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Posted 5/30/2018

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By Brooks O. Hubbard IV
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District


TORRANCE, California – “Is everyone ready?” asked Maj. Scotty Autin, deputy district commander for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District. “Yes we are ready to have fun,” shouted the group of LA District team members and their families assembled and ready to walk in the two-mile parade route May 19 as participants in the 59th annual City of Torrance Armed Forces Day parade.

The City of Torrance honored the five branches of the military during the Torrance Armed Forces Day Celebration May 18 to 20.  This year the honored service was the United States Marine Corps.

The Grand Marshal was U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Eric M. Smith, commanding general, 1st Marine Division.  Retired U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Marty Vasquez served as the honorary Grand Marshal.

Torrance is designated by the U.S. Department of Defense to host an Armed Forces Day celebration, with the parade highlighting the celebration. It also has the distinction of being the nation's longest running military parade sponsored by any city.

Sergio Valdovinos operated the LA District's Emergency Command and Control Vehicle, or ECCV, led by Autin, Fany Anderson with the LA District's Safety Office and Bobber the Water Safety Dog, the Corps‘ safety mascot.

The ECCV is designed to provide a communication platform and work space for first responders in areas hit hard by disasters. The 47-foot truck is totally self-contained for up to 72 hours. There are only 15 vehicles like it across the nation. The ECCV was recently dispatched to Santa Barbara County in support of the Corps’ debris removal mission, following a devastating mudslide Jan. 9 in Montecito.

As the LA District participants proceeded down Torrance Boulevard, they were greeted and cheered on by an estimated 40,000 residents and visitors. “I was really honored to have participated and represented the District in the parade, alongside of my husband and son,” said Demetrice Hubbard, spouse of Brooks Hubbard. “I grew up in Texas in a town with an Air Force Base, and I can’t recall such a big event for the military being held like this parade.”

Bobber received hugs and greetings from children and adults alike along the parade route. Bobber wants all children to be safe in and around water, so he shared his four golden rules: Learn to swim well; don’t swim in water over your head; always have an adult with you; and wear a Life Jacket.

The three-day celebration included festivities at the Del Amo Mall, where visitors viewed and toured a host of static military displays, including tanks and helicopters from the U.S. Army’s National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, and military artillery pieces from the U.S.M.C.

59th Annual Torrance Parade Bobber the Water Safety Dog City of Torrance Armed Forces Day parade ECCV los angeles district US Army USACE USAF USMC USN