• Follow on Facebook

  • what-to-do-media
  • puako-general-store
  • air-tour-kauai
  • Cheneviere Couture
  • PKF Document Shredding
  • Arnotts Mauna Kea Tours
  • World Botanical Garden
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village
  • Hilton Luau
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • 10% Off WikiFresh

  • Say When

    June 2017
    S M T W T F S
    « May    
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    252627282930  
  • When

  • RSS Pulpconnection

  • Recent Comments

PACOM Commander Confirms North Korea’s Threat to Hawaii

In a House Armed Services Committee hearing today, Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM), confirmed the threat of North Korea to Hawaiʻi and detailed potential vulnerabilities that exist within current U.S. missile defense capabilities that could put Hawaiʻi at risk.

Admiral Harry Harris

Asked by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard about the threat of North Korea to Hawaiʻi specifically, Admiral Harris stated, “Kim Jong-un is clearly in a position to threaten Hawai’i today…Our ballistic missile architecture is sufficient to protect Hawaiʻi today, but it can be overwhelmed. If Kim Jong-un or someone else launched ballistic missiles—ICBMs—against the United States, we would have to make the decision on which ones to take out or not.”

Following the hearing Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said:
“Hawaiʻi is home to the largest concentration of U.S. military strategic assets for well over 3,000 miles, making it a prime target for North Korea’s aggression. As I travelled across Hawai’i during my recent state-wide town hall tour, I heard from my constituents on every island their concern about the threat posed by North Korea’s increased nuclear and ballistic missile activity and capabilities that place Hawaiʻi squarely within North Korea’s crosshairs. It is the people of Hawaiʻi and our way of life that are at risk if North Korea’s missiles turn towards our shores. Admiral Harris’ testimony today affirmed the seriousness of this threat, and highlighted the need to strengthen our current missile defense infrastructure to ensure the defense of Hawai’i. I’m continuing this urgent push to strengthen the protection of Hawaiʻi against the threat that exists today, and the complex threat we know will emerge in the future. I urge my colleagues to take this threat seriously and provide the resources and tools necessary to defend Hawaiʻi against this threat.”

Background: Missile defense has been one of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s top priorities throughout her time in Congress. Last year, she passed two amendments in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)—one to provide funding to begin the process of bringing an MRDR to Hawaiʻi, and the other to require the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to brief Congress on their short-term plan to enhance missile defense capabilities in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific—and also questioned then SECDEF Carter and Chairman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the need to increase Hawaiʻi’s missile defense. She has had ongoing conversations and meetings with the Missile Defense Agency Director, Vice Admiral James Syring, to discuss possible options for the defense of Hawaiʻi, to deal with short term and long term needs. This includes quickly deployable options that are available to further strengthen the existing defensive assets within the state.

Navy Attending Merrie Monarch Festival, Will Join in Royal Parade

The U.S. Pacific Fleet Band will march and perform in the 54th annual Merrie Monarch Royal Parade on April 22. Capt. James Jenks, Chief of Staff, Navy Region Hawaii, will also attend the festivities.

HILO, Hawaii (April 26, 2014) Under the direction of Lt. Patrick K. Sweeten, the Pacific Fleet Band marches in the 51st annual Merrie Monarch Festival Parade. The parade is the culmination of a week-long festival featuring an internationally acclaimed hula competition and a grand parade through the heart of Hilo. (U.S. Navy photo by Musician 2nd Class Andrea Sematoske/Released)

Capt. Jenks will attend the Hula Kahiko competition on Friday, April 21. He will also attend the Group Hula ʻAuana & Awards and participate with the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band in the Merrie Monarch Royal Parade on Saturday, April 22 at 10:30 a.m. along downtown Hilo.

The Navy recognizes that the Merrie Monarch Festival honors the legacy left by King David Kalākaua, who inspired the perpetuation of Hawaiian traditions, native language and arts. King Kalākaua negotiated a treaty with the United States that led to the Navy’s presence at Pearl Harbor.

“We appreciate King David Kalākaua’s commitment and legacy,” Jenks said. “King Kalākaua supported the Navy and provided the opportunity to establish a coaling station at Pearl Harbor more than a century ago. He was a big supporter of education, which is something we all value today; especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.”

Members of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band have been on Hawaii Island this week, working with local school bands, reinforcing STEM education and providing community outreach.

More Than 1,000 Maui Residents Pour Into Castle Theater For Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Last Stop On Statewide Town Hall Tour

At the Maui Arts & Cultural Center Castle Theater last night, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) hosted her seventh Town Hall to an audience of more than 1,000 Maui residents, making it the largest of the crowds to gather for a stop on the congresswoman’s statewide tour between April 11-20. In total, more than 3,500 constituents from Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Maui, and Hawaiʻi Island participated in Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s “Aloha Town Hall Tour” with many of the meetings having more than 30,000 viewers via Facebook Live.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said, “As we wrap up this Aloha Town Hall Tour that has brought together so many of us from communities across the entire state, I want to express my gratitude to everyone who took the time to come out, to listen, to share, and to ask questions—your kindness, your activism, and your aloha is what made these meetings so powerful and productive. Each of us has an opportunity to act with love and aloha, to respect others, and to work together despite any differences we have as we do our best to be of service to others.”

Issues of concern that came up on the Valley Isle tonight included online privacy rights and the congresswoman’s fight to stop Internet Service Providers from selling individuals’ internet browsing history without consent, Maui’s water infrastructure, overcrowding at the island’s prison, the need for more programs that assist inmates and reduce recidivism, criminal justice reform, decriminalizing marijuana, and access to truly affordable healthcare—not just health insurance. The audience expressed support for her Stop Arming Terrorists Act, her continued push to end the illegal regime change war in Syria, and her fight for peace.

Earlier today on Maui, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard participated in the Future Forum with her House colleague Rep. Eric Swalwell (D, CA-15) to address common issues facing millennials, the challenges of entering the work force, and solutions to exponentially increasing student debt. The congresswoman also visited the Maui Food Innovation Center, where she met with young entrepreneurs and UH Maui College students to discuss sustainable business practices and food security on the Valley Isle.

For more information, please contact Erika Tsuji at (808) 286-0803.

Coast Guard Seeking Public’s Help in Locating Owner of Adrift Kayak Off Big Island

The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help identifying the owner of an unmanned, adrift red kayak found approximately one mile off Airport Beach, on the west side of the Big Island, Thursday.

The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help identifying the owner of an unmanned, red kayak found approximately one mile off Airport Beach, on the west side of the Big Island, Thursday.

The kayak was found with bait fish onboard but no gear and has the word tango written on both sides.

Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the kayak is asked to contact Coast Guard Sector Honolulu at 808-842-2600.

At 6:50 a.m., watchstanders from the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center received notification from the crew of the vessel Kamalami that they had recovered an unmanned, adrift kayak.

Sector Honolulu issued an urgent marine information broadcast notice to mariners and launched an MH-65 Dolphin aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point to conduct a search of the area.

There are currently no reported signs of distress or missing persons in the area. Kayak companies on the Big Island are checking the area but reported no kayaks out or missing.

The Coast Guard offers free “If Found” decals to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft through the Operation Paddle Smart program. The information on the sticker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

Coast Guard, Navy Medevac Fisherman From Vessel Off Oahu

A 30-year-old Vietnamese fisherman, suffering severe abdominal pain, arrived in good condition to Queens Medical Center in Honolulu Wednesday evening, aboard a Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter.

Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter

“This is a great demonstration of how our military branches work together to successfully complete a mission, said Lt. Nic Lannarone, command duty officer at Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu. “We are proud of all crews and their seamless work to ensure mariners in need reach a higher level of care as quickly as possible.”

Watchstanders at JRCC received a call from the master of the 68-foot commercial fishing vessel Lady of the Sea II at 7 a.m. Wednesday morning. The vessel was reportedly 276 miles south of Oahu making 7 knots (8 mph) en route to Oahu.

JRCC watchstanders requested assistance from the Navy HSM-37 ‘Easyriders’ due to the distance offshore.

The watchstanders briefed the duty flight surgeon and agreed on a medevac. A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point launched to provide top cover and communications while the Navy Seahawk crew launched from Kaneohe Bay.

Coast Guard watchstanders worked with the Navy and the crew of the U.S.-flagged Lady of the Sea II to arrange a Navy surface asset and basket hoist transfer once the vessel was 173 miles south of Oahu.

Weather on scene was reportedly winds of 17 mph with 7-foot seas.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Hilo Town Hall Draws Largest Crowd Yet on Statewide Tour With More Than 600 East Hawaii Residents

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) was in Hilo last night to host her fifth Town Hall in a series of seven statewide. More than 600 East Hawaiʻi residents attended the meeting at Waiakea High School—the largest crowd yet on the congresswoman’s Town Hall Tour across the islands. Many brought homemade signs showing their support for peace over escalating wars abroad. They expressed deep concern over the threat of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, Hawaii’s preparedness, and also Trump’s recent illegal attack in Syria.

