BALTIMORE (WJZ) — You may notice some new additions dotting the Port of Baltimore and the Inner Harbor. More than a dozen shops sailed into town Wednesday for Maryland Fleet Week.
WJZ’s Devin Bartolotta embarked with the Navy on the USS Oak Hill as it made its way to Baltimore, and she got a behind-the-scenes look inside.
At dawn on the first day of Fleet Week, the United States Navy began its big display of military might by air.
“Well this is our opportunity to share with the American people their United States Navy,” said Navy Admiral Stephen Evans.
WJZ took flight and landed on one of the feature fleets — the USS Oak Hill — as it sailed under the Bay Bridge toward Baltimore.
“It’s really exciting for me to be able to say, ‘This is where I sleep, this is where I eat, this is where I work,'” added Dexter McGriff.
But the belly of the ship is what gives the Oak Hill the nickname “The Nation’s Protector.”
“We can carry 21 to 25 embarked troops, 15 comfortably, and three crew members,” said Lance Cpl. Wilfredo Hernandez.
Amphibious assault vehicles give marines and sailors easy access to shores anywhere in the world.
“They’ll drive off the back of the ship into the water, and then they’ll proceed to the beach,” said Chief Officer 2 Matthew Langlois.
The shores of Baltimore are personal for Seaman Tyler McKinnon, as Fleet Week brings him home.
“I’m beyond excited. It’s good to see my family, as always,” McKinnon said. “I’ll be able to show them the ship, see what I do every day.”
As the ship pulled past Fort McHenry, ready to dock, sailors and Marines manned the rails.
You can see this ship and others at Maryland Fleet Week until Tuesday, October 9.