Organizers: Most successful Fleet Week in 20 years

The USS Makin Island has been one of the most popular ships to visit during San Francisco Fleet Week.
October 11, 2010 1:03:19 PM PDT
It is your last day to enjoy the activities of Fleet Week in San Francisco, with free tours of half a dozen ships, including the USS Makin Island. Organizers say this is the most successful fleet week in 20 years.

The USS Makin Island has been one of the most popular ships to visit. On Sunday, 6,000 people came through and lines were about 2.5 hours long.

The 844 feet long vessel is one of the Navy's newer ships. It was commissioned on October 2009 and it features 14 decks and 1,000 sailors and 100 officers live on board.

If deployed to war or a humanitarian mission, it can accommodate 2,000 Marines. There's also a hospital on board with an ICU and six operating rooms.

The ship also has the capability to produce 200,000 gallons of fresh water every day and is an amphibious assault ship, which means it can take on water, sink down and let boats to cruise right on board.

The Marine Squadron Purple Foxes is on board during Fleet Week, so you can check-out all their helicopters parked on deck like Huey's, Cobras, CH46's and CH53 Sea Stallions.

This is also the Navy's first hybrid-like ship and it will save the Navy and taxpayers $250 million fuel over its life span.

"This is the only ship in the U.S. Navy that has a hyper propulsion system, which means that we can low speed, we can operate on a Diesel electric that speeds up to 12 knots and in higher speeds we operate on gas turbines," Stephen Logan from the USS Makin Island said.

It makes me feel patriotic. I'm totally enjoying this," ship visitor Ruth Jennings said.

"The weekend was so busy, the lines were huge, so we took the day off and the kids are out, so why not come out," ship visitor Lily Chin said.

Fleet Week has been a huge success and organizers say it is one of the most popular in 20 years. It's estimated that one million people came into San Francisco this past weekend to enjoy Fleet Week and the Blue Angels.

Today, besides the ship tours which wrap at 3 p.m., there's a band challenge going on a Golden Gate Park, featuring Bay Area high school bands.

Fleet Week is a long time tradition to honor the dedication to duty and sacrifices of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.


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