Residents asked Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard a variety of questions from healthcare to decriminalizing marijuana to criminal justice reform, and many other issues that affect the people of Hawaiʻi. She was thanked for introducing the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, for cosponsoring “Medicare for All” legislation, and for her work to honor Filipino World War II Veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal.

The next stops on Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s statewide Town Hall Tour are below. Second Congressional District residents are encouraged to RSVP at least one day prior to the meeting date at gabbard.house.gov/townhall or by calling the office at (808) 541-1986.

  • Kauaʻi – Tonight, Wednesday, April 19th, 6:00 – 7:30 PM, Kauaʻi Veterans Center, 3215 Kapule Hwy, Līhuʻe, HI 96766
  • Maui – Thursday, April 20th, 7:30 – 9:00 PM, Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater, 1 Cameron Way, Kahului, HI 96732

 

Coast Guard Decommissions Eighth High Endurance Cutter After Nearly 50 Years

The Coast Guard decommissioned its eighth high endurance cutter after nearly 50 years of service as part of recapitalization efforts during a ceremony at Coast Guard Base Honolulu, Tuesday.

Crewmembers aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau (WHEC 722) man the rails during the decommissioning ceremony in Honolulu, April 18, 2017. The decommissioning ceremony is a time-honored naval tradition that retires a ship from service through a variety of ceremonial observances. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Levasseur/Released)

The Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau (WHEC 722), a 378-foot high endurance cutter, will be decommissioned after nearly 50 years of service, including action in the Vietnam War, numerous major drug interdictions and law enforcement cases, and a variety of noteworthy rescues.

“The history of Morgenthau’s operations showcases the Coast Guard’s ability to carry out a diverse and important range of missions vital to the security and prosperity of our nation,” said Vice Adm. Fred Midgette, who leads the service’s Pacific fleet as the commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area in Alameda, California. “The Coast Guard must be ready to protect American security and economic interests wherever called, and recapitalizing our vessels, aircraft, boats and infrastructure has been our highest investment priority.”

Capt. Edward M. St. Pierre, commanding officer of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau (WHEC 722), and his crew receive the U.S. Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation Pennant during the ship’s decommissioning ceremony in Honolulu, April 18, 2017. Morgenthau was commissioned in 1969 and was the first cutter to have women permanently assigned aboard. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Levasseur/Released)

Morgenthau, commissioned March 10, 1969, was the eighth of 12 Hamilton- class high endurance cutters built by Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans. High endurance cutters are the largest cutters, aside from the three major icebreakers and national security cutters, ever built for the Coast Guard.

Morgenthau was active in the Vietnam War, conducting underway replenishment, naval gunfire support, and patrol duties off the coast of Vietnam until relieved by a 311′ cutter in 1971.

In 1977, Morgenthau became the first cutter to have women permanently assigned, which paved the way for numerous women to serve aboard Coast Guard cutters nationwide.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau (WHEC 722) in full dress at the decommissioning ceremony in Honolulu, April 18, 2017. Morgenthau was commissioned in 1969 and has been home to more than 4,000 crewmembers during its 48 years of service. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Levasseur/Released)

In the fall of 1996, Morgenthau was the first U.S. Coast Guard cutter to deploy to the Arabian Gulf. Participating in Operation Vigilant Sentinel, Morgenthau enforced Iraq’s compliance with United Nations sanctions. Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Morgenthau participated in Operation Noble Eagle to safeguard America’s prominent port cities through closer scrutiny of maritime traffic.

Capt. Edward M. St. Pierre, commanding officer of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau (WHEC 722), receives the national ensign from Vice Adm. Fred M Midget, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, during the decommissioning ceremony in Honolulu, April 18, 2017. The decommissioning ceremony is a time-honored naval tradition that retires a ship from service through a variety of ceremonial observances. The ensign is presented to the service member with the longest time in service. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Levasseur/Released)

“The significant legacy left in the wake of Morgenthau is evidenced not only by cutter’s history but also by the numerous former crewmembers who attended the ceremony,” said Midgette. “At the end of the day, this was simply a ship used by dedicated men and women to protect America, its people and their interests around the world. This cutter may leave our service, but the legacy of the men and women who served on Morgenthau will live on forever.”

The U.S. State Department is coordinating the transfer of Morgenthau through the Foreign Assistance Act. This act allows the transfer of excess defense articles as a grant to friendly, foreign governments.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Hosts Dinner & Veterans to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Vietnam War

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is hosting a Welcome Home Banquet on Thursday, May 25 to honor POWs, Medal of Honor recipients, Gold Star families and all returning Vietnam veterans. Highlights of the patriotic evening will include a welcome by Medal of Honor recipient Major General Patrick Brady, distinguished military guests, and celebrity appearances.

NBC journalist David Price will emcee a program that recreates and honors the legacy of Bob Hope, who entertained U.S. troops wherever they were stationed around the world, especially at Christmas, for more than 50 years. USO videos will showcase Hollywood celebrities and entertainers keeping the spirits of U.S. troops flying high and reminding them of home. The evening will include a guest appearance by actress, singer and dancer Ann-Margaret and a special performance by recording artist and entertainer Tony Orlando with his band.

Festivities begin at 4:00 pm with a reception and viewing of 14 Vietnam-era aircraft on the apron fronting the Museum’s historic Hangar 79. Cost is $25 each for veterans and their guest tickets, $125 for the general public, with sponsor tables available.

Reservations are required and can be made at PacificAviationMuseum.org/WelcomeHome. For more information, contact: Jobeth.Marihugh@PacificAviationMuseum.org;
808-892-3345.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is located on Historic Ford Island, where 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 Control Tower, Hangars 37 and 79, and bullet holes in Hangar 79. 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 the 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. Contact:
808-441-1000; Marketing@PacificAviationMuseum.org

Navy Suspends Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) on Ships, Subs, Aircraft

Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) and Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) released a joint message April 14, that suspends the use, possession, storage and charging of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) aboard ships, submarines, aircraft, boats, craft and heavy equipment.


NORFOLK (April 11, 2017) The use, possession, storage, and charging of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and all associated ENDS components is temporarily prohibited aboard Fleet Forces and Pacific Fleet ships, submarines, aircraft, boats, craft and heavy machinery pending completion of further analysis. The temporary prohibition is effective May 14, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Gary A. Prill/Released)

The prohibition applies to Sailors, Marines, Military Sealift Command civilians and any personnel working on or visiting those units.

The Fleet commanders implemented this policy to protect the safety and welfare of Sailors and to protect the ships, submarines, aircraft and equipment.

The prohibition will be effective 30 days from the release of the policy May 14, and will remain in effect until a final determination can be made following a thorough analysis.

This new policy is in response to continued reports of explosions of ENDS due to the overheating of lithium-ion batteries. Multiple Sailors have suffered serious injuries from these devices, to include first- and second-degree burns and facial disfigurement. In these cases, injuries resulted from battery explosions during ENDS use, charging, replacement or inadvertent contact with a metal object while transporting.

Deployed units may request extensions on device removal until their next port visit. Supervisors should ensure that removable lithium-ion batteries are removed from the units and stored according to the ENDS manufacturer instructions, in plastic wrap, in a plastic bag or any other non-conductive storage container.

Sailors on shore will still be allowed to use ENDS on base, but must do so in designated smoking areas ashore while on military installations.

Sailors are encouraged to use available tobacco cessation resources and programs offered through Navy medical services and Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention (NADAP) programs.

Coast Guard Cutter Galvelston Island Returns Home from Patrol Off Main Hawaiian Islands

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island (WPB 1349) returned home to Honolulu, Monday, after a five-day patrol throughout the Main Hawaiian Islands.

The crew conducted eight total boardings, issued 23 notices of violation and 22 safety violations.

The Galveston Island’s boarding team also terminated the voyage of the fishing vessel Lady Anne Margaret after a non-U.S. citizen was found to be serving as master of the U.S. documented vessel.

“Although our patrol was short, it was very successful and directly supports our mission under the Ocean Guardian Strategy to protect the nation’s living marine resources, ensure fish for the future and economic stability by employing the right tools in the right place at the right time,” said Lt. Ryan Ball, commanding officer, Galveston Island. “Our goal is to ensure the overall safety of the Hawaii-based commercial fishing fleet, provide presence and enforce the fishing laws and regulations within our Exclusive Economic Zone, which ultimately safeguards fish stock sustainability.”

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island (WPB-1329), homeported in Honolulu, conduct a boarding of a fishing vessel off of the Main Hawaiian Islands during a patrol, April 7, 2017. While on patrol with a Samoan shiprider, the crew conducted eight total boardings, issued 23 notices of violation and 22 safety violations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

Galveston Island’s crew also embarked a Samoan shiprider, who served as an observer during six of the eight boardings. Coast Guard teams and Pacific Island Nation shipriders routinely conduct professional exchanges and joint boardings within the U.S. and Pacific Island Nation’s EEZs to protect the ocean and the living marine resources.

