By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—They are two of the Navy’s smallest ships, but they arrive in Baltimore ahead of what will be a major flotilla. 

Alex DeMetrick reports on why dozens of ships are headed our way.

The Navy calls them cyclone class, small patrol ships with names like Hurricane and Monsoon.

And when crews aren’t training in U.S. waters, they patrol the Persian Gulf.

“We are the part of the Navy that reaches out and touches someone in all levels of escalation of conflict.  Our job is to be out there and be in the front lines,” said Ryan Ventresca, commanding officer.

That means for small vessels they pack plenty of fire power. And as they docked at the Inner Harbor, they had people stopping to watch.

“We were just walking through and saw it, and thought ‘This is pretty neat, to be visiting and see something like this,’” said Rachel Raber, Inner Harbor visitor.

And getting people’s attention is what this visit is all about.

The two vessels will provide the backdrop to the kick-off of the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner, where ships will play a big role this coming summer.

“We’re expecting more than two dozen international tall ships and gray hulls from the U.S. Navy and from international navies from all over the world,” said Jill Feinberg, Star-Spangled Banner spokesperson.

Even though the two patrol ships are here to help preview events to come.

“The ceremony should be fun since it is the national anthem, and it’s a pretty big part of our nation’s history,” said Michael Johnson, Seaman U.S. Navy.

Details of the bicentennial celebration will be announced Thursday by Governor O’Malley at the Inner Harbor.


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