USS New Mexico Sailors Participate in Navy Week Albuquerque
GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Three USS New Mexico (SSN 779) Sailors are participating in Albuquerque Navy Week, Oct. 2-9.
Albuquerque Navy Week 2011, in conjunction with Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, gives area residents an opportunity to meet Sailors and learn about the Navy's critical missions and its broad range of capabilities.
During Albuquerque Navy Week Sailors will meet with New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez; visit BB-40 ship's bell and museum; attend a Navy birthday ball hosted by the Navy League New Mexico Council; and a host of other events.
"Opportunities like these do not occur very often," said Master Chief Machinist's Mate (SS) Joaquin R. Arroyo III, one of the three Sailors in attendance. "The three-member crew from USS New Mexico is excited to be included in the Navy Week events and look forward to meeting members of the local community."
Arroyo added that these events are great avenues to create awareness for the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine.
"We feel this is an opportunity to not only provide the community of Albuquerque the chance to meet the Sailors of the USS New Mexico, but also provides us an opportunity for us to be an ambassador of the U.S. Navy and USS New Mexico."
Dick Brown, chairman, USS New Mexico Commissioning Committee said there is a unique relationship the boat shares with the committee.
"While New Mexico doesn't reside near an ocean, we are very much a Navy state with three submarines [honoring our state]," said Brown. "The Sailors' visit is a tribute to all New Mexicans who have served, and are serving, in our Armed Forces."
Two other submarines are named after cities in New Mexico USS Albuquerque (SSN 706) and USS Santa Fe (SSN 763). The Commissioning Committee is in their 11th year of support for USS New Mexico, even though the boat was commissioned last year.
"While construction of 'our' sub did not start until March 2004, our pursuit of the name New Mexico started in Jan 2000. We've been going strong ever since," said Brown.
The Navy conducts approximately 20 Navy Weeks each year. During a Navy Week celebration, the Navy concentrates a variety of outreach events in a metropolitan area for one week, to share the Navy story with as many people as possible.
111004-N-BX435-095 Santa Fe, N.M. (Oct. 4, 2011) Governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez meets with Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Geoffrey Obermaier, Master Chief Machinist’s Mate Joaquin Arroyo and Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Attila Halacsy assigned to the Virginia-class submarine USS New Mexico (SSN 779) and USS New Mexico Committee Chairman, Dick Brown in the Governor’s Chamber at the New Mexico State House during Albuquerque Navy Week 2011. Navy Weeks are designed to showcase the investment Americans have made in their Navy as a global force for good and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mark O’Donald/Released)