Fleet Week ship tours highlight USS Michael Monsoor

San Francisco's Fleet Week is coming to an end. It's the first show in two years and the only one in the country this year.

Sunday wraps the air show half of the events but ship tours will go on until Monday morning. Among the vessels, is the USS Michael Monsoor. KTVU's James Torrez got an exclusive tour of parts of the ship, not normally made available to the public.

To get a full appreciation of one of Fleet Week's newest members you must first know the story of Michael Monsoor. He was a US Navy Seal killed in action 15 years ago in Iraq.

"He was on a rooftop with some other SEALs and a grenade got thrown under the roof," said Jacob Shafer, Commander Master Chief with the US Navy. "He saw that grenade, selflessly jumped on it and saved his teammates, and subsequently lost his life for that action."

Monsoor's legacy and sacrifice as a member of SEAL Team 3 now lives onboard the ship. On a tour, you'll learn how more than 170 sailors live and operate on it.

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"You get to interact with them and ask them questions about their service and their time in the navy," said CMC Shafer.

What you won't see are their living spaces, which include their quarters and cafe rooms where they have meals. You also won't see the boat bay, which houses two smaller boats for emergency use. Those are typically stored on the outside of a vessel, but are kept inside the USS Michael Monsoor to enhance its stealthiness.

At the ship's bow, or front, you may see two large box-like fixtures. Those are gun bays, considered the vessel's first line of defense. When needed, 6-inch diameter barrels are revealed and can rotate 360 degrees, aiming fire in any direction.

"This ship does represent the direction that our Navy and our country is heading," said Commanding Officer Andrew Liggins. 

"We expect to see these ships operating in the Western Pacific in years to come."

The USS Michael Monsoor is one of two ships of its kind, with a third, the USS Lynden B. Johnson, in the making. While it's a cool experience to see for yourself, the sailors on board get something out of the tours too.

"Appreciation," said sailor Christopher Elmendorf.

"I really appreciate the locals coming back out here after the pandemic, still excited to see the Navy. They still want to learn and see what it is we do and how we handle things."

Boat tours will continue Monday morning starting at 9am and last until Noon. They are free to the public. Masks will be required.