Story by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chris Fahey, NRD Houston Public Affairs Officer.
BOSSIER CITY, La., — Navy Sailors demonstrating their diverse capabilities during the kickoff of the first-ever Bossier City/Shreveport Navy Week joined 230 reserve Sailors at the local Navy Operational Support Center in celebrating the Navy Reserve Centennial, Mon., April 27.
Joined by dozens of Bossier and Shreveport city, parish, government and school officials, the centennial celebration allowed both the civilian and military communities to celebrate their shared heritages and strong partnership.
“I think it’s tremendously important that the people in both cities and parishes here understand the important work that the Navy is doing in our community,” said Bossier City Mayor Lorenz Walker. “Those in the Navy Reserve are our neighbors and friends that we go to work and school with and are military personnel serving our country from our community.”
During the event, Ferriday, La, native Navy Rear Adm. Keith M. Jones, reserve director of logistics programs and business operations, spoke to the crowd, reaffirming that as a reserve force, national interests could not be supported if not for the mutual care shared by both the military and civilian community members.
“The Navy Reserve force was ready then, ready now and ready always thanks to men and women like you who because of your support, make our ability to serve possible,” said Jones.
Those in attendance visited interactive displays by Navy divers and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians while musicians from the Navy Band provided entertainment.
As the ceremony drew to a close, those in attendance discussed the upcoming Navy Week events, featuring the U.S. Navy Parachute Team “The Leap Frogs,” EOD, diver and other Special Warfare capabilities demonstrations at local schools before the week’s culminating event – an air show featuring the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Team, the “Blue Angels.”
“I’m so excited that the Navy’s in town,” said Lisa Johnson, president of the Bossier City Chamber of Commerce. “We are an Air Force town, but there’s no question we love the military and many of us have never seen what the Navy actually offers.”
Navy Weeks focus a variety of assets, equipment and personnel on a single city for a week-long series of engagements designed to bring America’s Navy closer to the people it protects, in cities that don’t have a large naval presence.