Warmer weather in the U.S. brings out a host of military-related festivals, and in recent years more and more cities around the nation host Fleet Weeks, widely seen as good for morale, good publicity for all, and serious money-generating events for the hosts. The U.S. Navy normally is happy to oblige, sending one, two or as many as half a dozen warships to bask in public affection. Air shows by the Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Team are also a frequent feature of the parties.
But not this year. The Big Bad Sequestration Grinch, according to the service, leaves no money for such frivolous visits, and the Navy has been cancelling its ship and aircraft visits left and right. Even the biggest Fleet Week – New York City’s festival – has been dropped. The service is working hard to make sure the local media is fully aware there’ll be little Navy at this year’s Navy Week; the underlying message — call your congressman and let ‘em know sequestration is bad. And it’s working, with dozens of stories appearing in the mainstream media about the cancellations.
But while Americans around the country won’t see much of their Navy this year, the party still goes on: in festive Canada! Vancouver, British Columbia, is hosting an event called Vancouver Port Visit this weekend, featuring a number of Canadian warships from the Maritime Forces Pacific base at nearby Esquimalt BC. This weekend at least, Vancouver has something most American commercial ports don’t have: a genuine U.S. Navy warship, an Aegis missile cruiser no less: USS Lake Champlain (CG 57). More