Navy Week underway in Charleston

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Officers and sailors with the U.S. Navy are spending the week in Charleston to encourage interest in the military branch and foster a relationship with the residents of the landlocked state’s capital city.

Charleston is one of 14 cities to host Navy Week this year, and this week marks the final such event of 2019. Navy Week began Monday with the presentation of a proclamation during the Charleston City Council meeting.

“We just want to expose the people here (to the Navy),” Commanding Officer Jay Bijeau of the U.S.S. West Virginia said.”If we can expose them as much as we possibly can, then it’s a success for us.”

Activities planned for the week include a wreath-laying ceremony Tuesday at the state Capitol Complex, a performance by the U.S. Fleet Forces Navy Band on Thursday at the University of Charleston and a performance by the band and Navy Drill Team Friday evening at Haddad Riverfront Park.

Participating officers will also speak to local students and members of the Boys and Girls Club chapters throughout the week.

“It’s a great recruiting tool for us to expose the younger people to what it is that we do, but more so, it’s to educate and community outreach to the people of West Virginia,” Bijeau said.

Navy week continues through Saturday with multiple public events:

— Wreath-laying ceremony at the state Capitol Complex on Tuesday; 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
— U.S. Fleet Forces Navy Band performs at Davis Park on Wednesday; 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
— U.S. Fleet Forces Navy Band performs at the University of Charleston lawn on Thursday; 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
— Navy on the Levee on Friday at Haddad Riverfront Park; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
— U.S. Fleet Forces Navy Band performs at Capital Market on Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
— Visiting the University of Charleston football game at University of Charleston Stadium on Saturday; 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.