It’s Broward Navy Day’s 28th Fleet Week celebration at Port Everglades. With military ships docking near Fort Lauderdale, people can actually walk on board and tour vessels like the U.S.S. Detroit and U.S.S. Kearsarge.
Robby Ramirez, 10, has a tradition of coming to Fleet Week with his best friend Willy. This year they’ve come to see one of the country’s newest Littoral Combat Ships, the U.S.S. Detroit. The ship is almost 388 feet long and designed to stay close to shore to defeat threats like mines or submarines. It even has the ability to battle ships trying to commit piracy.
“What’s really cool is like, how they use the flags for codes and how it has a lot of commanders,” Robby said.
Anyone who comes to tour the U.S.S. Detroit can explore the main deck, flight deck, pilot house and combat room.
ENS Amy Davis is part of the ship’s 64-member crew. She’s been sharing her experiences from all of the jobs she’s done, like being an electrical officer, with fans like Robby.
“Step into a sailor’s day-to-day life and see what it’s like on board,” Davis said about the goal of Fleet Week. “I’m learning so much about the electrical side of the ship, and it’s really empowering.”
There are also three U.S. Coast Guard cutter ships participating in Fleet Week this year, and the amphibious assault ship, the U.S.S. Kearsarge. Robby is hoping to see them all.
“It’s just like very interesting to learn about other ships,” he said.
Fleet Week tours last through Saturday, May 5 this year. More than 35,000 people applied for roughly 10,000 available tickets, according to the Navy. All of the tickets sold out in minutes.
If you were one of the people who couldn’t get tickets to tour a ship, there are still events you can participate in:
- Wednesday, May 2: Marine Simulator – 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Resolve Maritime Academy, Fort Lauderdale
- Thursday, May 3: Salute To Women in the Military - 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lauderdale Yacht Club
- Thursday, May 3: Fleet Week STEM Presentation – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Museum of Discovery and Science
- Friday, May 4: Military Employer Recognition Breakfast – starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Riverside Hotel, Fort Lauderdale
- Saturday, May 5: French Legion of Honor Ceremony - starts at 10 a.m. aboard USS Kearsarge, at Pier 19 in Port Everglades
- Sunday: May 6: Ship departures – 8 a.m. to noon at Pier 19 in Port Everglades