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USS Chung-Hoon to Return From Deployment

The guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) is scheduled to return from a five-month deployment to the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) June 28.

Chun hoon Bridge

While on deployment, the ship and crew of more than 300 Sailors conducted various theater security operations and goodwill activities with partner nations.

“The Sailors and officers of Chung-Hoon performed exceptionally while deployed to the Western Pacific,” said Cmdr. Tom Ogden, commanding officer. “During exercises and operations with our allies and partners in the Asia Pacific, we flew helicopters and sailed the ship in accordance with international laws and were able to show strong, persistent presence in the region.”

Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37 Detachment 7, homeported at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, embarked aboard Chung-Hoon during the deployment. They flew 245 sorties, totaling more than 680 hours with two MH-60R aircraft in support of multi-national exercises and presence operations in the Indo-Asia Pacific.
chun hoon front
“The relationship with Chung-Hoon was outstanding from day one,” said Lt. Cmdr. Justin Eckhoff, HSM-37, Detachment 7 air boss. “The crew was professional and very welcoming, allowing us to form a great team.”

According to Eckhoff, the camaraderie he experienced during the evolution was not only remarkable, but valuable and directly impacted mission success.

“As a detachment, we adopted the nickname ‘Paniolo,’ a word for the cowboys of the Hawaiian Islands. The original Paniolo were hard working, resourceful, and shared a strong tie of brotherhood. Those same traits were evident every day from the maintainers, aircrew, and pilots of HSM 37, Detachment 7. Thanks to their efforts, we operated the world’s most advanced helicopters night after night, safely, and effectively.”

During the deployment, Chung-Hoon made port visits to Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and the Philippines, and participated in numerous community service projects including volunteering at local elementary schools, orphanages, and soup kitchens.

In February, Chung-Hoon participated in Foal Eagle, an annual bilateral training exercise designed to enhance the readiness of United States and Republic of Korea forces and their ability to work together during a crisis.
Me at helm of chung hoon
In June, Chung-Hoon participated in Malabar, a trilateral naval exercise with Japan and India to increase bilateral nation inoperability. During Malabar, Chung-Hoon received fuel from the Indian oiler INS Shakti further showcasing the  ability of the nations to operate together.

Chung-Hoon also participated in a group sail across the Pacific Ocean with Indian, Singaporean, Indonesian, and Japanese navies in preparation for the 2016 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.

Twenty-six nations, 45 ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the RIMPAC exercise scheduled June 30 through August 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.

Chung-Hoon is assigned to Carrier Strike Group 3 and Destroyer Squadron 21 and is homeported in Hawaii as part of U.S. 3rd Fleet. It is also part of the Great Green Fleet, an initiative that highlights the Navy’s efforts to transform its energy use to increase operational capability.

Chung-Hoon was commissioned Sep. 18, 2004 and was named after Rear Admiral Gordon Pai’ea Chung-Hoon, who served during World War II and was the first Asian-American flag officer. He is a recipient of the Navy Cross and Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of USS Sigsbee from May 1944 to October 1945.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.

For more information please visit the ship’s website:
http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/ddg93/Pages/default.aspx

Editors note: To see my trip out to sea with the USS Chung Hoon click here:  Out to Sea on the Destroyer USS CHUNG HOON

International Ships Sail to Hawaii for Rim of the Pacific 2016

Four multinational groups have set sail toward Hawaii in support of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise commencing on June 30.

The Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) leads a group of multinational ships during a photo exercise (PHOTOEX) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010.  RIMPAC is the world's largest international maritime exercise.  Since 1971, this large-scale biennial exercise has been designed to increase mutual cooperation and enhance the tactical capabilities of participating nations in various aspects of maritime operations at sea.   (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Scott Taylor/RELEASED)

The Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) leads a group of multinational ships during a photo exercise (PHOTOEX) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010. RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise. Since 1971, this large-scale biennial exercise has been designed to increase mutual cooperation and enhance the tactical capabilities of participating nations in various aspects of maritime operations at sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Scott Taylor/RELEASED)

Participating in Group Sail, 10 ships departed from San Diego, while 12 ships met in the Western Pacific Ocean.

  • USS America (LHA 6) departed San Diego on June 21, leading Canadian ship HMCS Vancouver, Chilean ship CNS Cochrane, USS San Diego (LPD 22), and USS Howard (DDG 83).
  • USS Princeton (CG 59) departed San Diego on June 22 along with Canadian ship HMCS Calgary, USCG Stratton, and USS Pinckney (DDG 91). USS Coronado (LCS 4) departed San Diego on June 23.
  • Singaporean ship RSS Steadfast departed the Western Pacific Ocean on June 18 with Japanese ship JS Hyuga, Indonesian ship KRI Diponegoro, Indian ship INS Satpura, and USS Chung Hoon (DDG 93).
  • USS Stockdale (DDG 106) departed the Western Pacific Ocean on June 18 with USS William P Lawrence (DDG 110), and the People’s Republic of China vessels PLA(N) Hengshui, PLA(N) Peace Ark, PLA(N) Xian, PLA(N) Gaoyouhu, and PLA(N) Changdao.

