Dante Valve at LA’s Fleet Week 2016
Our Dante Valve team had the opportunity to attend LA’s Fleet Week over Labor Day weekend, and it was one of the best experiences we’ve had as a team. What a great event – the city of Los Angeles hosted Fleet Week for the first time, and they did an excellent job. From Friday, September 2, to Monday, September 5, people flocked to the LA Harbor at the LA Waterfront to tour military ships, enjoy aerial flyovers, meet with some of our brave service members, and check out cool extras like the STEM Expo and Veterans’ Village.
We had the opportunity to kick off Fleet Week a day early by attending the Leadership Series luncheon presented by the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, September 1. The highlight of the luncheon was guest speaker US Navy Vice Admiral Nora W. Tyson, Commander, US 3rd Fleet. The first woman to command a carrier strike group, Vice Admiral Tyson now has over 100 ships and approximately 60,000 people under her command and her territory runs from the west coast of the United States to the International Date Line. She is a true leader, and it was enjoyable to hear her speak.
In addition to attending the Vice Admiral’s speech, the luncheon boasted performances by The Bob Hope USO Troupe, and we got to visit with Congresswoman Janice Hahn, which was a pleasure. Dante Valve has worked with Congresswoman Hahn in the past, and we appreciate her support of and dedication to our American servicemen and -women and the military in general.
Prior to the luncheon, we got to tour the USS America. The USS America, the largest of all amphibious assault ships, is one of the two visiting ships at LA Fleet Week boasting Dante’s Danco pressure relief valves. It was really exciting for us to see our product “in action,” as it were, and it’s great to be able to really connect the work we do to the end user of the product we produce. The USS America was built by Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi, so this was the first time most of our team was able to see our valves in their final application. We had valve technicians, machinists, contract administrators, engineers, even the president of the company, on hand to see how their job is important. It was a great learning opportunity to meet the people manning the vessel – it was quite humbling, knowing they rely on us to a degree for their safety.
Saturday night a few of us attended the Military Appreciation Mayor’s Concert hosted by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, where The USO Show Troupe opened for Jefferson Starship. It was a great event; full of energy and excitement and lots of singing along to old favorites. The fireworks that followed were beautiful and a perfect end to a fantastic show aboard the USS Iowa, but the best part was the Mayor’s reception. Mayor Garcetti is himself a former Lieutenant in the US Navy Reserves, and his Deputy Mayor, Jeff Gorell, is a former Commander in the Defense Intelligence Agency Unit of the US Navy.
Going back on Sunday gave us a chance to check out a few more vessels, including the USS Wayne E Meyer, another ship with our Danco valves. We also got to see some of the aerial flyovers as well as talk personally to some of our service members about what they do on a daily basis, and what it’s like to be a part of the American military. From Navy recruiters to Marines in bomb suits to demos of robots, we really enjoyed learning about so many different aspects of how our servicemen and -women protect us.
LA has already announced they will be hosting next year’s Labor Day Weekend Fleet Week, and we’re definitely glad to hear it! We plan to be involved next year as Dante Valve, and we look forward to once again supporting our military and getting the opportunity to see our product in action.