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Our view: It’s little seen, but the Navy is critical in Twin Ports

A year after Navy Week roared into Duluth with a high-flying Blue Angels demonstration and a host of other events, a message to us from Naval officials remains unchanged this summer: The economic activity in the Duluth-Superior harbor commands th...

A year after Navy Week roared into Duluth with a high-flying Blue Angels demonstration and a host of other events, a message to us from Naval officials remains unchanged this summer: The economic activity in the Duluth-Superior harbor commands the protection the Navy is providing.
Even if we don’t often notice.
The U.S. Navy is all about making sure commerce flows unimpeded, the freedom of navigation and the freedom of the seas, Navy Deputy Under Secretary Jodi Greene told the News Tribune, including a member of the editorial board, when she visited this month as a follow-up to last year’s event.
While the Coast Guard is far more visible in the Twin Ports, residents here can think of the Navy each time an ocean-going freighter arrives or departs our port, and we can be reminded of the security and stability assured by the Navy, not only in Duluth-Superior but around the globe.
Navy Week is a reminder of that, too. It also is a chance for that branch of our military to connect with communities like the Twin Ports, face-to-face and one-on-one. Navy Weeks were launched in 2005 and took place 181 times through 2014.
With partners, the Navy and the U.S. are ready to respond to any mission, including humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and aviation support, Greene said. Navy engineers rebuild cities and deal with crises. Navy hospital ships currently are deployed in the Pacific and in Africa.
Greene grew up in Northfield, Minn. Her world experience with the Navy includes monitoring the Northern Ireland peace process in the mid-1990s and managing defense policies with the South Korea. She also served previously as principal advisor to the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy on general defense and foreign policy development.
In Duluth, Greene participated in Grandma’s Marathon and visited with Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce officials, the Boys and Girls Club, the Port of Duluth, the AAR aircraft maintenance facility, the Air National Guard 148th Fighter Wing, St. Louis County facilities, the College of St. Scholastica and Lincoln Park Middle School.
She was accompanied throughout most of her three-day stay by state Sen. Roger Reinert, who also is Lt. Commander Roger Reinert, a public affairs officer in the Navy Reserve.
That means he, too, can - and does - proudly tout the often unseen but nevertheless important role of the U.S. Navy in the Twin Ports and our harbor.

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