Broward County and its Port Everglades have a long history of welcoming the men and women of our Armed Forces into our community. The Port served as a military base for the U.S. Navy during World War II and has hosted Fleet Week for more than 20 years.
Unfortunately, The Navy will not be able to bring ships to Broward County for Fleet Week this year due to budget constraints associeated with sequestration. However, Broward Navy Days, Inc., the organizers of the annual event, are continuing to honor the local members of our armed forces with Military Appreciation Week, April 29-May 6. A schedule of events can be found at browardnavydaysinc.org.
On August 3, 2012, Port Everglades had the distinct honor serving as the host site for the commissioning of the U.S. Coast Guard Richard Etheridge, the Coast Guard's second Sentinel Class patrol boat, on August 3, 2012. The Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters are designed to conduct maritime drug interdiction, alien migrant interdiction, search and rescue, national defense, homeland security, living marine resources and other Coast Guard missions. The cutter was named after Richard Etheridge, the first African-American to command a life-saving station. Etheridge led the Pea Island, NC, crew in a daring rescue operation that saved the entire crew of the schooner E.S. Newman, which had become grounded in a treacherous storm in 1896.
Port Everglades had the honor of hosting the commissioning ceremony for the USS JASON DUNHAM (DDG 109), the Navy's most advanced Arleigh Burke Class, Aegis Guided Missile Destroyer, on Saturday, November 13, 2010. The event drew thousands to the port following a week of events and activities for the crew and their families.
Port Everglades has had the honor of hosting the commissioning of four other U.S. Navy ships-the USS Leyete Gulf (1987), USS Cole (1996), USS Higgins (1999) and USS Bainbridge (2005). With the decommissioning of the USS John C. Calhoun submarine (1993), Port Everglades is also frequently the port of choice for official Change of Command ceremonies.
International naval fleets from Great Britain, Uruguay, Brazil, France, Germany and NATO also count on Port Everglades.
Another force with a prominent presence at the Port is the U.S. Coast Guard. On August 7, 1975 the U.S. Coast Guard Station, Fort Lauderdale was formally commissioned directly across from Port Everglades. Its primary missions are search, rescue and drug interdiction. The phone number for U.S. Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale is 954-927-1611.