October 13, 2000

Fleet Week San Diego Sea-N-Air Parade: The Best Show On Land, Sea and Air

Though San Diegans may be familiar with the sight of military ships off the San Diego coastline, only during Fleet Week can people see the full spectrum of land, sea and air vessels in proud display of military strength.

From noon to 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, a variety of military ships and aircraft will cruise through the bay during the Fleet Week Sea-n-Air Parade. Spectators will be treated to a water and air show that will include a guided missile destroyer, a Los Angeles class submarine and the highlight of the afternoon—the launch of two S-3B Vikings from the flight deck of USS CARL VINSON.

"This year's parade is so much bigger and better than ever before," said Patti Roscoe, Fleet Week San Diego chairperson. "We are inviting everyone to take a long lunch, ride the trolley to the piers and enjoy the most elaborate military display ever presented to San Diego."

The parade is free and open to the public. Prime viewing locations are the B Street and Broadway piers, where static military hardware like trucks and HUMVEES will be on display. The 3rd Fleet Flag Ship USS CORONADO and the guided missile destroyer USS O'KANE will be docked at the Broadway pier. Both piers will be lined with food and beverage vendors as well as seating for easy viewing.

Additional viewing areas include the Embarcadero from San Diego Maritime Museum to Seaport Village and Harbor and Coronado islands. Parking is limited and alternate means of transportation such as car-pooling or riding the Coaster, trolley or buses are suggested. For up-to-the-minute parking information, visit www.sdfleet-week.org.

More than 15 different military ships and 10 distinct aircraft will pass through the bay during the two-hour show. Spectators will see specialized maritime combat demonstrations, fast rope rappelling and parachuting by Explosive ordinance Disposal Teams and a US Coast Guard search-and-rescue demonstration.

Participating in this year's parade are USCGC MOR-GENTHAU, USS BREMER-TON, USS HARPERS FERRY, USS MOBILE BAY, USS DUBUQUE, USS JOHN YOUNG, HMS CORNWALL, FS ACONIT, HMCS WINNEPEG, USS CURTS, LCAC's "combat hovercraft" from Assault Craft Unit 5, LCU's "landing craft" from Assault Craft Unit 1, a Mark V (a SEAL combat insertion boat) from Special Boat Unit 12, and the USS CARL VINSON.

The air display will include F/A-18C Hornets, S-3B Vikings, F-5E Tigers, E-2C Hawkeyes, EA-6B Prowlers, SH-60F Seahawks, a CH-46E Sea-knight, a Coast Guard HH-60J Jayhawk and F-14A Tomcats. Joining the parade from foreign countries will be the British Westland Lynx and the French Panther helicopters.

Also parading through the bay will be LANE VICTORY, the oldest functioning WWII Victory ship; the SS MEDEA, a steam yacht from WWI and WWII; and the Confederate Air Force, a collection of vintage WWII aircraft including an SNJ torpedo dive bomber built in the early 1940s.

Following the parade that evening will be the "Sys-boom-aahh" celebration in Seaport Village, including Navy Band Southwest beginning at 5 p.m. and a half-hour fireworks spectacular at 7:30 p.m. A special V.I.P. Shopping Pass will be available at Seaport Coffee and Fudge for all military with a valid I.D.

The 4th annual Fleet Week celebration recognizes San Diego's service men and women for "Serving America Twice," both defending our nation and volunteering countless hours to improve the quality of the community.

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