The Navy Sails into the Treasure State for Montana Navy Week
By Dusty Good, Navy Office of Community Outreach
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Three cities in Montana are scheduled to host members of the U.S. Navy during Montana Navy Week, August 14-20, coinciding with the Montana State Fair.
Billings, Bozeman and Helena will host events featuring sailors from Navy Band Northwest, Naval Construction Group 2, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 1, the ceremonial guard and sailors from local Naval Operational Support Centers.
Rear Adm. Michael Holland, director of Maritime Headquarters at United States Pacific Fleet, from Great Falls, Montana, will return to his home state as the ranking officer during the Navy Week events.
"I've always been proud of my Montana heritage," said Holland. "I was happy to see Montana had been chosen for a Navy Week because it gave me a chance to bring the two biggest forces in shaping my life together. Montanans have supported the military throughout our country's history, and I know our sailors are excited to show their gratitude by sharing their mission with the people of Montana. It's going to be a great week."
Holland will meet with corporate, civic, education and government leaders throughout the week in order to increase awareness and show the importance of the Navy and its mission.
Historically, Navy Week events draw thousands of attendees to participate, and create a dialogue between sailors and local residents. The events are designed to raise awareness about the Navy in areas that do not have a large naval presence.
"Montana Navy Week is a great opportunity for our sailors to share their mission with the people of Montana," said Lt. Mack Jamieson, the lead planner of the Navy Week. "Montanans have always supported their military, at home and abroad, and it is a pleasure to get to bring the Navy in for a week to share the quality and professionalism of the sailors they support. This is going to be a great week in the Big Sky Country."
Along with performances to kick off the week, Navy Band Northwest will have daily public performances. The popular music group will have public performances at Bozeman Public Library, Bogert Farmers Market, Boys and Girls Club Billings and the St. John's Summer Concert Series. The woodwind ensemble will perform at Museum of the Rockies, Billings Zoo and area schools.
"We are excited to have the Navy Band and ceremonial guard involved with our Summer Concert Series," said Margie Prokop, the community events coordinator for St. John's Lutheran Ministries. "This is a great opportunity for our community to highlight our support for the veterans within our community and those currently serving. Billings is a patriotic community and our concert is going to be a nice highlight of that patriotism."
Sailors from the naval operational support centers located in each city will be on hand to participate in volunteer events throughout the community during the week.
"Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Billings is thrilled to be able to have a Navy event of this stature on our home turf," said Lt. Cmdr. Matthew McLauchlin, commanding officer of NOSC Billings. "With USS Montana and USS Billings preparing to enter the fleet, this is a great time to be a sailor in Montana, and we look forward to highlighting the role of the Navy Reserve Force throughout the week."
Montana Navy Week is the 10th of 15 Navy Weeks in 2017 which focus a variety of assets, equipment, and personnel on a single city for a week-long series of engagements designed to bring America's Navy closer to the people it protects.
For a full schedule of events visit http://outreach.navy.mil/Navy-Weeks/Montana/