Detroit's Navy Week will bring sailors to metro area

Kaitlyn Luckoff
The Detroit News

Navy Week is taking place now through July 17, bringing sailors to Detroit to share the significance of the Navy to the area.

The U.S. Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron and the Blue Angels will perform at the Thunder Over Michigan Airshow at 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti. Tickets are $225 per vehicle and can be purchased here.

Since 2005, the Navy Office of Community Outreach has hosted Navy Weeks across the country, giving American citizens the chance to learn about the importance of the Navy. This program has been the Navy's flagship outreach effort in parts of the country, similar to Detroit, that do not have a strong Navy presence.

Since 2005, the Navy Office of Community Outreach has hosted Navy Weeks across the country, giving American citizens the chance to learn about the importance of the Navy.

This year, Detroit's Navy Week will be one of 13 Navy weeks across the country.

The organizations that will participate in the week-long program are USS Detroit (LCS 7), Navy Band Great Lakes, Naval Oceanography Operations Command, U.S. Navy Parachute Team, Navy Talent Acquisition Group Heartland, U.S. Fleet Forces, Unites States Naval Academy, Naval History and Heritage Command, Naval Reserve Center Detroit and University of Michigan NROTC.

Lt. Andrew Johns is the navigator aboard USS Detroit (LCS-7). In this role, he ensures safe navigation for the ship by creating all of the navigation plans. He explained the importance of Navy Week in educating cities without a strong Navy presence.

In addition to community events in the area, community members will be able to attend free live music performances by Navy Band Great Lakes at such places as the Detroit Zoo, the Henry Ford Museum at Greenfield Village, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit Eastern Market and the Grosse Pointe War Memorial throughout the week. The schedule of performances can be found here.

Sailors will also volunteer at Gleaners Food Bank, Forgotten Harvest, Habitat for Humanity Detroit and other organizations.

As a Detroit native participating in Navy Week for the first time, Johns shared that he is most looking forward to a tour for sailors only of Little Caesars Arena  and visiting family.

"I am excited to see the new arena, because they broke ground after I had left," Johns said. "I'm really excited to see how that looks, and then also just being back home, seeing family, and seeing how the city has changed in the last six years since I've been gone."

Sixty sailors assigned to the Training Support Center in Great Lakes, Ill., participate in the 81st Annual Bud Billiken Parade in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. Led by Rear Adm. Kenneth Carodine, deputy commander of Navy Warfare Development Command, the Navy is an official sponsor of the parade and scholarship gala that preceded the event, celebrating the conclusion of the 2010 Navy Recruiting District Chicago and Navy Office of Community Outreach Navy Week.

kluckoff@detroitnews.com