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Fort Hamilton hosts annual Fleet Week Salute - Brooklyn Paper

Fort Hamilton hosts annual Fleet Week Salute

Fire away: The Veterans Corps of Artillery State of NY fires an 11-gun salute for the USS Arlington on May 23 as part of Fort Hamilton’s Salute to Ships of Fleet Week.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

They fired away!

Calm waters: The USS Arlington cruises under the Verrazano Bridge on its way to dock for Fleet Week.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

Fort Hamilton Army Base hosted its annual Salute to Ships of Fleet Week on May 23 to kick off the weeklong celebration of sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen. The annual event includes an 11-gun salute to welcome the ship leading the fleet arriving in New York Harbor, according to the army base’s public affairs officer.

Photo by Trey Pentecost

“Every year we welcome the fleet by doing a salute to a ship that the Navy designates,” said Catherine Santopietro.

A beautiful day: Fire Controlman First Class Evelyn Ozuna and her 2-year-old son, Julian, enjoyed Fort Hamilton’s Salute to Ships of Fleet Week — even though the 11-gun salute was a bit scary for the tot.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

This year, the men and women of the Veterans Corps of Artillery of the State of New York — a militia organization founded by George Washington’s artillerymen at the end of the Revolutionary War to prevent another British invasion of the city — fired off the canons to welcome the USS Arlington ship, according to the commandant.

Another year: Sergeant First Class Rodriguez, Group Staff Sgt. Katie Gray, Sgt. Vasconez and friends enjoyed another Salute to Ships of Fleet Week at Fort Hamilton.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

“It’s pretty loud, but anyone close to it has ear protection,” said Col. Ray Mechmann.

Fire away: Sergeant First Class Khrushchev Karastathis, Captain Gary Hess, Master Sgt. Stephen Hefler, and Col. Ray Mechmann of the Veterans Corps of Artillery of the State of New York operated the guns for the 11-gun salute.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

The loud noise scared one youngster, according to his mother, who’s stationed at Fort Hamilton and brought her little one to the event for the first time this year.

“[The canon] startled him at first, but he was fine,” said Fire Controlman First Class Evelyn Ozuna of her 2-year-old son, Julian.

More than 1,300 students from schools around the borough took in the spectacle, along with a performance by the Coast Guard Silent Drill Team.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.

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