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Oregon will host the state’s first Navy Week since the creation of the Navy Week program, when the Navy visits the area for a week of events Sept. 23 – Oct. 1, in conjunction with the Oregon International Air Show.
Willamette Valley Navy Week brings Sailors from across the fleet to the area to emphasize the importance of the Navy to the Willamette Valley, the state of Oregon, and the nation. More than 60 Sailors will participate in educational and community outreach events throughout the city, including the Oregon International Air Show.
Participating Navy organizations include Navy Band Northwest, USS Constitution, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group ONE, United States Navy Ceremonial Guard, Navy Recruiting Command, Navy Talent Acquisition Group Portland, Navy History and Heritage Command, the amphibious transport dock USS Portland (LPD 27), the Expeditionary Sea Base USNS John L. Canley (ESB 6), Navy Esports, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Training Air Wing Six, Department of the Navy Office of Small Business Programs, U.S. Navy Parachute Team – The Leap Frogs, and the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron – the Blue Angels.
The Navy's senior executive host is Rear Admiral Charles “Mike” Brown, reserve deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare. During Willamette Valley Navy Week, he will participate in community engagements, meet with students, and speak with local businesses, civic, education, and government leaders.
“I am honored to represent the United States Navy at the first-ever Willamette Valley Navy Week,” said Brown. “Oregon has a rich naval heritage, and my time in Salem and the surrounding communities will highlight our ties and bring our Navy closer to the citizens of the Willamette Valley.”
Navy Weeks are a series of outreach events coordinated by the Navy Office of Community Outreach designed to give Americans an opportunity to learn about the Navy, its people, and its importance to national security and prosperity. Since 2005, the Navy Week program has served as the Navy's flagship outreach effort into areas of the country without a significant Navy presence, providing the public a firsthand look at why the Navy matters to communities throughout the Willamette Valley.
Throughout the week, Sailors will participate in various community events across the area, including engaging with students across multiple schools and volunteering for the city of Salem, Boys and Girls Clubs of Salem, Marion and Polk counties, Marion Polk Food Share, and Mid-Willamette Valley Empire Habitat for Humanity.
On Sept. 23, those attending the University of Oregon football game versus the Colorado Buffalos will be treated to multiple performances by the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard in the Fan Zone, and a joint halftime performance with the University of Oregon’s marching band. The game will also feature an on-field Hometown Hero recognition for Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Chambers, an Oregon native and a 2003 University of Oregon graduate.
“This is a very special Navy Week for me, and I’m honored to be the lead planner for the first-ever Navy Week in Oregon,” said Chambers. “Oregonians have always had a lot of pride and respect for the military, and I can’t think of a better way to finish my 20-year career than back home with the people who have supported me throughout this journey.”
The Salvation Army Kroc Center will host a group of Sailors on Sept. 25 from 5-8 p.m. for “Navy Day at the Kroc.” Those in attendance will be able to watch robotic and dive gear demonstrations, try on a bomb suit, play video games with the Navy Esports team, watch a performance by the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard, and play sports and games with Sailors. A river cleanup project, in partnership with Willamette Riverkeeper, will take place on Sept. 27 and all residents are encouraged to volunteer.
Residents will also enjoy free live music by Navy Band Northwest at venues throughout the week, including: Sept. 26 at 9 a.m. at Salem City Hall office; Sept. 27 at 8 a.m. at Keizer City Hall and at 6 p.m. at Volcano Stadium in Keizer; Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. at the Willamette Heritage Center; and on Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. at the Salem Amphitheater.
Willamette Valley Navy Week is one of 13 Navy Weeks in 2023, which brings a variety of assets, equipment, and personnel to a single city for a weeklong series of engagements designed to bring America's Navy closer to the people it protects. Each year, the program reaches more than 140 million people -- about half the U.S. population.
Media organizations wishing to cover Willamette Valley Navy Week events should contact Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Chambers at (901) 874-7048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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