Sequestration – a string of wide-reaching mandatory federal budget cuts – has led to delays at many US airports, as FAA personnel are forced to take furloughs. Flight delays? I can deal with that. But what I’m having trouble accepting is that 2013 New York Fleet Week is going to be minimized this year.
It was announced yesterday on the Fleet Week New York facebook page that there will be no Navy ships in New York this year for Fleet Week and no additional Sailors or Marines.
Previous to that, they said that the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard must follow DoD direction that no branch of the armed forces may participate in community relations or outreach events that come at additional cost to the government or rely on anything other than local assets and personnel.
In other words, there won’t be any naval vessels, coast guard ships, or navy aircraft this year.
It seems that there might not even be a parade of ships this year. In recent years there have been mixed number of allies’ naval ships participating in NY’s Fleet Week. But will foreign ships still participate if US naval ships, aircraft, and personnel can’t?
I suppose that the parade of ships can still go on, albeit with no aerial flybys. Hopefully the NY fire and police departments can make sure of that. Maybe the NYPD can provide security for foreign ships, but in prior years I remember US marines providing a lot of the security.
This is a massive disappointment, but it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. After all, all Blue Angels and Thunderbirds appearances through the end of 2013 have already been cancelled. I knew the Fleet Week cancellations were bound to happen, but still hoped they wouldn’t.