Flight crews arrived Monday at San Francisco International Airport
in preparation for the city's annual Fleet Week air show, which officially
launches Thursday and runs through Oct. 12.
The week will be filled with free activities including Blue Angels
air shows, Pier 39 concerts, a parade of ships and ship tours.
"It's such a Bay Area tradition," Fleet Week spokeswoman Mary
Hickey said. "It's a sign of fall."
This year's highlights include a focus on disaster preparedness
and the Navy's "green ship," a hybrid vessel that runs on both gas and
The 840-foot long USS Makin Island, an amphibious aircraft
carrier, is the first military hybrid vessel.
"It's the most environmentally aware, energy efficient Naval ship
in the world," Fleet Week spokesman David Perry said. "We're pretty excited
The USS Makin Island uses a gas turbine engine and an electrically
powered auxiliary propulsion motor. It is most fuel efficient at speeds above
Perry said the ship utilizes cutting-edge technology, and that
this type of ship is the way of the future.
This year, hundreds of sailors and Marines will participate in
emergency preparedness training alongside members of the City's CERT, or
Community Emergency Preparedness Teams, and NERT, or Neighborhood Emergency
Response Teams, groups.
"The ongoing mission of Fleet Week is to encourage emergency
preparedness," Perry said.
Fleet Week also serves to raise awareness for recruiting purposes
and is an opportunity to honor those in the military, Hickey said.
Hickey also said that Fleet Week is an opportunity for people to
be entertained and have a good time. An estimated 1 million people watch the
air shows, she said.
Parking in the area will be extremely limited. Attendees are
strongly advised to take public transportation, bicycle or taxi.
The Fleet Week festival will begin Thursday, when the Blue Angels
will conduct survey flights from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. along the Marina Green.