- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Navy planners said Wednesday that land-locked North Dakota and Minnesota make an ideal site for its week-long summer program because the majority of Navy enlistees are typically from the Midwest.

Navy Week festivities are scheduled for July 20-26 in Fargo and neighboring Moorhead, Minnesota. Coinciding with the Fargo AirSho, it will feature scheduled appearances by the Blue Angels flight demonstration team, Leap Frogs parachute team, bomb disposal teams, exhibition trailers, admirals and other senior leaders, and one of the Navy bands.

Lt. Geordie F.O. Kelly, director of Navy Band Great Lakes, said it makes sense to bring the event to prime recruiting territory.

“I don’t know if it’s because they long for the sea, or dream of it, or have never seen it, or whatever,” Kelly said of the Midwest connection.

The lead planner for the Fargo event, Lt. j.g. James Adams, says it’s important to give people in the area a chance to meet and talk with Navy leaders and others. One of them scheduled to appear, Rear Adm. Stuart Munsch, is from Oakes, in southeastern North Dakota.

“We’re putting our heads together to start coming up with ideas on the type of events we want to use,” Adams said.

Mass Communication Specialist Andrew Jandik said planners also want to show there’s more to the Navy than combat.

“A lot of people think that if they join, they’re going into war. And breaking that stereotype is a big bonus of Navy Week,” Jandik said.

The event also corresponds with the 100-year celebration of the Navy Reserves. Vice Adm. Robin Braun, chief of the Navy Reserve, is scheduled to speak during the air show.

“When the normal public thinks of the Navy, they don’t necessarily think of the reserves. They think of active duty, fulltime,” Adams said. “That’s not all that the Navy has. The Navy uses the reserves to help with their operations that active duty might not be able to help with.”

Fargo is one of 12 cities selected to host Navy Week in 2015.

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