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Guide to the Ships of Fleet Week New York 2024

Our favorite week of the year has arrived—it’s Fleet Week! This year’s visitors will include 11 ships from the US Navy, US Coast Guard, and the German Navy, which will be docking on Manhattan’s West Side and at Staten Island’s Homeport pier. There is one important change to note: most of the ships in Manhattan will only be open to the public on Saturday, May 25, so please view the full schedule of events. If you want to avoid the lines for future Fleet Weeks, consider becoming a member of the New York Council Navy League, which offers VIP tours to members, as well as a host of other great events to support the Sea Services.

And join us on Memorial Day, May 27 at 10:45am for our Fleet Week Harbor Tour with Classic Harbor Line, where we will cruise past all the docking locations, get a waterside view of the ships aboard a beautiful motor yacht, and discuss the rich naval history of the harbor.

Manhattan Pier 88

  • Ships open for visitors Saturday, May 25, 9am–4pm

The big ship coming to town this year will be the Norfolk-based amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5), which visited for Fleet Week in 2016 and 2022. Since its last visit, Bataan has seen a lot of action. It was deployed to the Red Sea in August 2023, alongside the dock landing ship Carter Hall, which visited New York in 2019. This was a scheduled deployment for the Amphibious Ready Group, but it meant that these ships were in the theater during the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, the subsequent Israeli invasion of Gaza, and the region-wide violence that has erupted in its wake. Bataan was tasked with using its helicopters and aircraft to intercept barrages of missiles and drones fired by the Houthis in Yemen at commercial ships, and to launch strikes against the Houthis and other Iranian-backed militias attacking American bases in Jordan, Iraq, and Syria. They returned to Norfolk in late March.

Yard Patrol Boats and USS Wasp at Fleet Week 2023
Yard Patrol Boats and USS Wasp at Fleet Week 2023

Manhattan Pier 90

  • Ships open for visitors Saturday, May 25, 9am–4pm

Last year, we were visited by ships from NATO allies Italy, Canada, and the United Kingdom, while this year the only allied ships visiting come from the Deutsche Marine, the German Navy. The frigate FGS Baden-Württemberg (F-222) is one the largest and newest ships in the German fleet; though classed as a frigate, its length and displacement approach the size of an American Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (though with far less firepower). It is also one of the most controversial.

Laid down in 2011, the ship was expected to be completed by 2016, but it encountered major construction problems. The German Navy refused to accept it from the builder as it was overweight and suffered a 1.3º list, so it had to undergo major modifications. It was finally commissioned in 2019, but was not ready for full operational deployment until 2023, 12 years after the keel-laying. And soon it will be replaced, assuming the next class of ships doesn’t run into the same pitfalls. The replacement F126 frigates have already begun construction and are expected to enter service starting in 2028.

Though lightly armed, the large frigate was designed with “long legs,” able to deploy for long periods at long distances from its homeport. This visit to New York represents the first leg of a round-the-world voyage; after visiting New York, it will head to the Panama Canal and visit allies in the Indo-Pacific region until at least November. Accompanying Baden-Württemberg will be 21,000-ton replenishment ship FGS Frankfurt am Main (A-1412), which will keep the warship fueled and supplied.

German Navy replenishment ship FGS Bonn (A-1413) at Pier 7, Brooklyn, 2014.
German Navy replenishment ship FGS Bonn (A-1413) at Pier 7, Brooklyn, March 2014.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

  • Yard Patrol Boats open for visitors May 23–24, 10am–5pm, USCGC Sturgeon Bay open May 23–27, 10am–5pm

As is tradition, four of the Naval Academy’s Yard Patrol Boats will be joining this year’s festivities. These 119-foot vessels are used to teach midshipmen basic seamanship skills. Alongside them will be a local ship USCGC Sturgeon Bay (WTGB-109), an icebreaker tug based out of Bayonne, NJ that is a regular participant in Fleet Week. If you want to learn more about what it is like to serve on one of these ships, watch our virtual program about Coast Guard history where we interviewed a crew member and former Turnstile guide Ramon Ortiz.

Staten Island Homeport

  • Ships open for visitors May 23–27, 8am–5pm

Another local ship will be participating, the buoy tender USCGC Katherine Walker (WLM-552), which recently came out of dry dock in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Named for the first female lighthouse keeper who tended the Robbins Reef Light (which will be featured on the tour), this cutter provides vital service maintaining the aids to navigation around the harbor. It will be joined by one of the newest ships in the Coast Guard fleet, the Legend-class National Security Cutter USCGC Calhoun (WMSL-759), which has been in service for just over a month. Though homeported in Charleston, South Carolina, it is not named for South Carolina senator and arch-secessionist John C. Calhoun, but rather former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Charles L. Calhoun. Built in Pascagoula, MS by Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding, this is the penultimate in a class of 11 ships that are the largest, longest-ranged, and heaviest-armed ships in the Coast Guard.

While the National Security Cutters likely have long careers ahead of them, the future of the Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ships is far more uncertain. Last year we had the honor of commissioning the USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) in New York City, the first Navy ship commissioning here is 14 years, and the latest model, USS Marinette (LCS-25) will be here for Fleet Week, named for the city of its construction, Marinette, WI, which is home to Fincantieri Marinette Marine. We have noted the problems with these ships every time one comes to visit, but the Navy has come to realize that they are under-gunned, under-armored, and prone to serious mechanical defects. Five of the 13 completed ships habe already been decommissioned, some after less than five years of service.

USCGC Katherine Walker (WLM-552) being floated out of Dry Dock 1 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, December 2023.
USCGC Katherine Walker (WLM-552) being floated out of Dry Dock 1 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, December 2023.