The Pentagon announced a plan Oct. 18 that will enable the military services to resume conducting community and public outreach activities in Fiscal Year 2014.
By Rear Adm. John Kirby
Chief of Information
Where we were: As you know, the effects of sequestration impacted our ability to reach Americans outside of fleet concentration areas and limited their opportunity to see and connect with the Navy. In Fiscal Year 2013, the Department of Defense withdrew from 2,800 outreach events around the country.
What we have done: A comprehensive FY 2014 Community Outreach Plan was created that supports our requirement to continue connecting Americans to their military, while at the same time acknowledging today’s fiscal constraints.
For us, this means that, while we won’t return to our pre-sequester level of outreach activity, we will be able to execute our key programs in a manner that ensures Americans outside of fleet concentration areas have the opportunity to see and connect with their Navy.
Where we are going: Moving forward, we will be able to provide Americans around our nation with special events to explain and show what their Navy does. These events include full schedules for Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron (Blue Angels) and Parachute Teams (Leap Frogs); five Fleet Weeks; six Navy Weeks; Navy and regional band performances; and 10 port visits to U.S. cities.
- Fleet Weeks in New York City; Port Everglades, Fla.; San Francisco, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; and Portland, Ore.
- Navy Weeks in Baltimore, Md.; Mobile, Ala.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; St. Louis, Mo.; Omaha, Neb.; and Dallas, Texas
- Port visits in Baltimore, Md.; Mobile, Ala.; New Orleans, La.; Tampa, Fla.; Savannah, Ga.; New York, N.Y.; Boston, Mass.; Camden, Maine Philadelphia, Pa., and Los Angeles, Calif.
- Full schedules for the Blue Angels and Leap Frogs
- Navy and regional band tours and performances
While we are still able to support community outreach events, engagements are limited and scaled down due to a 45 percent reduction in funding across the service. Local command outreach is encouraged. However, it must be done within the confines of existing fiscal and travel constraints. We will not be executing a 50/50 program in FY14 for that reason.