USS Anchorage (LPD 23) departs the Port of Los Angeles, Sept. 5. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Christopher A. Veloicaza)

LOS ANGELES - The second annual Los Angeles Fleet Week came to a close as participating U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and Royal Canadian Navy ships departed the Port of Los Angeles, Sept. 5.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105), amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23), Los Angeles-class submarine USS Pasadena (SSN 752), and mine countermeasures ship USS Scout (MCM 8) represented the U.S. Navy, along with personnel from Coastal Riverine Group 1, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 1, and Navy Region Southwest.

Marines with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Active (WMEC 618) and U.S. Coast Guard District 11, and the Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Ottawa (FFH 341) also participated.

LA Navy Days was expanded to a full fleet week in 2016. This year, LA Fleet Week ran from Aug. 30 – Sept. 4 and offered the public the opportunity to tour the ships and interact with Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guard members.

Throughout the week, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guard members volunteered at multiple community service projects, including a Habitat for Humanity build, an animal shelter, a children’s hospital, and a children’s golf clinic.

Marine Lance Cpl. Anthony Nalford, attached to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said he was thankful for the opportunity to volunteer at the U.S. Veterans Initiative.

“We’re visiting, we’re helping them out, and you can tell they appreciate that, but I appreciate being here just as much as they do. I feel like once you do something like this and you get those smiles and you get that appreciation, it’s something you crave after.”

Ship tours were available Sept. 1 to Sept. 4. Over the course of four days, nearly 15,000 visitors toured the ships.

“My boys and I think it is so cool to get a tour of not only the Navy’s ships but the Canadian ship here too,” said Mateo Dominguez, a Los Angeles county resident. “Being able to learn a little bit about what goes on while a ship is out to sea and what the Sailors go through during the deployments is mind-blowing. Touring the ships and getting the greater understanding of life on a ship gave me just that much more respect for the men and women who serve.”

In addition to the ship tours and community service opportunities, Fleet Week also included a Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) Senior Leadership Seminar, several engagements with high school and university leaders, as well as a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) expo.

The mission of DSCA is to enhance coordination and cooperation between the U.S. military and civilian emergency management authorities, in the event of a catastrophic incident.

“At these DCSA seminars we build on the roles and responsibilities, and relationships of all the emergency services and government entities,” said Crystal Chambers, emergency manager, City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department. “We get a better idea of who’s doing what and what all they’re capable of. Knowing the organization that a person will be working with beforehand always seems to make the process go smoother.”

STEM is an initiative and educational program designed to impassion students to pursue careers in these disciplines and provide them with opportunities for success STEM fields. U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.