The US Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO) is set to develop a virtual outreach programme to help people in the country stay connected to their navy while at home.
Titled ‘SHIP2SHORE: From the sea while you’re safe at home’, the programme has been organised primarily along three lines of effort.
The first of the three is the reconstitution of three Navy Weeks cancelled as part of the country’s ongoing coronavirus mitigation efforts.
Virtual Navy Weeks conducted in Tennessee, Texas, and New Jersey will seek to re-create as much engagement as possible in the virtual domain. Once successful, the programme will be replicated for other planned cities.
NAVCO event-planning department head Lieutenant Commander Ben Anderson said: “While public health and safety will always be our number one priority, we made deep connections in those cities prior to cancelling.
“It was tough to make those calls to our community partners who had invested so much of their time and energy into having the Navy come to their towns.
“Our hope is that we can use virtual means to have safe and meaningful conversations and build lasting relationships in these communities.”
Under the SHIP2SHORE programme, NAVCO extends support to ships and submarines around the fleet and stays connected with their respective cities and states.
The Navy Week programme explores live virtual tours, on-board demonstrations, and general mission presentations.
Finally, NAVCO and its network of fleet outreach partners are working to make educational content available in both live/interactive and archived formats.
Some of the outreach tactics employed by NAVCO include explosive ordnance disposal robotics demonstrations, lectures by navy historians, naval meteorology and oceanography exhibitions, navy band music clinics and naval aviation presentations.
NAVCO director Commander Karin Burzynski said: “With schools closed across the country, America has millions of homebound children and parents who have been pressed into service as ad hoc teachers.
“The navy by nature is a very STEM-focused organisation, so this seems a natural fit. If we can help fill the education void even a little, it will be worth it.”