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NOLA Navy Week
April 23-29, 2015

NOLA Navy Week
NOLA Navy Week
NOLA Navy Week

Since its earliest years under the American flag, New Orleans has been the site of a major naval presence. Although it is more than 100 miles from the nearest body of open water, the width and depth of the Mississippi River has made our port city accessible for naval vessels of all sizes, types and classes to berth here.

New Orleans’ longstanding naval tradition will be celebrated from April 23-29 as NOLA Navy Week returns to the Mississippi Riverfront. During that week, six ships from three nations will line the banks of the river between the French Quarter and the Crescent City Connection bridge. All of these ships will be open to the public for free, on-board tours starting Friday, April 24.

The U.S. Navy is bringing in the USS Wasp, the USS Cole and the USS James E. Williams and the U.S. Coast Guard will be represented by the USCGC Dauntless. The British Royal Navy is represented by the HMS Lancaster and the Royal Canadian Navy will bring in the HMCS Athabaskan.

Other events scheduled that week in conjunction with the event include:

  • An official Navy Week Gala held at the National World War II Museum on the night of Friday, April 24.
  • A Seafood Cook Off held the morning of Sunday, April 26 at the Spanish Plaza in downtown New Orleans, adjacent to the river and next to the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk. The Cook Off will begin at 11 a.m. and will feature culinary specialists from each of the participating ships, paired with local chefs.
  • A fireworks display over the river on the evening of Monday, April 27, with viewing from Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Algiers Point on the opposite bank.

Other events, including musical concerts, may also be scheduled for the week. Check back at the Navy Week website, www.nolanavyweek.com for the latest updates.

Visitations

All of the ships will be open daily for free general public visitation beginning on Friday, April 24 and ending Tuesday, April 28. Hours of operation vary for each ship throughout the week. Check the schedules for the individual ships in the write-ups below.

Visitors will be allowed on board on a first-come, first-served basis, so be prepared to wait in line during peak times. Because these are active military ships, visitors can also expect security screenings prior to boarding.

About the Ships

USS Wasp

The tenth ship to bear the official Navy designation, the Wasp name has a history as long as the United States itself. Warships under that name have seen action and emerged victorious in nearly all conflicts involving the U.S. from the American Revolution through the present. The currently sailing USS Wasp is a U.S. Navy multipurpose amphibious assault ship, launched in 1989 and it is the flagship of the Second Fleet, as well as the lead ship of its class.

The Navy-Marine Corps team’s newest amphibious warship has as its primary mission the support of a Marine Landing Force. She and her sister ships are the first specifically designed to accommodate new Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) for fast troop movement over the beach and certain types of jets that provide close air support for the assault force. The Wasp’s dimensions are 843 feet long with a beam (width) of 105 feet, which can accommodate the full range of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters, conventional landing craft, and amphibious vehicles.

It will be docked at 500 Port of New Orleans Place, near Port of New Orleans offices, just upriver from the Crescent City Connection.
Public open visitation times are:

  • Friday, April 24: 12:30-5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 25: 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 26: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Monday, April 27: (closed for the afternoon; open for private tours in the morning)
  • Tuesday, April 28: 12:00 noon-5:00 p.m.

USS Cole

The USS Cole made international headlines on October 12, 2000 when it was the target of an al-Qaeda terrorist attack while anchored in the harbor of Aden, Yemen. During the attack, 17 American sailors were killed, 39 were injured and the ship suffered extensive damage to its hull.

The Cole is an Arleigh Burke-class, Aegis-equipped guided missile destroyer. She was built in March 1996. After the 2000 attack, the Cole was repaired and redeployed in 2003. The Cole is 505 feet long with a beam of 66 feet. The ship’s motto, “Glory is the Reward of Valor,” pays tribute to its namesake, Marine Sergeant Darrell S. Cole.
The Cole will be berthed in the 1200 block of North Peters Street, adjacent to Woldenberg Park.

Public open visitation times are:

  • Friday, April 24: 12:30-5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 25: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 26: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Monday, April 27: 12:00 noon-5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 28: 12:00 noon-5:00 p.m.

USS James E Williams

The USS James E. Williams is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer named after Petty Officer 1st Class James Elliot Williams, a Medal of Honor recipient. Its maiden deployment was in May 2006 as part of the Global War on Terrorism Surface Strike Group, and the vessel completed this deployment in October of the same year. In 2007, the USS James E. Williams deployed again as part of the USS Enterprise Carrier Strike Group.

During this deployment, the James E. Williams was contacted by the North Korean cargo vessel, Dai Hong Dan, which had been taken over by Somalian pirates. The ship’s crew provided medical assistance to Dai Hong Dan, and safely returned from deployment on December 17, 2007.

The Williams is 509 feet 6 inches long with a beam of 66 feet. It will tie up on the riverfront adjacent to the 1300 block of North Peters Street.

Public open visitation times are:

  • Friday, April 24: 12:30-5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 25: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 26: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Monday, April 27: 12:00 noon-5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 28: 12:00 noon- 5:00 p.m.

HMCS Athabaskan

The HMCS Athabaskan (DDG 282) is an Iroquois-class destroyer that has served both the Canadian Forces and the Royal Navy since 1972. This ship is the third vessel to use the designation HMCS Athabaskan. The ship is assigned to the Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) and her homeport is Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Some of the ship’s notable service efforts include the 2005 disaster relief in response to Hurricane Katrina and the disaster relief effort in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. The Athabaskan is 425.9 feet long with a beam of 49.9 feet, and it has both a hangar and a flight deck. It will berth at 1350 Port of New Orleans Place, alongside the Port of New Orleans office building.

Public open visitation times are:

  • Friday, April 24: 12:30-5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 25: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 26: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Monday, April 27: 12 noon-5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 28: 12 noon-5:00 p.m.

HMS Lancaster

The HMS Lancaster is a “Duke” class frigate of the Royal Navy, also known as “The Queen’s Frigate,” in reference to Queen Elizabeth II who launched the ship in 1990. The Lancaster has been involved in numerous counter-narcotics missions in the Caribbean, as well as on missions tackling piracy, human trafficking, arms smuggling and other criminal and terrorist threats.

With a length of 436 feet 4 inches and a beam of 52 feet 10 inches, the Lancaster is equipped with a flight deck and enclosed hangar. Along with the Athabaskan, it will be tied up at 1350 Port of New Orleans Place.

Public open visitation times are:

  • Friday, April 24: 12:30-5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 25: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 26: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Monday, April 27: 12:00 noon-5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 28: 12:00 noon-5:00 p.m.

USCGC Dauntless

USCGC Dauntless is a U.S. Coast Guard cutter that was commissioned in 1968 and is named for an aspiration trait meaning to “persevere fearlessly.” The Dauntless was homeported in Miami, Florida before being decommissioned at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland. She later underwent extensive renovations and returned to service soon afterward.

The Dauntless has earned the reputation of “drug buster” after numerous interceptions of illegal narcotics at sea. Other services include search and rescue operations. It was one of the first responders after the space shuttle Challenger disaster, and it took part in various homeland defense operations. The Dauntless has been featured in movies like “The Island” and the James Bond film, “License to Kill.” It will be berthed in the 200 block of Bienville Street, adjacent to Woldenberg Park.

Public open visitation times are:

  • Friday, April 24: 12:30-5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 25: 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 26: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Find NOLA Navy Week on Facebook and on the web at www.nolanavyweek.com.

 
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