BROOKLYN - Fleet Week New York 2016 kicked off Wednesday.

Now in its 28th year, Fleet Week is a celebration honoring the men and women of the U.S. armed forces who serve at sea, and has been celebrated since 1984.

Military officials say it is a great opportunity for New Yorkers and the surrounding tristate area to meet sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today's maritime services by taking tours of ships. 

"Fleet week in conjunction with Memorial Day is a moment for us to think back of the Marines and sailors and military personnel that have gone before us," said Jason Knuckles of the U.S. Marine Corps. 

The first ship, the USS Farragut, arrived at the cruise terminal in Brooklyn around 1:30 p.m., followed two hours later by USS Bainbridge and USCGC Forward.

Sailors, Marines and members of the Coast Guard were met with cheers and applause at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. 

Military officials also held a welcome barbecue featuring food by The BBQ Brethren exclusively for the arriving Fleet Week participants. 

They say the event included the NYPD Pipe and Drum, the U.S. Marine Corps Band, Navy Band North East, WWII Navy veterans and members of the Patriot Guard.

Sailors told News 12 that they couldn't wait to explore New York City. 

"‘Book of Mormon,’" said Timothy Millard, a U.S. Navy sailor. "That is the biggest thing I wanted to do is go see a Broadway show." 

Fleet Week runs through the end of the week.