San Francisco Fleet Week kicks off with emergency preparedness exercise

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Monday, October 2, 2023
SF Fleet Week kicks off with emergency preparedness event
To kick off Fleet Week, the San Francisco Dept. of Emergency Management held their annual emergency preparedness drill.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Monday marks the start of the 42 annual Fleet Week in San Francisco. It's expected to bring up to a million people to the Bay Area.

Organizers from the San Francisco Fleet Week say it's expected to generate more than $10 million in revenue for the city.

"It's a great opportunity for us to show them what we're all about," Capt. Doug Langenberg, Commanding Officer of the Navy's USS John P Murtha said.

RELATED: San Francisco Fleet Week 2023 schedule of events

Bringing in upwards of 1,000 uniformed service members like Melanie Ricardo from the Navy, stationed in San Diego.

After serving for 12 years, this is her first San Francisco Fleet Week.

"I'm absolutely so excited for the food, I hear that you guys have amazing seafood, and clam chowder so I'm just so excited to get out there, put on my uniform and eat some amazing food," Ricardo said.

But before the Parade of Ships, air show, live music and more - it's business first.

To kick off the week, the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management is holding their annual emergency preparedness drill with the U.S. Department of Defense.

"A lot of people think Fleet Week is just the air show and ships but this is a week where it's an incredible opportunity for first responders to meet each other, and work together and to really learn from one another, how we're going to help one another after a big emergency," Adrienne Bechelli, Deputy Director of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management said.

Langenberg says this exercise involves support across local, state and federal partners, all to test different methods of communication in the event of a major disaster.

"It's going to use the Marine Corps, the Navy, the Coast Guard, as well as your local police department and fire department are all going to work together in this exercise in case of a disaster response, we would be there ready to engage and provide our support," Langenberg said.

MORE: 'Angels will fly': Military ships en route to SF after Fleet Week cleared for takeoff

The different agencies are testing communication on radios, satellite phones and what's called VoIP phones.

"We like to have redundancy in all of our communications, we know after a major catastrophic earthquake in San Francisco, some of our cell towers might go down and we need to be able to communicate with other forms of communication so that's why we're testing our radios," Bechelli said.

After Monday's training exercise, there is still so much more to look forward to for fleet week.

The Parade of Ships is scheduled for Friday, the air show is on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and there will be opportunities for live music across the city throughout the week.

For a full list of San Francisco Fleet Week events, click here.

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