The ships participating in Group Sail are expected to arrive in Pearl Harbor during the last week of June.

USS Chung Hoon gets fuel during an exercise in 2010.

USS Chung Hoon gets fuel during an exercise in 2010.

Conducted prior to the start of RIMPAC, Group Sail offers participating units the chance to operate together and conduct basic training like tactical maneuvering drills and communication system checks. Group Sail helps prepare participating units for the more complex exercises conducted during RIMPAC.

The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC is hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet and executed by U.S. Third Fleet in the Hawaiian operating area. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

State Awarded $764 Thousand to Study Military Impact on Hawai‘i’s Economy

The State of Hawai‘i has been awarded a $763,856 grant by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) to complete a Supply Chain Map for Hawai‘i’s defense contracting community. This grant starts on July 1, 2016 and will be administered by the State of Hawai‘i, Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

110831-N-IC111-250 PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (Aug. 31, 2011) – Sailors and Marines render honors as the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) passes the USS Arizona Memorial while entering Pearl Harbor for a port visit. Ronald Reagan is currently in the 3rd Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin B. Gray/RELEASED)

110831-N-IC111-250 PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (Aug. 31, 2011) – Sailors and Marines render honors as the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) passes the USS Arizona Memorial while entering Pearl Harbor for a port visit. Ronald Reagan is currently in the 3rd Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin B. Gray/RELEASED)

The defense industry is Hawai‘i’s #2 economic sector. Past analyses of the impact of the military in Hawai‘i have been completed at the macro-economic level. The average annual direct defense expenditures in Hawai‘i are about $8.8 billion, resulting in a total output of $12.2 billion into the economy. This sector supports approximately 100,000 jobs, or 16.5% of Hawai‘i’s total jobs, across all islands.

“This grant will enable the State of Hawai‘i to identify the prime contractors, sub-contractors and suppliers to the military. This will enable us to plan ahead to better support this critical component of our economy by ensuring that Hawai‘i  businesses are prepared to adapt to changing defense requirements,” said Gov. David Ige.

The Military Affairs Council (MAC) of the Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i is a strategic partner for this grant. “We look forward to partnering with the state to inventory and study Hawai‘i’s DoD supply chain which includes all of our MAC members. This project will reveal how the defense sector impacts every island and aspect of our economy,” said David Carey, Chairman of the Military Affairs Council.

EPA Enforces Ban on U.S. Army’s Cesspools on Oahu and Big Island – Army Fined $100,000

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement with the U.S. Army to close four illegal large capacity cesspools on Oahu and eight on the Big Island. The Army will pay a $100,000 fine, the first time EPA has imposed a civil penalty against a federal government facility for operating banned cesspools.

Click to read

Click to read

“The convening of the International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu this week serves as a reminder of why EPA is focused on shutting down all large capacity cesspools,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Our goal is to protect Hawaii’s coastal waters.”

EPA found that the Army continued to use the cesspools despite a 2005 ban under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act’s Underground Injection Control program. The Army had failed to close three large capacity cesspools at Wheeler Army Airfield and one at Schofield Barracks on Oahu, as well as eight on the Big Island at the Pohakuloa Training area and the Kilauea Military Camp.

As a result of EPA’s enforcement action, the Army has closed one cesspool, and replaced two others at Wheeler Army Airfield and another at Schofield Barracks with approved wastewater treatment systems. Under the settlement agreement, the Army must also close or replace all eight of the large capacity cesspools still in use on the Big Island.

Cesspools collect and discharge untreated raw sewage into the ground, where disease-causing pathogens and harmful chemicals can contaminate groundwater, streams and the ocean. They are used more widely in Hawaii than any other state. Throughout Hawaii, over 3,000 large capacity cesspools have been closed since the 2005 ban, many through voluntary compliance. The EPA regulations do not apply to single-family homes connected to their own individual cesspools.

For more information on the case, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/region9/enforcement/pubnotices/pubnotice-us-army.html

For more information on the large capacity cesspool ban, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/uic/cesspools-hawaii

Hawaii Public Invited to Tour Coast Guard Icebreaker on Saturday

USCGC Healy (WAGB-20) arrived in Honolulu, Wednesday, for a port visit before continuing on a four-month Arctic deployment.

U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charly Hengen.

U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charly Hengen.

This port call is Healy’s first stop in Hawaii since 2011.

The Healy will be open to the public for tours Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., at Pier 11. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Pets are not allowed aboard the cutter. Coast Guard crewmembers will be standing by to answer questions about Healy and upcoming operations.

This summer, the Healy crew will provide presence and access to conduct three major missions focusing on the biology, chemistry, geology, and physics of the Arctic Ocean and its ecosystems, as well as performing multi-beam sonar mapping of the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS).

