News: Makin Island sailors and Marines take part in historic beach cleanup during San Francisco Fleet Week
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ethan T. Tracey
USS Makin Island (LHD 8) Public Affairs
SAN FRANCISCO – A group of sailors and Marines from the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit serving aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) cleared trash and other debris from historic Baker Beach as part of the 31st annual San Francisco Fleet Week celebration, Oct. 5.
SSFW 2012 is scheduled from Oct. 3-8 and will bring more than 2,500 sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen from four ships to the city of San Francisco in order to highlight the personnel, technology and capabilities of the sea services.
San Francisco has a rich naval history, including Baker Beach. Battery Chamberlin, a U.S. military artillery battery located on the north end of the beach, was built in 1904 to protect underwater minefields that would be laid outside the Golden Gate Bridge to protect the country during a time of war.
“There is a rich military history here at Battery Chamberlin located on Baker Beach,” said Michael Chasse, a ranger with the National Park Service. “We are so thankful for the help of sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who helped clean the beach today.”
Chasse said he was appreciative of the help the service members provided not only here today, but all around the world every day.
“We get volunteers here every week,” said Chasse. “But we are thankful for the work that service members can do for us that younger volunteers and the elderly physically can’t, and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”
Sailors who participated in the project said they enjoyed to the opportunity to help clean up this historical beach.
“We helped clear fencing and plants to preserve the ecosystem” said Seaman Andrew Breunig, a native of Trumble, Conn. “I think that this is very important to our environment and to preserve the history of this beach.”
Breunig, who joined the ship’s crew only a few months ago, said he is enjoying the ship’s visit to San Francisco.
“The bay scenery was beautiful here,” said Breunig. “I am excited to see other things in the city of San Francisco.”
According to Lt. Cmdr. Roy Hoffman, Makin Island’s command chaplain and community relations project coordinator during SSFW, men and women who serve in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard are inclined by nature to serve their communities.
“Service is not only the essence of what they do, it is at the core of who they are,” said Hoffman. “The large number of sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who have committed themselves to Bay area community projects during Fleet Week demonstrates how committed they are to the good of others.”
In addition to Makin Island, other ships taking part in SSFW 2012 include the guided missile destroyers USS Preble (DDG 88) and USS Spruance (DDG 111) and the U.S. Coast Guard high endurance cutter Sherman (WHEC 720).
Makin Island recently returned from a seven-month deployment and was the first U.S. Navy ship to deploy using a hybrid-electric propulsion system. By using this unique propulsion system, the ship saved more than $15 million in fuel costs and the Navy expects to see fuel cost savings of more than $250 million, over the course of the ship's lifecycle. Lessons learned during Makin Island’s maiden deployment prove the Navy's commitment to energy awareness and conservation and will positively influence future ship designs for several decades.
This initiative is one of many throughout the Navy and Marine Corps that will enable the Department of the Navy to achieve the Secretary of the Navy's energy goals to improve our energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore, increase our energy independence and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy.