Well I just got back from a couple days on Oahu and all I can say is WOW!
A week ago, I got a message from someone with the US Pacific Command inviting my wife and baby to come along board the Navy Destroyer USS Chung-Hoon, for their “Family Day” that they were having along with bringing on folks from the Navy League Honolulu Council who have adopted the Chung-Hoon as their own special ship.
I accepted the invite and I had been eagerly waiting to tell folks all about this opportunity of a lifetime, but I agreed not to say anything until after I went on the trip.
Unfortunately, my son has school and we weren’t gonna pull him out for two days although I wanted to. There were a few other kids on the boat and they certainly were having the time of their life.
I was stoked to know that I would be in the comfort of other non military folks who are also into blogs and social media:
There was internet-tech guru, Burt Lum from Bytemarks, the ever popular Honolulu Advertiser Blogger – Shauna Goya, of “Odds and Ends“, the inspirational and crafty photographer Dallas Nagata, also Kaimana Pine from KDesign Hawaii and Kanu Hawaii was a last minute entrant and we were also joined by Russell Mesinas of the Air Force and Christie Shimabuku of the Waikiki Resort Hotel.
I met with the Public Affairs people at 8:00 at the Pass & ID office by the main Nimitz gate and they brought us into the secured area in their Public Affairs van.
We weren’t allowed to take pictures as we were driving down to where USS Destroyer Chung-Hoon was based at, but once we got to the ship, we were pretty much free to take pictures of anything we wanted… well accept the combat room… however, they did let us go into the combat room which was pretty cool to see them at actual work.
I was fascinated by many things and took over 280 pictures which you can see below, so I’ll just point out some of the cooler stuff that I saw that I can actually explain a bit.
Above is a picture of me sitting at the helm of the “bridge” of the ship. Inside this part of the room is where the sailors actually steer the Destroyer from.
Here is a short movie I made inside the area…
They fed us lunch on the deck of the ship which consisted of kalbi, hamburgers, hot dogs, corn, salad, chips, and dessert… The problem for me, is I was getting a little seasick so I wasn’t able to eat all of my lunch.
Then something pretty cool happened, we got to watch one of the Sailors re-enlist with the Navy which is a pretty inspirational thing.
His family was able to be there to support him in his decision:
We got to tour pretty much the entire boat from everything from the kitchen
to the places where the sailors sleep (3 to a room in this one particular)
There were lots of things that interested me… but these missile launchers for some reason really had my interest “piqued” and I wish I could have looked inside one of these hatches.
Our public affairs person with the Pacific Command asked the Commander of the Chung-Hoon, CDR Mike McCartney, to come out and talk with us and that was pretty inspirational.
On the way back into Pearl Harbor after being out at sea for about 4 hours, the ship decided that it would show off some of it’s power and they blasted away at a very fast speed for about 10-20 miles. I went to the back of the destroyer and caught this video of the wake.
It was pretty cool because out of nowhere this Submarine started heading towards us and the two ships communicated to make sure there wasn’t a collision but they still got close enough so that I could take this picture as it was going by.
It was pretty interesting being on the ship while the Sailors were on duty at different stations.
I can’t possibly post all the pictures and write about them, you can click the pictures below for a larger version.
You can learn more about the USS Chong-Hoon by going to their homepage here: USS Chong-Hoon
The avergae age of a Chung-Hoon Sailor is 28 years old
Our Culinary Specialists cook 750 meals a day
We serve nearly 31 dozen eggs a day
On average the Chung-Hoon will carry 45 days worth of food
Our hungry Sailors consume 15 loaves of bread a day
The hard working Ships Serviceman clean 2200 lbs of laundry a month
Da Kine Barber shop will cut 250 heads of hair a month
The ships store makes $40,000 of sales a month
Filed under: Blogs, Entertainment, Hawaii, Military, National Affairs, Something New?, Technology, Transportation Tagged: | Mike McCartney, Military Destroyer Ship, Navy League of Honolulu, Out to Sea on the Destroyer USS Chung-Hoon, Pacific Command, Pacific Fleet, US Navy, USS Chung-Hoon