After 25 Years at Pearl Harbor, USS Chosin to Leave for New Homeport

The U.S. Navy announced that USS Chosin (CG 65) will depart for San Diego this Friday, completing 25 years of duty and deployments from its homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

USS Chosin

Chosin is scheduled to depart Pearl Harbor Friday morning to begin the cruiser modernization program in San Diego. The ship will be considered on deployment until July 1, at which time it will officially change its homeport to San Diego.  This move supports the Navy’s plan to modernize select cruisers to extend their service lives to 40 years, as well as upgrade shipboard combat systems to address current and future warfighting requirements.

In 1992 Chosin deployed for the first time to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch.  On several occasions over the years, Sailors aboard Chosin rescued stranded fishermen at sea, including Iraqi and Yemeni seafarers.  In 2014 USS Chosin led recovery efforts of the disabled Canadian navy oil replenishment ship Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Protecteur (AOR 509) after an engine fire.  Chosin participated in humanitarian operations in the Pacific and dozens of international exercises, including Rim of the Pacific exercises in the Hawaiian Islands.

“Thousands of men and women served aboard USS Chosin over the past 25 years that the ‘War Dragon’ was homeported here at Pearl Harbor,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific and Navy Region Hawaii. “Chosin Sailors and their proud ship kept sea lanes open, built strong international partnerships and stood at the ready to defend our nation.”

“We wish USS Chosin fair winds and following seas as the ‘War Dragon’ prepares for modernization — taking warfighting readiness to the next level,” Fuller said. “I join her commanding officer, Capt. Kevin Brand, and Chosin shipmates, past and present, who offer deep appreciation to the people of Hawaii for their strong support and Aloha over many years.”

Chosin is the first U.S. Navy warship named in commemoration of the First Marine Division’s heroism at the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War, “The Chosin Few.” The ship’s motto is “Invictus,” Latin for invincible or unconquered.

USS Chosin was commissioned in 1991 and since then has proudly served in the Pacific from Pearl Harbor.

The Navy will maintain cruisers undergoing modernization in a commissioned status using a reduced crew size and transferring the administrative control of the ship to Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command at the start of the modernization period.  At a future date, the Navy will restore the ship to full manning and transfer administrative control back to the Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet as the ship returns to operational status.

Cruisers are designed to directly support a Carrier Strike Group (CSG) as the Air Defense Commander (ADC). These ships are multi-mission surface combatants capable of supporting carrier strike groups, expeditionary strike groups, or operating as flagships of surface action groups. They are equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles giving them additional long range strike warfare capability.

Maintaining the most technologically advanced ships supports the commitment of United States to the security, stability, and prosperity of the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

DLNR Reopens Muliwai Trail and Waimanu Valley Campground After Waipio Valley Reopens

The Department of Land and Natural Resources yesterday reopened the Muliwai hiking trail on the far cliff side of Waipio Valley and its campground in the next valley, Waimanu, following the reopening of the Waipio valley access road yesterday by Hawaii County officials.

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That reopening followed an extended period of no new reported cases of dengue fever in Waipio residents. The zigzag climbing Muliwai trail and Waimanu Valley can only be accessed via the far slope of Waipio valley.

Hikers interested in obtaining permits to camp in remotve Waimanu valley may again reserve permits on the DLNR Wiki Permit website, effective today at https://camping.ehawaii.gov/camping/welcome.html or at the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife district office at 19 E. Kawili St., Hilo, Hawaii 96720.  Phone: (808) 974-4221.

As a precaution to prevent the spread of dengue fever on the island of Hawaii, access to the Waipio Valley Access Road and valley area was restricted to in mid-January 2016 to valley residents only until an 8-12 week period of no new cases being reported had passed.

For current information on dengue and preventing its spread, go to health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001.

Public Invited to View Solar-Powered Plane “Solar Impulse 2”

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is pleased to announce a free public viewing of the Solar Impulse 2. The public will be able to view the aircraft and meet the crew that’s making the first flight around the world in a solar-powered plane.

Solar Impulse in Hawaii

The viewing is scheduled at the following location and time:

Saturday, April 2, 2016
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hangar 111 at Kalaeloa Airport
Midway Street, Kapolei, HI 96707

The date of the event may need to be changed to Sunday, April 3, 2016, depending on the possibility of the plane leaving the hangar for training flights linked to weather conditions.

Those interested in attending the event are urged to register online which includes accepting a waiver granting Solar Impulse SA and their affiliates the right to use photos, video, and other materials taken at the event for promotional purposes.

On the day of the event, attendees who registered in advance will save time upon arrival by presenting a print out of their registration or by showing it on their smartphone. Those who have not registered prior to the event will not be able to utilize the express line. The public may register and read more about the waiver by clicking here.

For more information on the Solar Impulse’s mission and journey around the world, please visit their website at http://www.solarimpulse.com/.

Parking map for Hangar 111

Governor Ige Releases $550,000 in CIP Funding for Puna Regional Library (PRPL)

Governor David Y. Ige has announced the release of $550,000 in Capital Improvement Project funds for the Puna Regional Public Library. In his release of funding for the library project, Governor Ige stated, “Mahalo for your work on behalf of the residents in your district to secure these funds. Projects such as this are critical components of the public infrastructure and contribute to building better a better home for our kupuna, keiki and all residents of Hawai’i.”

Senate Ways and Means Committee visited the Pahoa Library located on the Pahoa High and Intermediate campus.

Senate Ways and Means Committee visited the Pahoa Library located on the Pahoa High and Intermediate campus.

Senator Russell Ruderman has made the Puna library project one of his top priorities. The Puna Regional Public Library will play a vital role as one of the cornerstones of our community by transforming lives through nurturing lifelong learning and promoting increased community engagement by delivering new services that connect closely with user needs. Additionally, it will improve our quality of life and provide unlimited educational opportunities.

“The Puna district has long loved and consistently made good use of its libraries. I am very happy and grateful to Governor Ige for releasing these funds for the Puna Regional Public Library in such a timely manner,” Senator Ruderman stated, “For rural and economically challenged areas like Puna, projects like the library are a much-needed and highly anticipated resource. We are excited to learn that the Public Library System is also considering a pair of libraries in both upper and lower Puna areas to serve our large district. I look forward to working for continued support and funding of key projects like the library, and these newly released funds will help bring our goal of a state of the art community gathering place to fruition.”

Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Presents 2016 Luncheon with Mayor Kenoi

Mayor Billy Kenoi and select cabinet members discuss opportunities and challenges to West Hawaii’s economy at the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC) 2016 Luncheon 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 5 at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

Mayor Kenoi testifying at the state capital.

Mayor Kenoi testifying at the state capital.

Sponsored by the Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union and Mokulele Airlines, the annual luncheon offers a unique opportunity for the local community to meet with county department representatives in a casual setting.

Attendees will have the opportunity to have lunch with a specific department as well as pose questions to the mayor and cabinet heads. Issues discussed may include update on the Honokohau Harbor, housing and homelessness, healthcare and opportunities for economic development in West Hawaii.

In addition, attendees can also learn about new and existing KKCC businesses at the Chamber’s annual Business Expo, which precedes and follows the banquet. Times are 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-2 p.m.

General admission is $65; Chamber and Rotary members $55. No walk-ins allowed. For more information and/or to register, visit www.kona-kohala.com or call the Chamber office at 808-329-1758.