Preview: San Diego Fleet Week 2011

If you don’t already know, is from San Diego, California — it’s where we were born, where we grew up, where we went to school and where we became adults. So, naturally, we take San Diego for granted –especially after living here for nearly twenty-two years. The weather is beautiful…hell, I think we get a couple days of rain and maybe some cloudy skies here and there. Otherwise, the skies are blue and the sun is out. The food is great, the people are laid-back (for the most part), and our scenery is amazing. I’m only glorifying the city because I’ve been to other places in the nation and they aren’t the same. Not even close. But, I don’t ever think twice about it. I take it for granted because I live here. Don’t get me wrong — I’ve also seen San Diego go downhill. The traffic sucks, the taxes and housing costs are higher than normal, and the crime rates are going up. Again– I only realize it because I live here.

There’s one important thing about San Diego — it’s the major naval port on the west coast. Our aircraft carriers and their fleets are often based (and built) here. The Navy, along with the Marines and other groups, train up north at Camp Pendleton. At North Island and Miramar, the jets flying sorties over and over are a part of everyone’s day as battle groups perform scheduled flight operations. The USS Midway honors over four generations at sea, most of them from San Diego. And of course, there are thousands of current active duty personnel living in San Diego – some of them now defending us overseas.

Fleet Week has been an event here in San Diego since September 2001. I’ve heard about it year after year, but I never really thought anything of it…I just watched segments of it on the news and such. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned about the Coronado Speed Festival, the main attraction of Fleet Week. The Speed Festival is a gathering of show cars and race cars that takes place on-base at North Island NAS. We encourage anyone from San Diego to go and check it out…it’s really a fun event, and the ticket fare goes to support the troops and their families. The Speed Festival is this Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 24th and 25th), and tickets can be purchased here.

The rest of the week, the Navy hosts a variety of different events at the bay, which depending on my schedule, I’ll try to go and check out. On Sunday, I went to the USS Midway to see what was going on. There were a ton of people aboard and there were also some battleships that just came into port. I snapped a few photos that I thought I’d share…enjoy…



The iconic F-14, the plane used in Top Gun.

F-4 engine


The USS Princeton (CG-59) guided missile cruiser.


MK-82 Snake-eye “expanding” bombs.

S-3 Viking. These planes are at the end of their service life, but for many years were strictly used for anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare. They could also detect undersea mines and other munitions below the surface…


E-2C extended radar plane…





S-3 eng
GE engine on the S-3…


One of the first F-18 hornets, made by Boeing. This one was painted to look like a Russian MIG, playing the adversary role in air combat training.

No crazy wheel/tire trends here…haha…

EKA-3 Pratt and Whitney turbothruster…


The specialized GE-F404 super turbofan, used in both the Douglas F-18 and a vectored version in the Boeing F-18. One of these puts out around 17,700 lbs of thrust…

anchor room


Old “kneeboards”, or flight manuals.



The EKA-3 engine after fresh paint…

People boarding the battle cruisers…

People chilling in the bay…

Another shot of the USS Princeton (CG-59).

dock traffic
People in line at the docks…



That’s about it! I hope to see everyone at the Coronado Speed Festival this weekend!

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