According to the National Park Service, the USS Constellation is a registered national landmark located in the Inner Harbor of downtown Baltimore and the “​​only surviving ship from the Civil War Era.” Built in 1853, the ship was launched on Aug. 26, 1854, and decommissioned in 1955.

By AFRO Staff

Fleet Week took place from Sept. 7 to Sept. 13 in the Baltimore Inner Harbor, bringing Black service members, U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships, elected officials and visitors to Charm City. Ships from as far as Denmark made an appearance.

“Fleet Week is a tradition for Baltimore and the U.S. Navy that goes back years,” said Rear Adm. Nancy S. Lacore, Commandant, Naval District Washington, in a statement. 

“Past Fleet Weeks proved just how magnificent this historic city, its port, and its people are and how skilled you are as partners to the Navy,”  Lacore said, praising the City for “planning and executing such a complex event.”

According to information released by the Department of Defense Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, there were 57,637 members of the U.S. Navy that identified as African American or Black just two years ago. That number is in stark contrast to the 19,366 Black members of the U.S. Marine Corps in 2020, and the 102,428 enlisted in the U.S. Army during the same year. 

As the second largest service branch of the country’s armed forces, the U.S. Navy also reports that “13 out of every 100 Navy civilians are Black / African American.” 

During Maryland Fleet Week, the public was able to interact with members of the service branch, see the ships they maintain and operate on the open sea, and experience multiple fly-overs in the Baltimore Inner Harbor.

Soldiers from the Naval Medical Research Center were also featured alongside the USS Carter Hall. 

“NMRC personnel gave demonstrations of equipment for outbreak response and the detection of bacteria and viruses to event attendees. Visitors also had the opportunity to learn about the NMRC mission and interact with equipment used by researchers,” according to a statement released by the U.S. Navy. 

NMRC microbiologist Lt. Yuliya Johnson said in a statement that interaction with the public is important.

“Being able to see our fleet in action, and getting a better understanding of what the sailors experience living and working on a ship, particularly what their medical capabilities and constraints are, is invaluable for us on the Navy Medicine side.” 

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