Bicentennial of the War of 1812 kicks off this week in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (NNS) -- The people of New Orleans and visitors to the city will be able to tour 11 ships from six nations that arrived in New Orleans April 17, to participate in the War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration and "Star Spangled Banner" Navy Week 2012.

The ships moored at several piers along the east bank include the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, the destroyer USS Mitscher and frigate USS De Wert. FS Germinal from France, HMS Montrose from Great Britain and HMCS St. John's from Canada make up the international naval contingent, along with the tall ships Dewaruci from Indonesia and BAE Guayas from Ecuador.

"This opportunity to visit the historic city of New Orleans for the Bicentennial Commemoration of the War of 1812 is a once in a lifetime experience for Wasp and the crew," said Capt. Gary M. Boardman, USS Wasp's commanding officer. "Wasp is a first-rate command, and I couldn't be more proud of my ship and crew to be selected for such an event."

The commemoration in New Orleans is an opportunity for Sailors and Marines to engage the American public to increase awareness and knowledge of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, and the vital role these services play in defense of the nation and the projection of the maritime power and security.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for our Sailors and Marines to tell their story, and the story of the sea services," said Boardman. "I would like my Sailors to reflect back on what we as a Navy accomplished back in 1812 and look at how far we have come."

"I'm very excited and honored to be able to experience my first Navy Week in New Orleans," said Electronics Technician 3rd Class Justin Kesterson. "I'm not quite sure what to expect, but I'm signed up for a few tours and ready to get out and see the city."

Service members from the United States will compete in athletic events such as soccer, softball, basketball and tug-of-war with sailors from Ecuador, Indonesia, France, Canada, and Great Britain.

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Posted by Matthew Pavelek at 04/19/2012 11:38 AM


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