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Operation MWR Concert Energizes Norfolk Community

Dierks Bentley performing during Naval Station Norfolk's Operation MWR event.

May 29, 2024 | Story by Megan Trexler | Commander, Navy Installations Command

Naval Station Norfolk was alive with excitement on May 4, 2024, as Navy MWR hosted an unforgettable Operation MWR event. The attendees, who came to enjoy an evening filled with music and fun, experienced a night of shared joy and camaraderie. The event, sponsored by GOVX, saw an impressive turnout of over 15,000 attendees, including sailors from the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), the world's largest aircraft carrier. Having returned from an eight-month deployment earlier this year, the presence of the USS Ford’s crew highlighted the event's critical role in boosting morale and aiding reintegration with family and community life.

The event kicked off with the talented Colbie Caillat, who set the stage with heartwarming renditions of her hits including "Realize," "Lucky," and "I Never Told You." Her performance resonated with the audience deeply, as each song was met with cheers and sing-alongs from an engaged crowd. Following Caillat, the headliner, Dierks Bentley, took the stage, captivating the audience with his performances of "Somewhere on a Beach," "Home," and "American Girl." Both artists made it a point to thank the military for their brave service, acknowledging the sacrifices made by Sailors and their families.

Bentley expressed his deep appreciation for the military and their families, saying, “There’s nothing like playing for the military and their families. We’ve had a chance to do it over the years and I’m always so appreciative of any time I’m on stage and look out at the fans and the people that know the words to the songs and smiling… there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel grateful for that.” He added, “We appreciate you all. We love our military and military families. Thank you for letting us sing for you tonight."

Highlighting the significance of the event, Capt. Janet Days, Commanding Officer of Naval Station Norfolk, said, “Our goal is to support Sailors and their families. Sailors want to see that in action. I believe Norfolk’s Operation MWR event, with its ‘We’ve Got Your Six’ message, the A-list artists and the magnitude of all this, really shows our service members that leadership is willing and ready to put their money where their mouth is.” Days continued by emphasizing that events like these are more than just entertainment; they are a vital part of the support network provided to service members, aimed at enhancing their quality of life.

Naval Station Norfolk’s Operation MWR event not only provided an evening of exceptional music and community spirit but also reinforced Navy MWR’s commitment to supporting its service members through meaningful, enjoyable programming that honors their service and sacrifice.

Navy MWR's Operation MWR will host 65+ free events at Navy installations worldwide from May to June 2024. These events aim to boost morale and resilience among service members and their families through live entertainment, recreational activities, food, games and more. Open to active duty members, reservists, veterans, retirees, DoD civilians and eligible MWR patrons. For more information about Operation MWR and to find your local event, please visit

Navy MWR’s mission is to deliver high-quality, customer-focused programs and services that contribute to resiliency, retention, readiness and quality of life. Navy MWR Entertainment tours make a positive impact on the morale of our troops. The program provides quality, live entertainment for Sailors stationed overseas and on deployed ships at sea. For more information about the program, visit

No Navy endorsement implied.
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