This week San Francisco is celebrating Fleet Week. Lasting through the entire week and ending on October 10th, this year’s Fleet Week will be extra special, having a special celebration of the life and work of late California Senator Dianne Feinstein. Active and former service members are arriving in the city to celebrate the week as are Naval ships.
Two U.S. Navy ships are expected to arrive in San Francisco Bay to participate in the festivities.
The first ship to arrive was the U.S.S. John P. Murtha. It docked in the waters on Sunday. The ship is over 650 feet and serves as the home for approximately 120 Marines. Starting later this week, on October 4th, tours of the ship will be open to the public. On Monday, the second ship joined the U.S.S. John P. Murtha, the U.S.S. Paul Hamilton.
The Fleet Week events were originally unconfirmed due to the possibility of a government shutdown, however Congress managed to reach an agreement hours before the shutdown would have begun. The 2023 Fleet Week marks San Francisco’s 42nd Fleet Week. This year’s two ships docking in the harbor both differ in service type. The U.S.S. John P. Murtha is an amphibious transport dock, while the U.S.S. Paul Hamilton is a guided missile destroyer.
The schedule for this year will feature some classic Fleet Week events, as well as some new ones.
This Friday, October 6th, there will be the Parade of Ships. Then with different events happening on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, there will be the annual Air Show featuring the Blue Angels. In the Air Show will be a first time San Francisco appearance of the Marines F-35B. The Air Show will also feature a tribute to late Senator Dianne Feinstein, who represented California for decades in office. Feinstein started her political career largely in the Bay Area, even serving as mayor of San Francico. During her time as mayor, she actually was the honorary chair and founder of Fleet Week in San Francisco.
This year the Fleet Week will certainly be a taste of the classic, well loved celebration as well as a taste of the future. With reflections to the past and honoring those who we have lost, celebrations of the future will feel all the more special.