SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Naval Base San Diego (NBSD) opened its gates to the public for its 3rd annual Holiday Lights Open House, Dec. 19.
During the event, the public was invited to drive through and observe the decorated ships along the base's waterfront.
"We live behind the fenced line so much that any opportunity we have to bring the public in and let them get close to ships and sailors in their environment really helps keep those bridges strong," said Capt. Curt Jones, the commanding officer of NBSD. "The support we get here in San Diego is absolutely phenomenal and so whatever we can do to nurture and build that is a critical goal for us."
For the 10th year, the ships also participated in a decorating contest and were evaluated on four different categories. Prizes were awarded to the winners as well as runners up.
The amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) was the overall winner of the contest receiving best in show with USS Ardent (MCM 12) as runner up.
Other category winners include: USS Russell (DDG 59) for holiday spirit/cheer, USS Kidd (DDG 100) for most creative and USS Champion (MCM 4) for best Navy spirit. An Honorable Mention was also given to USS Stockdale (106) for competing shortly after pulling into port.
"We absolutely enjoy doing these things with our ships, each crew takes pride in doing whatever they can to make their ship look different and show their crew spirit," said Jones. "Everybody enjoys it, who doesn't like Christmas lights?!"
Naval Base San Diego is the principal homeport of the Pacific Fleet, consisting of 50 Navy ships, two Coast Guard cutters, five Military Sealift Command logistical support platforms, several research and auxiliary vessels. Naval Base San Diego is home to 213 individual commands, each having specific and specialized fleet support purposes.