Fleet Week Has Not Been Canceled, but It Won't Be the Same This Year | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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Fleet Week Has Not Been Canceled, but It Won't Be the Same This Year

It looks like Fleet Week went kaput thanks to the government sequestration, meaning that Navy battleships and crazy aerobatic airplanes won't be coming to Port Everglades this year.

However, local organizers are still planning to use local military personnel to have Fleet Week, so all is not lost.

Unless you're one of the thousands of Navy sailors who were hoping for a little shore leave in Fort Lauderdale. Then it totally blows.

The sequestration -- the automatic government budget cuts -- went into effect March 1, and it looks like the military is getting the brunt end of the stick.

Navy spokeswoman Suzanne Speight says that outreach events, such as Fleet Week -- which has been a South Florida staple for 22 years -- can be supported only with local monies at no cost to Uncle Sam. Mainly because military readiness is kind of more important at this time.

"The readiness of or deployed forces, as well as those preparing to deploy, are our top priority," Speight said in a statement.

This means that the destroyers, missile cruisers, amphibious landing crafts, submarines, and various aerobatic planes you were looking forward to seeing, along with 3,000 or so sailors, won't be coming into Port Everglades this year.

Instead, the event will cover and honor local military personnel.

"They're doing more like a military appreciation week," Speight said.

Which means, instead of a giant aircraft carrier docking in Fort Lauderdale, we're gonna get a whole lotta Coast Guard cutters and boats.

However, the U.S. Southern Command -- which leads operations in Central and South America and the Caribbean -- is based in Miami-Dade County, so we might see some of their ships this year as well, which isn't so bad.

San Francisco's Fleet Week is also feeling the effects, with the announcement that the Blue Angels won't be appearing there this year.

Fleet Week organizers are hopeful that this will be the one and only year they'll have to scale back their event, with budget constraints not being as heavy-handed come this time next year.

But we're sure this will be a disappointment for folks who were looking forward to watching the giant war ships roll into our port.

So, we can all take the pill and go support our local military at this year's event, or we can hit up Twitter and express our outrage in the most misguided way possible.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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