CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Six bike riders participating in a Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Foundation charity bike ride received a ceremonial send-off in Coronado, Calif. Sept. 26.
The riders are scheduled to travel more than 3,000 miles to bring awareness to the NSW Foundation, an organization that provides assistance and support to NSW families and the community. Retired Navy SEALs Mike Badger and Rob Rambeck, along with an East-Coast based SEAL, as well as three NSW supporters, Paul Resnick, Ron Watford, and Mary Jemison, met at Coronado City Hall, the starting point of their ride.
"Today's event is about supporting SEAL families in particular, because they're so often deployed," said Coronado mayor Casey Tanaka, whose father was a SEAL. "I'm all too aware of the importance of this group and their work."
NSW Foundation supports more than 9,000 members in the NSW community. Bill Hahn, special events coordinator for NSW Foundation, says that the ride means not just that more money will be raised to help the NSW community, but will shed light on the kinds of programs and support it provides to families.
"We provide families with, not just financial support but moral support, when their spouses are away we do a lot of different activities for their children," he said. "(We also) provide tuition assistance for active-duty personnel, as well as their children."
Rambeck says the ride is not only a good chance for him to give back to the NSW community, but it's also an opportunity for him to ride with members of his Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs class on the way to Florida.
"We only had 26 guys who graduated (from my class), so it's kind of unusual that we have that many people en route," Rambeck said.
The tour is slated to end in Ft. Pierce, Fla., where the riders will join other NSW community members and supporters for the National Navy Underwater Demolition Team-SEAL Museum's annual Muster event. The Muster event, which is in its 25th year, will reunite SEALs from across the country, and exemplifies the partnership between the museum and the local community.
NSW is a maritime component of U.S. Special Operations Command and the Navy's special operations force. The community is composed of over 6,700 personnel, including 2,300 SEALs, 600 Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC), along with military support personnel, reserve components, and civilian staff. SEALs and SWCC focus on missions involving unconventional warfare, direct action, combating terrorism, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, information warfare, security assistance, counter-drug operations, personnel recovery and hydrographic reconnaissance.
For more information on Naval Special Warfare visit www.seal.navy.mil.
For more news from Naval Special Warfare, visit www.navy.mil/local/nsw/.