For the first mission, the Healy crew will work with 46 researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and University of Alaska-Anchorage. The mission will employ the Global Explorer remotely operated vehicle, net trawls, bottom cores and conductivity, temperature, and depth casts to assess the biological diversity of the Chukchi Sea. The team of scientists will use cutting edge technology to identify and document the species living in this poorly understood and rapidly changing region.

Performing their second mission, the Healy crew will deploy an array of acoustic bottom moorings in support of researchers from Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the Office of Naval Research. The moorings will collect data on how climate change and decreased ice coverage is affecting the Arctic Ocean.

The final mission is in support of the State Department and the White House Office of Science and Technology. Researchers from the University of New Hampshire will use multi-beam sonar mapping and bottom dredging in the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean to further support the demarcation of the ECS.  This work will directly support the United States’ claim for natural resources found on or beneath the ocean floor.

U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charly Hengen.

U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charly Hengen.

The Healy is the nation’s premiere high latitude research vessel. The cutter is a 420 foot long icebreaker with extensive scientific capabilities. Based out of Seattle, the cutter has a permanent crew of 87. Its primary mission is scientific support. In addition, as a Coast Guard Cutter, Healy is capable of other operations such as search and rescue, ship escort, environmental protection, and the enforcement of laws and treaties in the Polar Regions.

Hilo Bay Annual Race – “A Salute to Our Veterans”

A Salute to Our Veterans Hilo Bay 5K 6th annual race at 7:00 am kicks off the 4th of July festivities in Hilo at beautiful Liliʻuokalani Park and Gardens.

Salute

This event supports the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3830 in Pahoa which reaches out to many of Hawaii Island’s needy Veterans and their families.

The goal is to increase the size of our facility and our programs to better serve them, their families and the many other Veterans in our Big Island ohana.  All Veterans, and especially those named by participants, will be honored.

Come and participate to honor your special Veteran on this day as we celebrate our country’s independence and the Veterans who fought for it.

Registration forms and information are available at various businesses around the island or at http://www.asalutetoourveterans.org

 

Navy Disposes of Projectile at Makua Beach

At approximately 2:00 p.m. FRIDAY, June 3, 2016, the Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel responded to a request from the Honolulu Police Department Bomb Squad with regard to a projectile located in 5′ of water approximately 20 yards off shore at Makua Beach in Waianae.

NAVY EOD

EOD personnel confirmed the object was a piece of ordnance and following standard procedure and observing safety precautions, proceeded to destroy the object in place.  HPD was on scene for public safety.

The projectile appears to have been in the water for a very long time as indicated by vegetation growth so specific identification of its origin would have been difficult.  The evolution was concluded successfully at 5:00 p.m. that day without incident.

Big Island of Hawaii 10 Days of Free Health Care – Tropic Care 2016

The Big Island of Hawaii will have 10 days of free health care as a result of Tropic Care 2016.

The Oahu-based 1984th United States Army Hospital will conduct a two-week Innovative Readiness Training mission providing medical care to under served communities of Hawaii.

Screenings will be held in Pahala, Hawaii Ocean View Estates and Keaau.  See flyer below for times and dates.

tropic care 2016

Working closely with the Department of Health, State of Hawaii, and other private corporations, the 1984th USAH, along with other military units, are proud to serve the people in the community.

Thanks to the support of The US military, Hawaii State and county plus many non-profits and volunteers for making Tropic Care 2016 possible.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor to Display Rare Kate Aircraft

The Nakajima B5N Torpedo Bomber was the pride of the Imperial Japanese Navy and was considered the most effective aircraft of its kind at the beginning of World War II. She caused most of the battleship damage during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, December 7, 1941.

Seventy-five years later, the Type 97 Carrier Torpedo Bomber, dubbed the “Kate” by the allies, will return to the exact spot where she made aviation history and be displayed at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor on Ford Island.

Nakajima B5N Torpedo Bomber

Nakajima B5N Torpedo Bomber

“This aircraft is one of a few known to have survived the war,” said Kenneth DeHoff, executive director of Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor. “An estimated 1,149 B5N’s were built, and only bits and pieces survive today, except for this Kate with its intriguing history.

Work has begun on the Kate’s fuselage and wings in the Museum’s Lt. Ted Shealy’s Restoration Shop, located in historic Hangar 79.  “We expect it will take five years to restore the B5N for static display quality” according to DeHoff. “With this year being the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the museum is honored to be able to display the Kate where she made aviation history, sharing a legacy with thousands of visitors worldwide.”

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is located on Historic Ford Island, where the first bombs fell during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Visitors to the Museum can see remnants from that day of infamy, including the 158-foot tall, red and white iconic Ford Island Air Field Control Tower, Hangars 37 and 79, and bullet holes that still remain. Through its preservation and restoration of World War II fighter planes and accompanying artifacts in the Museum’s historic hangars, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor shares the story of the vital role aviation played in winning of World War II, and its continuing role in maintaining America’s freedom.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on Historic Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in The Pacific Region, and to preserve Pacific aviation history.

