TORRANCE, Calif. – Col. Kim Colloton, commander of the Corps' Los Angeles District, along with district employees, family members and friends, took part in the 55th Annual Torrance Armed Forces Day Parade held May 17 to celebrate the contributions and sacrifices members of the Armed Forces have made for the nation.
“This was a great opportunity for our families and our employees to participate,” Colloton said, “and to show how the Corps really is part of the Army.”
The parade offered the District a chance to participate in a community event that sustains a vital connection with the American people and afforded it the opportunity to tell the Corps story, promote its emergency response mission and deliver a water safety message.
The centerpiece of the District’s participation was its Emergency Command and Control Vehicle, a 47-foot truck designed to provide a communication platform for first responders in areas hit hard by disasters. The ECCV provides communications and workspace for 11 people and is totally self-contained for up to 72 hours before additional fuel or alternative power is required. There are 15 ECCVs located across the continental United States. Before the parade began, ECCV driver Alex Watt gave unannounced tours of the ECCV to several inquisitive passers-by.
The highlight of the District’s participation, it seemed, that which drew the most enthusiastic response from many of the nearly 60,000 spectators estimated by the Torrance Police Department who viewed the parade, was Bobber the Water Safety Dog.
Waving, high-fiving and posing for photos along the way, Bobber delivered his message to be safe in and around water and to follow 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.
More than 50 units participated in the parade, including military color guards and marching bands, high school marching bands and drill teams, uniformed troops and military drill teams, units from the National Guard, ROTC and military reserve, and military vehicles such as tanks and armored personnel carriers. The parade included flyovers by vintage aircraft from biplanes to WWII fighters and transports.
According to a City of Torrance news release, the city is one of the few in the nation designated by the Department of Defense to host an Armed Forces Day celebration and it has the distinction of being the nation's longest running military parade sponsored by any city.
“This was an opportunity for us to show people that when the Corps responds to an emergency, it’s people who respond,” Colloton said. “We have the vehicles and the equipment, but it’s people who respond, and people who operate that equipment. It was just great to be part of the parade.”
Cutline: Bobber the Water Safety Dog leads a contingent from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District during the 55th annual Torrance Armed Forces Day Parade held May 17. The parade, featuring nearly 50 participants, is the longest continually-running Armed Forces Day Parade in the nation.