US Navy Heads To Kansas City For Navy Week

Photo Credit: U.S. Navy photo / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Gordon

The U.S. Navy is heading for Kansas City, Missouri, for its first in-person Navy Week since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and the first in the city since 2015. The event will run from June 28th until July 4th, where it’ll close with the Kansas City air show and a display from the Navy’s Blue Angels. The event will strictly follow all state, DoD, and CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of all involved from COVID-19.

The Navy Week in Kansas City will see various different units and their Sailors from the Navy come to the city and interact with the public. For Navy Week, the Navy Office of Community Outreach has organized many events that allow the Navy and its servicemembers to interact and engage with the public and show them the Navy’s role in protecting national security.

Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Roy Vanek interacts with visitors and a staff member at the Kansas City Sea Life Aquarium during Kansas City Navy Week in Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 21, 2015.
Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Roy Vanek interacts with visitors and a staff member at the Kansas City Sea Life Aquarium Navy Week in Kansas City, 2015. (Photo Credit: U.S. Navy Photo / Petty Officer 1st Class Jennifer Gold)

The Navy Week in Kansas City is just one of 13 planned this year

The tradition of Navy Week began in 1935, when an enormous fleet of 114 warships, 400 aircraft, and 55,000 men assembled in San Diego, California.

Cmdr. John Fage, Director, Navy Office of Community Outreach, said: “During a Navy Week, approximately 75 outreach events are coordinated with corporate, civic, government, education, media, veterans, community service and diversity organizations in the city.”

For the past two decades, Navy Weeks have been the branch’s primary way of interacting with the public about its operations. Annually, Navy Weeks reach up to 60 million people around the U.S.

Fage said, “This will be the first time Kansas City has hosted a Navy Week since 2015, and the Sailors are looking forward to interacting with the citizens of Kansas City and their neighbors. They’re excited to share their experiences and to show everyone why the Navy is so important to the American way of life.”

U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, Diamond Pilots perform the Diamond 360 maneuver during the Kansas City Aviation Expo and Air Show.
Blue Angels in flight after Kansas City Navy Week 2015. (Photo Credit: U.S. Navy Photo / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrea Perez)

Rear Admiral Francis Morley, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the United States Navy for International Programs, will be in attendance at the event to meet the public, local businesses, and Kansas City leaders.

“I am honored to be representing the United States Navy in Kansas City,” Morley said. “I look forward to connecting with the community to help illustrate how the Navy and our Sailors protect and defend America and its interests worldwide.”

U.S. Navy ships that bear Missouri-related names will be in the city, like the USS Kansas City, a littoral combat ship, and the USS Harry S. Truman, a 1,000-foot-long, 116,000-ton aircraft carrier.

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Some of the events over the course of the week include WWI Museum performances by Navy Band Great Lakes, Navy Ceremonial Guard, USS Constitution Sailors, an aircraft flyover during a Kansas City Royals baseball game, and a parachute jump by the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs.

Finally, the event will be concluded by the Kansas City Airshow, which will feature the US Navy aerobatic team the Blue Angels.

Jesse Beckett

Jesse Beckett is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE