Sailors from USS Constitution Participate in New England Navy Week


Sailors assigned to USS Constitution began participating in New England Navy Week in Springfield, Mass., Sept. 24.

Sailors will perform War of 1812-era gun drills and 17th century boarding pike drills daily at The Big E, Eastern States Exposition, the largest fair in the Northeastern United States that is expected to attract more than one million guests.

“Navy Weeks in general are a great opportunity to bring the Navy to areas that are not near a Navy base and show people what the Navy is doing for the nation,” said Cmdr. Matthew Bonner, Constitution’s 72nd commanding officer. “It helps strengthen the relationship between the public and the Navy.”

Sailors are also scheduled to teach naval history and interact with more than 300 students at Converse Middle School and Granite Valley Middle School in Monson, Mass.

Additionally, they will meet and give Navy ballcaps to children dealing with chronic and severe health issues as part of a Caps for Kids visit at Bay State Medical Center.

“I am excited to take part in one of my ship’s important missions to give back to our community,” said Seaman Gerald Coriolan, a Sailor assigned to Constitution. “There’s no better place in Massachusetts or a better time to have a Navy Week.”

This is the fifth Navy Week Constitution Sailors will participate in this year. The event runs through Oct. 2. They performed similar activities teaching naval history to more than 400 middle school students and giving more than 130 ballcaps to children in Tampa Bay, Fla., Austin, Texas, New Orleans and Chattanooga, Tenn.

The primary purpose of Navy Week is to increase Navy awareness by presenting the Navy to Americans who live in cities that normally do not have a significant naval presence. New England Navy Week will showcase the mission, capabilities and achievements of the U.S. Navy and provide residents the opportunity to meet Sailors in person.

Constitution is located in the Charlestown Navy Yard of Boston Harbor and is the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat. The ship defended the sea lanes against threat from 1797 to 1855, much like the mission of today’s Navy. Constitution’s mission today is to offer community outreach and education about the ship’s history, as she welcomes more than 500,000 visitors per year.

Source: navy, September 27, 2011