USS Paul Hamilton Leaves Hawaii for San Diego

USS Paul Hamilton will depart Hawaii April 5 after more than twenty years of being homeported in Pearl Harbor.

050822-N-6264C-097 Sulu Sea (Aug. 22, 2005) - The guided missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) makes her way into position for a combined U.S. Navy and Philippine Navy task group formation during the at-sea phase of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) in the Philippines. CARAT is an annual series of bilateral military training exercises with several Southeast Asian nations designed to enhance the interoperability of the respective sea services. U.S. Navy photo by Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class William Contreras (RELEASED)

050822-N-6264C-097
Sulu Sea (Aug. 22, 2005) – The guided missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) makes her way into position for a combined U.S. Navy and Philippine Navy task group formation during the at-sea phase of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) in the Philippines. CARAT is an annual series of bilateral military training exercises with several Southeast Asian nations designed to enhance the interoperability of the respective sea services. U.S. Navy photo by Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class William Contreras (RELEASED)

The U.S. Navy announced recently that USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) will swap homeports with USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) this summer.  William P. Lawrence departed San Diego on a regularly scheduled deployment in January and will arrive in Hawaii in mid-2016.

This move supports the rebalance to the Indo-Asia-Pacific, placing our most advanced capabilities and greater capacity in that vital theater.  Likewise, it will allow Paul Hamilton, also a guided-missile destroyer, to proceed to San Diego for a scheduled extended dry-docking selected restricted availability.

“Commissioned in 1995, USS Paul Hamilton has been operating out of Pearl Harbor ever since, providing forward presence for the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet. The men and women who served aboard this destroyer directly strengthened Pacific maritime security during dozens of deployments, training missions and exercises, including Koa Kai and RIMPAC.” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific and Navy Region Hawaii. “This homeport assignment is part of the U.S. Navy’s strategic laydown and dispersal plan.  The Navy is committed to basing approximately 60 percent of Navy ships and aircraft in the region by 2020.  As such, our readiness and the warriors’ ethos in Hawaii will continue to be critical to maintaining security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”

Both Paul Hamilton and William P. Lawrence are Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers that perform key roles in support of a carrier strike group, expeditionary strike group, or surface action group.

DDGs are capable of sustained combat operations supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.  These combatants operate in a network centric warfare environment and execute multi-mission tasking to include air, surface, undersea, space and cyber warfare. DDGs coordinate with units of a task group to conduct naval operations and execute the Maritime Strategy under a naval component commander.

Big Island Business Selected for Elite Air Force One Detailing Team

John Paul of West Coast Detailing and Cornerstone Mobile Detailing has been selected to the elite Air Force One Detailing Team that restores and now preserves the original Air Force One presidential jet, on display at Seattle’s Museum of Flight. The Boeing 707-120, also known as Special Air Missions (SAM) 970, was a flying Oval Office for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. It also entertained many international VIPs such as Nikita Khrushchev and Henry Kissinger.

John Paul detailing a car.

John Paul detailing a car.

“I am honored to have been chosen to be a part of such a significant project as preserving Air Force One, a beautiful icon of our country’s aviation heritage and history,” quoted Paul.“How many chances do you get to work on preserving a piece of our country’s history and here we are cleaning and restoring more than fifteen of Boeing’s most prestigious vintage aircraft. It is a privilege to be a part of this team and to share in this unique opportunity” he added.

air force detailing

As a member of the 2016 team, Paul was selected out of hundreds of detailers nationwide to help celebrate Boeing’s 100th Anniversary and the opening of the Seattle Museum of Flight’s new Airpark Pavilion with the biggest and most prestigious historic aircraft detailing project on record.

Brad Detail

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker and John Paul

Renowned Big Island based Artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker and his company Tiki Shark Art Inc promptly jumped in support of Paul as his main sponsor. “Paul always takes care of detailing and maintaining our Tiki Fleet of automobiles so well, like they were his own” stated Parker. “He is a perfect fit for this project”.

“It is a pleasure to support our local business, watch them grow and give back to the community…..all the best to you John Paul” he added.

Coast Guard Coordinates, Assist Search Efforts for 9 Missing Boaters on 3 Separate Cases

Coast Guard and AMVER crews rescued three boaters in the waters between Chuuk and Puluwat Atoll, Federated States of Micronesia, Wednesday.  An HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point on Oahu, located three additional boater missing near Tarawa and are coordinating their rescue by a commercial vessel and the same Hercules aircraft crew has been diverted to search for an additional vessel also with three boaters overdue near Tarawa.

Coast Guard C130In the first case, three boaters, several days overdue on a voyage from Chuuk to Puluwat Atoll, in the Federated States of Micronesia are safe in Puluwat Atoll, Wednesday, following a joint international search. The missing men were on a 19-foot skiff and located by the motor vessel Shoryu.  All three men were brought aboard the Shoryu and are reportedly to be in good condition. The skiff was placed in a side tow and the Shoryu took the three men to Puluwat. A family member reported the men overdue Monday, prompting a search by the Coast Guard.  Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Guam issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast alerting mariners in the region to the situation. The watchstanders coordinated search efforts of two Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System ships: the Soma Maru and Shoryu and provided search patterns for each vessel.

