JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the River City is set to celebrate its 200th birthday, last-minute scrubbing is happening on board a Navy ship docked downtown.
The USS Orleck is preparing for a special ceremony.
News4JAX tagged along as crews put the finishing touches on the USS Orleck -- sprucing the ship up to celebrate the city’s bicentennial celebration.
“We’re going to come here, clean her up, replace the skids, scrubs, swab as in mop, sweepers is something we do on the ship every day,” Chief Petty Officer Youdlein Adam said. “You have to make sure the ship is clean because that’s your home.”
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Adam is a recruiter with the Navy and said being aboard this multi-million dollar vessel; as part of a salute to Jacksonville’s history is exciting.
“I think this is a great part of the history of Jacksonville, especially during the Bicentennial weekend in Jax,” she said.
Petty Officer First Class Juan Hall keeps his enthusiasm in check -- but said the real mission aboard USS Orleck -- now on the St. Johns -- is to look back on Jacksonville’s Navy ties and to encourage those considering a future at sea.
“Don’t be afraid,” Hall said. “Don’t be afraid of change. Change is always good. If you’re comfortable, something’s wrong. You need to push yourself to be better.”
As Jacksonville’s new floating Naval museum, USS Orleck will officially open to visitors in July. But it will host a ceremony this weekend that shows off its part of Jacksonville’s history for the city’s Bicentennial.