NEW YORK --
New Yorkers and tourists got a glimpse of Marine Corps life May 27 at Times Square and May 28 at Battery Park as part of Fleet Week New York 2011.
The Marines setup static displays comprised of various Marine Corps assets ranging from weapons to vehicles. There were also a number of demonstrations showcasing Marine capabilities including Marine Corps Martial Arts Program and military working dogs demonstrations.
“It was really awesome,” said Jason Liu, a New Yorker, after handling a 50. Caliber Machine Gun. “I’ve seen it in video games, but I’ve never seen how it operates.”
The events provided an opportunity for people to interact with Marines and get a firsthand look at their equipment and practices. Many in attendance used the opportunity to thank the Marines for their service and ask them questions about the Marine Corps.
“People have been asking me all kinds of questions all the way from what I have done personally to how we are doing in Afghanistan and what has been going on in Iraq,” said Lance Cpl. Robert Stanton, an infantryman with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, currently attached to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “People of all ages, from five-year-old girls to Vietnam veterans, they are all excited. Especially the Vietnam veterans because they see all the new technology we have.”
The Marines who hosted the events were comprised from various units from II Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Forces Reserve organized under the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit to form the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - New York. Fleet Week New York 2011 began May 25 and is scheduled to run until June 1. The purpose of the event was to showcase the capabilities of the Marine Air Ground Task Force and also honor those who have served during the Memorial Day weekend.