In the second case near Tarawa, a Hercules aircraft crew located three boaters, missing for 8 days, just before noon, Wednesday. They dropped supplies from the plane to the boaters and the Coast Guard is working to identify a vessel in the area to relocate and rescue them. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Command Center in Honolulu were notified Monday, by search coordinators with the Rescue Coordination Center Nadi, Fiji, of an overdue 17-foot white and yellow skiff. The vessel reportedly had a 40 hp engine with 18 to 20 gallons of fuel on board and some fresh water. The skiff was reportedly last seen the morning of March 22 departing Teaoraereke Village, Tarawa, en route a fishing area 10 miles to the south. A Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3 Orion airplane crew completed a search Saturday with no sightings. The Coast Guard provided the Hercules aircrew Tuesday. Due to the distance the crew covered to get to the search area, roughly 2,400 miles the distance from Los Angeles to New York City, they were able to search for 1 hour on scene before needing to land for crew rest and to refuel. Their search resumed Wednesday at first light.

In the third case Coast Guard watchstanders in Honolulu are coordinating with search and rescue controllers at RCC Fiji to search for an overdue 18-foot skiff with three boaters aboard reportedly left Tarawa en route Maiana on a fishing trip.  The Coast Guard C-130 aircraft that searched on the second case has been diverted to begin searching the area. The missing 19-foot skiff is three days overdue on their return from fishing near Maiana.

“We sincerely appreciate the support and coordination of all our search and rescue partners. Due to the size and scope of the Pacific we depend on them to help us respond in a timely manner in remote locations,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Dustin Welch, a search and rescue controller at Coast Guard Joint Rescue Command Center Honolulu. “We also recommend to all boaters to be prepared for unforeseen interruptions in their voyages by being prepared with extra supplies and communications devices.”

Mariners are reminded a properly registered electronic position indicating radio beacon can make a dramatic difference not only in being located, but in the amount of time spent at sea. EPIRBs use satellites, not line-of-site like VHF radios or cellular towers, increasing their range and reliability. They’re highly accurate and once activated provide rescuers with excellent location information for anyone in distress, significantly reducing on scene search time.

AMVER, sponsored by the Coast Guard, is a computer-based, voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.

Former Hawaii Superferry Renamed USNS Puerto Rico and Will Run Between US and Canada

The former Hawaii Superferry Alakai is being renamed by the US Navy to USNS Puerto Rico and will now run routes between the United States and Canada.

SuperferryAccording to Fosters.com:

High-speed ferry service will return this summer between Maine and Nova Scotia on a vessel that is smaller and faster than one that operated for two financially disastrous seasons.
Mark MacDonald, president of Canada-based Bay Ferries, said the company will operate a twin-hulled vessel under a lease agreement with its owner, the U.S. Navy.
The ship, USNS Puerto Rico, can make the 212-mile trip in 5 1/2 hours. The Nova Star, which ended service in October, took 11 hours to make the crossing…
…The Puerto Rico was built in Mobile, Alabama, in 2007 for Hawaii Superferry LLC and designed to operate in the Hawaiian islands. The federal government obtained the vessel after Hawaii Superferry went bankrupt in 2009.

More information here: High-speed ferry to run between Portland and Nova Scotia

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.

Two Hawaii-Based Navy Commands Advance to Win Secretary of Navy Environmental Awards

Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) are winners of the 2015 Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award.  Awardees were announced Friday, March 11, 2016 in Washington D.C..

The guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) returns to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam following an independent deployment to the Western Pacific. Deployed since May, the crew of more than 350 Sailors steamed a total of 42,000 nautical miles across the U.S. 3rd, 4th and 7th Fleet areas of operation. While deployed Chafee conducted various theater security operations and goodwill activities with partner nations. Chafee also escorted USS George Washington (CVN 73) during a Southern Sea deployment around South America and through the Straits of Magellan before the carrier's return to Norfolk, Va., this month. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist John M. Hageman/Released)

The guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) returns to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam following an independent deployment to the Western Pacific. Deployed since May, the crew of more than 350 Sailors steamed a total of 42,000 nautical miles across the U.S. 3rd, 4th and 7th Fleet areas of operation. While deployed Chafee conducted various theater security operations and goodwill activities with partner nations. Chafee also escorted USS George Washington (CVN 73) during a Southern Sea deployment around South America and through the Straits of Magellan before the carrier’s return to Norfolk, Va., this month. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist John M. Hageman/Released)

PMRF, Barking Sands, on Kauai won the award for Natural Resources (small installation) and USS Chafee (DDG 90) homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam won the Afloat Environmental Award.

