The U.S. Navy is coming to the Steel City, but don’t expect to see any aircraft carriers floating in the Mon.
During Navy Week (June 2 – June 8) sailors will be stationed throughout the city hosting events, providing musical entertainment and answering any questions about Navy life.
Navy spokesman Gary Ross said Navy Week is not a recruitment effort, but an educational event.
“We are not there to recruit,” he said. “We are there to create awareness and understanding about what our Navy does for our nation.”
Pittsburgh is one of six cities selected to host a Navy Week this year. The others are: Dallas; St. Louis; Omaha, Neb.; Mobile, Ala.; and Baltimore.
The Navy last came to Pittsburgh for community outreach in 2005. Since then, nearly 150 Navy Weeks have been held in more than 60 cities.
Ross said the Navy chose Pittsburgh because of its demographics and diversity.
“We know that the vast majority of Americans love our Navy, but they just don’t know a lot about us,” he said. “So, it’s important to come to these cities to educate the people and certainly to have fun and give back to the community.”
The Navy flight team “Blue Angels” will give a demonstration, along with “Leap Frogs,” the Navy’s parachute team. Navy divers and members of the Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team will be stationed at the Carnegie Science Center June 6 and 7 giving a free STEM (Science. Technology. Engineering. Mathematics.) education presentation.
Sailors will also visit area schools including Woodland Hills and Taylor Allderdice High Schools.
Ross said the sailors will be hosting and taking part in as many as 100 community events while in Pittsburgh.
“They’ll be coming in to do a lot of community relations projects around the city,” he said. “They’ll be working at the food bank. They’ll be working at the Pittsburgh Conservancy doing some clean-up work and this, that, and the other.”
In a landlocked city like Pittsburgh, Ross said it can be difficult for the Navy to have a strong presence.
“Bringing in the Navy, it’s just one of those services that isn’t well known in the Pittsburgh area,” he said. “And we have a lot of cities across the United States where a lot of people don’t know about our Navy.”