US and Allied Ships Sail to New Orleans for Fleet Week
The US Navy’s amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) and several other U.S. and allied ships arrived in New Orleans April 23 to begin a Fleet Week which is scheduled to last through April 29.
Expeditionary Strike Group Two is leading the six ships representing the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy throughout the visit.
Joining the festivities alongside Wasp are the Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyers USS Cole (DDG 67) and USS James E. Williams (DDG 95), the Duke class British frigate HMS Lancaster, Coast Guard Reliance class cutter USCG Dauntless, and Canadian Iroquois class destroyer HMCS Athabaskan. The Marines of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit are aboard Wasp representing the full spectrum of sea power.
Fleet Week New Orleans is scheduled to conclude its ceremonies May 29, with a time-honored event known as the “Blessing of the Fleet.” Dating back centuries to southern Europe, the tradition consists of a priest, primarily to Catholic fishing communities, blessing the fleet to ensure a safe and bountiful season.
Wasp participated in Fleet Week New Orleans in 2012 which commemorated the bicentennial of the War of 1812.
Image: US Navy