Both PMRF and USS Chafee were recently awarded with Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Awards on Feb. 22 which qualified them to advance, compete and win at the Secretary of the Navy Award level.

“These awards are the latest in a string of recognition that gives credence to our commitment to be good and caring stewards of the environment,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. “I congratulate the men and women at PMRF and aboard USS Chafee, and I salute everyone on our team here in Hawaii – You are making a difference.”

PMRF works with federal and state agencies, schools, conservation organizations, the public and the host community to implement groundbreaking initiatives towards conservation, environmental protection and the protection of endangered species.  Initiatives include but are not limited to the Laysan Albatross Conservation program in which PMRF transfers Albatross eggs to Campbell National Wildlife refuge on Oahu providing new shelter and reducing the risk of aircraft strikes.

KAUAI, Hawaii (Oct. 27 2015) A member of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) environmental program at Pacific Missile Range (PMRF) Facility, Barking Sands on Kauai, starts up the ornithology radar used to keep track of flight patterns of the Newell’s Shearwater. The Newell’s Shearwater, an endangered pelagic seabird, leaves its nest on Kauai to the open ocean during the darkest nights. PMRF is implementing new programs such as the Dark Skies Program along with the use of radar ornithology to assist with ongoing conservation efforts and improve the birds’ chances of safely making it to sea. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gabrielle Joyner/released)

KAUAI, Hawaii (Oct. 27 2015) A member of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) environmental program at Pacific Missile Range (PMRF) Facility, Barking Sands on Kauai, starts up the ornithology radar used to keep track of flight patterns of the Newell’s Shearwater. The Newell’s Shearwater, an endangered pelagic seabird, leaves its nest on Kauai to the open ocean during the darkest nights. PMRF is implementing new programs such as the Dark Skies Program along with the use of radar ornithology to assist with ongoing conservation efforts and improve the birds’ chances of safely making it to sea. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gabrielle Joyner/released)

The “Dark Sky” initiative, which directs the turning off of all non-essential exterior lighting on PMRF during the Newell Shearwater, Hawaiian and Band-Rumped Storm Petrel migration season, has reduced “fallout” by these endangered birds that are naturally attracted to light.

“Although the accolades are nice, I am much more satisfied knowing that the entire PMRF Ohana takes their kuleana (responsibility) seriously.  Respecting and protecting the aina (land) while running the premier training and test range is not just what we do, it is who we are,” said Capt. Bruce Hay, Commanding Officer, PMRF.

Environmental protection and energy conservation were at the forefront of operations aboard USS Chafee in 2015, according to Cmdr. Shea Thompson, Chafee’s commanding officer.

“We’re all thrilled to have been selected for this award. We strive for efficiency in all aspects of our war-fighting operations and to be good stewards of our environment,” said Thompson.

USS Chafee transited more than 37,000 miles on a seven-month deployment to the 3rd, 4th, and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility during 2015 while participating in the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative, Talisman Sabre 15, UNITAS PAC 15, and UNITAS LANT 15.  USS Chafee conducted all operations with no impact to marine mammals and with safe and clean refueling operations.

Both Chafee and PMRF have been involved in Great Green Fleet operations in recent years, and both commands continue to support energy conservation and environmental stewardship.

USS Oklahoma Sailor to Receive Full Honors at Funeral Service – Identification Delayed 7 Decades

Navy Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Vernon T. Luke, 43, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, will be buried March 9 at 11:30 a.m. with full military honors at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).

Navy Machinist's Mate 1st Class Vernon T. Luke

Navy Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Vernon T. Luke

Luke was aboard USS Oklahoma (BB 37) during Imperial Japan’s attack of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He was killed in action, but identification of his remains was delayed for more than seven decades.

Luke’s remains had been previously thought to be “unrecoverable” and “unidentifiable.” But thanks to determined efforts of Pearl Harbor Survivor and former Navy Chief Petty Officer Ray Emory, the remains of Luke and other USS Oklahoma Sailors were disinterred for identification by the Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). Emory was stationed aboard USS Honolulu (CL 48) on Dec. 7, 1941.

“Chief Ray Emory works tirelessly to get his shipmates identified and properly honored,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. “We owe Ray a huge debt of gratitude for his research, compassion and ongoing commitment to our Sailors and their families,” Fuller said.

Both Fuller and Emory will attend Luke’s funeral service and meet with family members. The service will include a flag detail, firing detail, bugler and military chaplain.

Whales Sighted at Entrance to Pearl Harbor

On Sunday morning, phone lines in Hawaii buzzed with the news that whales were at the Pearl Harbor entrance.  Joint Base’s Port Operations and Harbor Patrol teams kept Navy vessels at a respectful distance, protecting what turned out to be a cow/calf pair – a mom humpback whale and her calf.

