LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- This year’s Los Angeles Fleet Week marked the third iteration of the annual event. It kicked off as the Marines and Sailors of I Marine Expeditionary Force and local responders hosted a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) village in downtown Los Angeles from August 28-29, 2018.
The village showcased the capabilities available in the event all emergency response resources are exhausted in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA)-level disaster.
Following the HADR village, the Marine Corps assets on display were transported to the Port of San Pedro for the remainder of LA Fleet Week lasting throughout Labor Day.
“I didn’t know much about the military, but now I do just because all the different demonstrations here gives us an insight of what you guys do,” said Sarin Keshishian, an LA Fleet Week attendee.
The Marine Corps had on display assets used by Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams, which included a 310 SUG-V robot and bomb suits. Other assets included the capabilities of a Shock Trauma Platoon (STP) as well as various military equipment such as the M777 Howitzer, a Light Armored Vehicle, humvee, Lightweight Water Purification System (LWPS), various weapon systems, military working dogs and an AH-1Z Viper.
When Marines were not at the static displays, they participated in many events in the community such as volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity and the “Swing Peedro” Downtown Dance Party.
While the Marine Corps’ motto “The Few, The Proud” rings true across the service, its diversity is what makes it the well functioning organization it is. Most Marines come from various walks of life and backgrounds, however, for some, participating in LA Fleet Week was coming back home.
At least that was the case for Lance Cpl. Raymond Guerra who is a native of Los Angeles; he enlisted in the Marine Corps out of LA and is currently serving as a motor transportation operator with Combat Logistics Battalion 15. For him, participating in Fleet Week was an opportunity to come home and interact with the local citizens of LA.
“People don’t necessarily go on their day-to-day basis understanding what we do in the military, let alone in the Marine Corps,” said Guerra. He added that this was a cool way to really interact with the people.
Los Angeles Fleet Week provides an opportunity for the Marine Corps and Navy to demonstrate the quality of its personnel to the citizens of San Pedro, Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.
“A part of joining the Marine Corps and any other branch of service is giving back to our communities and being a citizen of the nation,” said 1st Lt. Kurt Payne, a logistics officer with 1st Transportation Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group. “To us, service isn’t just a job that we do while we are at work, it is also important for us to be engaged with the community on our off time.”
I Marine Expeditionary Force provides the Marine Corps a globally responsive, expeditionary, and fully scalable Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF), capable of generating, deploying, and employing ready forces and formations for crisis response, forward presence, major combat operations, and campaigns.