Walk-sea: fleet Week in new York

New York Fleet Week ended, as always, giving it a very non-military city a lot of new experiences

“What is Fleet Week? I need to fear?” the friend who came to new York as a tourist, goes directly to the main.

“If you are intimidated by smart sailors and Marines, of course, is to be feared,” I say.

“I’m terrified!” laughs friend. This dialogue characterizes good Fleet Week.

Fleet Week – literally “fleet Week” is an established tradition as in new York and some other cities. Swim to the shores of the US Navy ships, and there are a lot of themed events. Themselves sailors, Marines, and coast guard – go for a walk in the city. If you are too lazy to go to the city to participate in the events you can go to one of the ships to do a selfie with a gun, for example. I haven’t lived in new York until 2017, but Fleet Week get. This year I really want to get on the ship, plus I just got company of former Marines, so we go to Pier 94, which, after passing security, you can get to the handsome USS Arlington.

Arlington is an amphibious transport dock, type “San Antonio”. On the lower level you can stand on the amphibious hovercraft and feel like a heroine of some kind of space Saga. The sailors themselves tell us that such a boat can hold a tank, even though there are only amphibious assault amphibious vehicles (AAV) and light armored vehicles (LAV).

New AAV look like something out of “Mad max”. “Like a big, angry frog” – joking friends of the infantry. During Fleet Week visitors can “frog” to climb, and polite tracker (tracker is the so-called soldiers working on AAV), they even take a picture. In the LAV, too, can climb – only places there is much less.

On the deck is more freedom. Here you can see the helicopters, to play with the grenade launcher and put on a protective bomb suit.

Engineers in the United States received wide recognition once in 2008 on the screens out the film Kathryn Bigelow, “the hurt locker” (The Hurt Locker). Most critics agree that this is a well shot movie that Bigelow it at altitude as a Director and that actor Jeremy Renner, who played the main character, is phenomenal.

However, themselves professional engineers, this film can’t stand: mostly due to the fact that there are too many insane heroism. “The real minesweeper – blooded professional,” he told me a former minesweeper bomber with years of experience. “But because of the reckless hero of “the hurt locker” is now a whole generation of boys and girls who think that mine is some kind of sick game.”

However, on the sun-drenched deck of the USS Arlington on the brink between fantasy and reality of life in war do not think. Fleet week at this time begins to seem a kind of psychological pause, a long exhale as well as for the visitors and for the military itself.

Kids, guns and the “militarization of society”

For the liberal new York demonstration of weapons of the fleet Week may seem too provocative. “It’s completely insane, – said the young guy to his girlfriend on the deck. They here launcher brought and openly show his children.” Infantry only smiles.

In fact, many veterans in the US is now openly support stricter laws on the purchase and possession of weapons. For example, in the epidemic of mass shooting Vets was born the movement For Gun Reform. Because it’s one thing when a weapon in the hands of a skilled professional who knows the value of life and death, and quite another when it can be in the hands of just anyone. As they say themselves members of the movement.

Of course, grenade launchers, and machine guns, and other military equipment for fleet Week are most interested in children. “This is a very hard thing,” says the marine, showing a boy about five years old, like to wank. “A weapon is a tool of violence, – tells me a well known local writer, who also came to admire the Navy, but wished to remain unnamed, so better to just soldiers explained to the children what it is and that it’s still not a toy”.

For critics of the idea of fleet Week all about the symbolism: demonstration of military power leads to militarization of societies. Meanwhile, we must not forget that for the military this week – a reason to relax. Most do not sit on the deck with rocket-propelled grenades, and go ashore.