands of people turned out between July 6 and July 8 to visit the only submarine at INR 2000. "About 700 people a day toured the boat," Jackson said. "But even with assistance from the people at the base, we were unable to handle the unprecedented number of people wanting to tour the boat. We had to turn thousands away because we simply didn't have the room." One of the more prominent visitors to the boat was New Jersey Senator Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey, who came aboard July 7 for a two-and-a-half tour. Hosting tours was not the only thing on Jacksonville's plate. About a quarter of the crew used the opportunity of the ship's port call to take leave to visit friends and family in the area. For the remaining hundred or so Sailors, activities abounded. On July 5, a handful of Jacksonville Sailors went over to the Veteran's Administration Home in Edison, New Jersey. "They did much-needed repairs to the home, some yard work, and had lunch with the residents," said Jackson. The next day, another group of Jacksonville Sailors distributed food at the Nutrition Center in Middletown, New Jersey. Such projects, though, didn't fill up the crew's entire schedule. The Sailors also participated in several sporting events, including a golf tournament and an arm wrestling tournament - in which the members of the crew placed second and third, as well as other events, such as the "best chow contest." USS Jacksonville was among the last of the Navy's ships to depart after INR 2000, cruising from its berth on July 10. "On behalf of the officers and crew of USS Jacksonville we are proud to have represented the U.S. Navy and the John F. Kennedy battle group in International Naval Review 2000," said CDR James F. Caldwell, Jacksonville's Commanding Officer. "We wish to thank the people of New York for inviting us and we extend a warm thank you to the people of New Jersey for their hospitality in hosting us." INR 2000 was the largest maritime event in U.S. history. President Clinton reviewed nearly 30 ships from 14 nations, including nine of the most technologically advanced warships in the U.S. Navy. More than 100 tall ships from dozens of countries participated in Operation Sail, held in conjunction with INR 2000. Jacksonville is the 12th Los Angeles-class attack submarine commissioned. The 360-foot-long, 6,927-ton nuclear-powered submarine joined the fleet in 1981. The boat is capable of launching both torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.

In photo above MS2 (left) of Houston, Texas, and MS1  from New York, display their entry in the "Best Chow" contest - Beef Wellington with "Navy" written on top. U.S. Navy photo by JOC Cheryl Rinehart.

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