USS Independence USS Pinckney Arrive in Astoria to Kick-Off Portland Fleet Week

by Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc Cuenca
26 June 2019 ASTORIA, Ore. – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2) arrived at the Port of Astoria, Ore. to kick-off the 111th annual Portland Rose Festival Fleet Week June 5 through June 9.

The Portland visit gives the public a chance to gain a better understanding of how the sea services support the national defense of the United States and freedom of the seas.

“We are happy to be back in Portland for this year’s Rose Festival Fleet Week,” said Read Adm. Scott Gray, commander, Navy Region Northwest. “This is a great opportunity for the sea services to show the great citizens of Portland their Navy and meet the outstanding men and women who work hard and serve at great personal sacrifice to keep our nation secure.”

Pinckney and Independence, along with four U.S. Coast Guard vessels and two ships from the Royal Canadian Navy, will be in the city through June 9 offering public tours and participating in the annual festivities. The public is encouraged to attend tours and interact with Sailors.

When touring the ships, visitors are encouraged to bring as few items as possible when arriving for their tour and are recommended to wear flat-heeled, closed-toe shoes. Prohibited items on board include: - weapons, including knives, firearms and club weapons - defensive chemicals or sprays, including mace and pepper spray; spray cans of any type - fireworks, flammable liquids or other explosives - illegal drugs and/or drug-related paraphernalia - large bags, including backpacks, diaper bags and large camera bags (small camera bags and small handbags may be permitted, but will be subject to search) - strollers - while general photography of this event is allowed, the use of drones in the area is strictly prohibited.

Throughout the week, Sailors will have an opportunity to enjoy premier events of the festival including the Centennial Grand Floral Parade, which features all-floral floats, live music, food, entertainment, marching bands and culinary competition among ships.

Lt. j.g. Anna Vargas, public affairs officer of USS Pinckney said this is her first Portland Rose Festival Fleet Week and that she is looking forward to interacting with individuals who have not had much experience with the U.S. Navy and spread awareness of their roles at sea.

Navy warships have been coming to the City of Roses since USS Charleston's visit in 1907 and are considered a highlight of the festival.

Gray stated in a press conference June 4 that the U.S. Navy is proud to be a part of Portland’s Fleet Week and the mission could not be met without the support of our communities. He also thanked the people of Oregon for their support of the Navy.
 
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