Fleet Week starts Thursday on San Francisco waterfront


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

about it."

The USS Makin Island uses a gas turbine engine and an electrically

powered auxiliary propulsion motor. It is most fuel efficient at speeds above

12 knots.

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.

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