 Photos by Master at Arms Second Class Jadira Viera (Feb. 28, 2016)


Photos by Master at Arms Second Class Jadira Viera (Feb. 28, 2016)

“These whales continue to be protected under both the Endangered Species and Marine Mammal Protection Acts,” reminds Navy Region Hawaii Environmental Counsel Rebecca Hommon. “Some of these animals winter in Hawaii, mate, give birth and then head back to colder waters such as those off of Alaska to feed during the summer months.”

Photos by Master at Arms Second Class Jadira Viera (Feb. 28, 2016)

Photos by Master at Arms Second Class Jadira Viera (Feb. 28, 2016)

As soon as the whales were observed, the Navy notified the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Marine Mammal Response staff.

NOAA’s David Schofield advised that “It’s probably a normal situation of a mother whale bringing her calf in close to shore.” NOAA officials expressed appreciation for the Navy’s immediate response and knowledge that these marine mammals require a certain stand-off and slow boat traffic.

Whales in Pearl Harbor 3“Humpback whales continue to be protected under the Endangered Species, Marine Mammal Protection, and  National Marine Sanctuaries Acts.  It is unlawful to approach this marine mammal species by any means within 100 yards (90 m) and to operate any aircraft within 1,000 feet (300 m).  If you see a marine mammal in distress (beached, entangled, or otherwise injured) please report the sighting immediately to Pacific Islands Region Marine Mammal Stranding & Entanglement Hotline 888-256-9840.”

Red Hill Update – NAVY Says Water Remains Safe to Drink

Last week, Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, sent another Red Hill “stakeholder letter” to business and community leaders and elected officials. Fuller shared the latest information about the fuel storage facility and how the Navy is keeping drinking water safe.

Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group, Middle Pacific, left of right, briefs members of the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, Moanalua Valley Community Association and Pearl City Neighborhood Board No. 21 during a visit to one of the fuel tanks at the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility near Pearl Harbor. The group visited the modernized Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, where leaders and subject matter experts showed how the Navy maintains the facility as a national strategic asset. Red Hill provides fuel to operate overseas while ensuring drinking water in the area remains safe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Laurie Dexter/Released)

Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group, Middle Pacific, left of right, briefs members of the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, Moanalua Valley Community Association and Pearl City Neighborhood Board No. 21 during a visit to one of the fuel tanks at the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility near Pearl Harbor. The group visited the modernized Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, where leaders and subject matter experts showed how the Navy maintains the facility as a national strategic asset. Red Hill provides fuel to operate overseas while ensuring drinking water in the area remains safe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Laurie Dexter/Released)

The letter is a means for keeping communication lines open, providing details about ongoing improvements, and thanking public officials and the community for support to the military and its mission in Hawaii.

Fuller’s letter opens with a note of appreciation.

“Before I discuss Red Hill, I feel honored to thank you for your heartfelt expressions of aloha and continued support to the families, friends and colleagues of the 12 Marines who recently lost their lives during night training off of Oahu.”

Regarding new information about advancements in and around Red Hill:

“I am pleased to report that on December 4, 2015, staff from the Navy, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), State of Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), and Region IX of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded a week of face-to-face, in-depth meetings in accordance with the Administrative Order on Consent signed on September 28, 2015.”

Fuller noted, “These initial scoping meetings met our objectives.  The participants organized into groups to address specific sections of the statement of work within the order including:  tank inspection, repair and maintenance procedures report; tank upgrade alternatives report; corrosion and metal fatigue practices report; and the groundwater flow model and contaminant fate and transport report.  We are pleased with the outcome of these discussions.”

Regulatory agencies approved outlines for reports on fuel release monitoring systems and corrosion and metal fatigue practices.

The Navy is working closely with stakeholders. The team expects to complete the scoping work for tank inspection, repair, and maintenance procedures, and for tank upgrade alternatives, by the end of March.  Draft reports for release detection/tank tightness testing and corrosion and metal fatigue practices are due in April.

The Navy uses ten groundwater sampling locations now and plans to install four additional groundwater monitoring wells to “improve our ability to assess and predict the potential migration of subsurface fuel constituents.”

Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Lovgren, fuel director at Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor, right, briefs members of the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, Moanalua Valley Community Association and Pearl City Neighborhood Board No. 21 during a visit at Joint Base Pearl Harbor‐Hickam. The group visited the modernized Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, where subject matter experts showed how the Navy maintains the facility as a national strategic asset. Red Hill provides fuel to operate overseas while ensuring drinking water in the area remains safe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Laurie Dexter/Released)

Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Lovgren, fuel director at Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor, right, briefs members of the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, Moanalua Valley Community Association and Pearl City Neighborhood Board No. 21 during a visit at Joint Base Pearl Harbor‐Hickam. The group visited the modernized Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, where subject matter experts showed how the Navy maintains the facility as a national strategic asset. Red Hill provides fuel to operate overseas while ensuring drinking water in the area remains safe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Laurie Dexter/Released)

Fuller noted, “The Navy continues to monitor the quality of the drinking water sources closest to the Red Hill facility and share that data with EPA and DOH.  As I mentioned in my November 2015 letter, over the years, we intermittently detected trace amounts of fuel constituents adjacent to the Navy’s Red Hill drinking water shaft . at barely detectable levels.  The other important facts about our trace detections are that these levels are far below DOH Environmental Action Levels (EAL), and most importantly, these levels pose no risk to human health.”

