Fleet Week on the Battleship IOWA

LA Fleet Week, already the largest Memorial Day weekend event in Southern California, gets even bigger in 2024 as an active US Navy aircraft carrier will participate in the activities in and around the Battleship IOWA to celebrate the dedication and sacrifice of all those who serve and served in the US Sea Services.

Fleet Week activities, including performances by the Navy and Marine bands, commence May 22 and occur throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties before shifting from May 24-27 to the LA Fleet Week Expo taking place on the LA Waterfront at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro.

Located next to the Battleship USS IOWA Museum (250 Harbor Blvd. San Pedro), the Expo will be open to the public from 10AM to 6PM, Friday, May 24, to Monday, May 27. Free to the public, the Expo will provide a variety of activities and exhibits celebrating the nation's military services. Events will include military displays and equipment demonstrations, live entertainment, and aircraft flyovers. Organizers will also host the annual Galley Wars culinary cook-off competition between culinary specialists from the five military service branches as well as the Military Has Talent competition.

As in year’s past, one of the Expo’s highlights figures to be the free tours of active duty ships, with this year offering the unique opportunity to tour an active US aircraft carrier. It marks the first time an active carrier has visited the Port of Los Angeles in more than a decade. Tours will be available from 10 AM to 3 PM from Friday, May 24, through Sunday, May 26, and from 9 AM to 1 PM on Memorial Day, May 27.

The aircraft carrier–the identity of which cannot be divulged beforehand for national security reasons–will be berthed in San Pedro's Outer Harbor, and the only way to go aboard will be to take a shuttle bus from the main LA Fleet Week Expo footprint. A Coast Guard cutter will also be available for tours in the Downtown Harbor adjacent to the Los Angeles Maritime Museum.

Reservations for ship tours are not required and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. All adults must present a valid government-issued I.D. (state I.D. card, drivers license or passport) to take Navy ship tours. Non-US citizens must show valid passports and will be subject to a brief additional screening before boarding the vessels. Photocopies of I.D.s will not be accepted. Additional information regarding ship tours, including tour requirements and restrictions, is available on the LA Fleet Week website and should be reviewed before attending.

The IOWA will also make its regular tours available. These include the Gun Tour, offering a behind-the-scenes journey down hatches, up ladders and into the lives of battleship sailors, culminating with an awesome view of the machinations of those 16-inch guns, as well as the Engineering Tour, which allows visitors to see and hear about the design and operation of the ship.

Explore More

Veterans Memorials in Long Beach

About the Author
Steve Lowery
Related Content: