USS San Diego
the USS San Diego arrives in Guam in January 2018. Navy photo

The amphibious transport dock USS San Diego and U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Robert Ward will be open for public tours this weekend during Fleet Week San Diego.

Free tours of the two ships will begin at 1 p.m. Friday on Broadway Pier and continue through Veterans Day.

The 684-foot amphibious ship, named for Americas Finest City, can support a landing by up to 800 combat-ready Marines. The ship carriers two hovercraft and either four Ch-46 Sea Knight helicopters or two MV-22 Osprey tiltrotors.

“The ship is a modern and sophisticated warfighting platform,” said Gordon Rutherford, president of fleet week for 2018. “We’re truly excited to partner with the Navy to offer guided tours aboard this great ship during our annual celebration to honor the sea services.”

The Robert Ward, a Sentinel-class cutter, is used for coastal search and rescue, port security, and marine interdiction.

On Monday, the Marines will set up a display of combat vehicles and other weapons for public inspection on the pier.

“While the technology our military uses is truly amazing, it is the men and women who step up to protect all of us that are the true marvels. We’re most excited that the public will get a chance to meet some of them and see that they are truly great Americans,” Rutherford said.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.