He added, “Most recently, in July 2015, we detected trace amounts of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (a fuel constituent) at an estimated value of 17 parts per billion, well below the EAL of 100 parts per billion. Our EPA-certified lab had to estimate the amount because the detection level was too low to accurately quantify.”

The drinking water near Red Hill is safe and has been safe through 70 years of operation.

“The water was and continues to be safe to drink,” Fuller said.  “Moving from today and looking into the future, the Navy will continue to perform diligent and careful water quality analyses on our water.  We will continue to submit water test results to DOH, and will promptly inform DOH, EPA and the public if there is ever any risk to the safety of the drinking water.”

Fuller concluded his letter with another note of appreciation to the community:

“Thank you for your continued support to our military and our mission in Hawaii.  Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any concerns regarding Red Hill or our progress.  I encourage you to review the Navy’s website on Red Hill and suggest that you subscribe to EPA’s website.  You can find those sites at www.cnic.navy.mil/redhill and www.epa.gov/region9/waste/ust/redhill/index.html.”

Navy in Hawaii Wins Two Environmental Awards from Chief of Naval Operations

Two Hawaii-based Navy commands were winners of Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Awards, it was announced yesterday, Feb. 22, in Washington D.C.

Pacific Missile Range Facility

Pacific Missile Range Facility

The Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Barking Sands, on Kauai won the award for Natural Resources Conservation for small naval installations (along with Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan and Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan).

(March 30, 2014) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) flies the U.S. Navy battle ensign while performing maneuvers off the coast of Hawaii. The ship was named for the late Senator John H. Chafee, former Secretary of the Navy and decorated veteran of the Marine Corp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Diana Quinlan/Released)

(March 30, 2014) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) flies the U.S. Navy battle ensign while performing maneuvers off the coast of Hawaii. The ship was named for the late Senator John H. Chafee, former Secretary of the Navy and decorated veteran of the Marine Corp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Diana Quinlan/Released)

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90), homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, was selected as the Navy’s top surface combatant ship for the CNO environmental award.

Vice Adm. P. H. Cullom

Vice Adm. P. H. Cullom

In a message of congratulations, Vice Adm. P. H. Cullom, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics, said, “I would like to extend my thanks and congratulations to all of the fiscal year 2015 Environmental Award winners. Your efforts not only embody the environmental stewardship ethic, but also aid in fulfilling the Navy’s national security mission. I applaud all of the nominees for their tireless commitment to preserving resources and bettering the environment. Bravo Zulu!”

Working with federal and state agencies, schools, conservation organizations, the public and host community, PMRF implemented numerous groundbreaking initiatives toward conservation, environmental protection and protection of endangered species. For example, under the Laysan Albatross Conservation program, PMRF transferred eggs to Campbell National Wildlife refuge on Oahu to provide new shelter for the birds and reduce the risk of aircraft strikes.  The “Dark Sky” initiative, which directed the turning off of all non-essential exterior lighting on PMRF during the Newell Shearwater, Hawaiian and Band-Rumped Storm Petrel migration season, reduced “fallout” by these endangered birds that are naturally attracted to light.

“The Ohana (family) here at Pacific Missile Range Facility is simply awesome and they truly deserve all the recognition.  I couldn’t be more proud of the daily efforts put forth by each and every member of our team,” said Capt. Bruce Hay, Commanding Officer of PMRF.

In the past year USS Chafee transited more than 37,000 miles on a seven-month deployment to the 3rd, 4th, and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility while participating in the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative, Talisman Sabre 15, UNITAS PAC 15, and UNITAS LANT 15.  USS Chafee conducted all operations with no impact to marine mammals and with safe and clean refueling operations.

Environmental protection and energy conservation were at the forefront of operations, according to Cmdr. Shea Thompson, commanding officer of USS Chafee.

“We’re all thrilled to have been selected for this award. We strive for efficiency in all aspects of our war fighting operations and to be good stewards of our environment,” said Thompson.

All CNO winners will go on to the Secretary of the Navy level of competition.

Video: Civilian Helicopter Crashes in Pearl Harbor

Five passengers were safely recovered after a civilian helicopter went down in the waters of Pearl Harbor at about 10:30 a.m. today in the area near the Ford Island bridge and the National Park Service Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.
Helicopter Crash in Pearl Harbor
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Navy boats and Federal Fire (FFD) were among the first responders to the scene. All five reported passengers were recovered at the scene and transported to local hospitals for further evaluation.

Operations at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, including visits to the USS Arizona Memorial have been suspended until further notice. FFD and security personnel have immediately secured the area to conduct their investigation.

The helicopter reportedly belongs to Genesis Aviation.

The safety of base personnel, the public and the environment remain priorities as the investigation continues.