San Francisco Mayor London Breed issued a city proclamation that officially recognizes the 41st annual Fleet Week in San Francisco, Calif. on Oct. 4, 2022 (Olivia Wynkoop / Bay City News).

San Francisco Mayor London Breed officially welcomed military personnel on Tuesday visiting town for the 41st annual Fleet Week, a week-long showcase of military planes, ships and servicemembers.

Since 1981, San Francisco has hosted one of the largest events in honor of U.S. military servicemembers, with special focus on the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. Roughly a million onlookers flock to Bay Area shorelines to catch a glimpse of the soaring Blue Angels and a parade of visiting sailing ships.

Sea, sky or land, military members are hosting community events throughout the city through Oct. 11. Some highlights: – weekend air shows, a Friday ship parade, guided ship tours at the Port of San Francisco and a free concert series hosted throughout various neighborhoods.

“Fleet Week has so much to offer. It is pervasive throughout the city — on or off the waterfront,” said Lewis Loeven of the San Francisco Fleet Week Association.

Though the event is known to bring massive naval ships and impressive aircraft to the seas and skies of the Bay, Breed said this week is also about bringing the community together to honor and learn more about the work of military personnel.

“It’s about developing a relationship with our military, the people who put their lives on the line to make sure that we retain the rights and the freedoms that we enjoy in the United States of America,” said Breed.

She also said it’s an opportunity to ensure local police, fire and emergency management services are regularly working with the military to ensure they’re prepared for natural disasters.

San Francisco Fleet Week and its Center for Humanitarian Assistance has worked alongside the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management since 2010 to conduct disaster response exercises between civilian and military agencies.

Mary Ellen Carroll of San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management said this year, the team is especially focused on air operations, so that in the event of an earthquake, the city can be prepared to care for people regardless of blocked roadways and shutdown transportation lines.

A conductor leads the 1st Marine Division Band during a special performance in front of city and military leaders in San Francisco, Calif. on Oct. 4, 2022 (Olivia Wynkoop / Bay City News).

“While Fleet Week is one really exciting, extraordinary week we’re about to enter into, the Department of Emergency Management and my other public safety partners do Fleet Week year-round,” said Carroll.

Breed asked U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Wayne Baze to accept a city proclamation that officially recognizes the beginning of Fleet Week, and thanked him for his partnership with the city.

“I’m here to tell you this year is going to be bigger, better, more epic,” said Baze after accepting the proclamation. He mentioned that the air show will feature equipment never displayed before – like two Navy F-35’s, some of the most technologically advanced aircraft in the world.

“Jet pilots are going to be flying, but that’s not what’s the coolest [thing]. The coolest thing is that we’re bringing a lot of young sailors, Marines and Coast Guard men and women to get out and about in your community,” said Baze. “And that’s important, because to me, that’s what this week is really about.”

Elaine Forbes of the Port of San Francisco said she is excited welcome navy vessels to the city’s historic piers once again.

“We cannot wait to welcome the young men and women who are in service to say thank you for your service, buy them a beer, have a good time and enjoy the waterfront. Let’s welcome people who really sacrifice for our country and keep us safe,” said Forbes.

More information about Fleet Week events can be found online at fleetweeksf.org.

The 1st Marine Division Band played a special performance in front of city and military leaders to kick off the 41st annual Fleet Week in San Francisco, Calif. on Oct. 4, 2022 (Olivia Wynkoop / Bay City News).