The Coast Guard’s priorities under the Ocean Guardian Strategy are to: protect the U.S. EEZ from foreign encroachment, enforce domestic living marine resource laws, and ensure compliance with international agreements. The U.S. EEZ is the second largest in the world, comprising 4.38 million sq. miles of ocean.

On the commercial fishing vessel safety front, mandatory dockside safety exams must be completed for all commercial fishing vessels that operate beyond 3 nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline. These exams are free and any discrepancies found at the dock may not result in fines. Fishing vessels that are required to carry National Marine Fisheries Service observers are required to have a valid decal (not expired). Mariners interested in scheduling commercial fishing vessel safety exams may contact Charlie Medlicott at 808-535-3417 or Charles.J.Medlicott@uscg.mil.

The independent state of Samoa is a self governing island country about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand in the Polynesian region of the Pacific Ocean and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. It comprises two main islands and eight small islets whose total land area is 1,097 sq. miles. Samoa’s Exclusive Economic Zone, however, covers only 46,332 sq. miles of ocean as it does not extend a full 200 nautical miles in any direction and borders the U.S. EEZ via American Samoa. The professional exchange was conducted to strengthen partnerships and examine both nations’ approach to fisheries enforcement and safety requirements aboard vessels operating in the Pacific.

The Galveston Island is a 110-foot Island class patrol boat homeported in Honolulu. The cutter is a multi-mission platform with a primary operation area in the main Hawaiian Islands that completes several such patrols annually.

Leilehua High and Waimea High Qualify for National Leadership Bowl Championship

After advancing through two phases of online competition against 1,378 teams worldwide, the Leilehua High “Mighty Mules” JROTC Leadership Team and the Waimea High Menehune Battalion will compete at the 2017 Army JROTC Leadership & Academic Bowl in Washington DC.

​After advancing through two phases of online competition, the Leilehua High “Mighty Mules” JROTC Leadership Team and the Waimea High Menehune Battalion will compete at the 2017 Army JROTC Leadership & Academic Bowl (JLAB) in Washington DC. The competition will be held from June 22-27, 2017, and is sponsored by the Army JROTC and conducted by the College Options Foundation.

“This will be the first time that two of our public schools have simultaneously reached this level of competition in the National Leadership Bowl Championship,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We are proud of these cadets and congratulate them for being among the best teams in the country. We also send our best wishes as they head to Washington DC.”

Forty Army JROTC Leadership Bowl teams in the nation have advanced to JLAB, which includes an all-expense paid trip to the Championship event in DC. During the two fast-paced preliminary rounds, cadets were tested on their knowledge of current events, leadership values and leadership skills.

Leilehua’s team is composed of Cadet Faith Boyce-Jennings, Cadet Morgan Burks, Cadet Kobee Ledward, Cadet Janarah Jones, and team alternate Cadet Essence Johnson. The team’s coach is Nick Spiridigliozzi, Lieutenant Colonel U.S. Army Retired.

The Leilehua High JROTC team earned top scores out of the 1,378 Army JROTC teams that competed from around the world. It is composed of Cadet Faith Boyce-Jennings, Cadet Morgan Burks, Cadet Kobee Ledward, Cadet Janarah Jones, and team alternate Cadet Essence Johnson. The team’s coach and chaperone is Nick Spiridigliozzi, Lieutenant Colonel U.S. Army Retired.

Waimea’s team is composed of the following cadets: Micah Guillermo (Team Captain), Kristine Ruiz, Wayne Noda, Cade Tanaka and team alternate Leilani Hikashi. Chaperones are JROTC instructor Victor Aguilar, Major U.S. Army Retired and Corazon Guillermo. Photo Credit: Waimea High School

This is the fourth time that Waimea High’s Menehune Battalion has qualified and competed at the National Leadership Bowl Championship. The team earned high scores and is composed of the following cadets: Micah Guillermo (Team Captain), Kristine Ruiz, Wayne Noda, Cade Tanaka and team alternate Leilani Hikashi. Chaperones are JROTC instructor Victor Aguilar, Major U.S. Army Retired and Corazon Guillermo.

JLAB is a nationally recognized competition created exclusively for JROTC students. By participating, cadets learn the values of citizenship, academic competition, and college opportunity. The competition creates tremendous opportunities for JROTC cadets by allowing them to demonstrate leadership and academic abilities.

College Options Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the academic development of high school students and assisting them in their preparation for higher education.  Using academic competitions, college exam study guides, college admissions tutorials and personalized counseling, College Options Foundation has assisted the nation’s JROTC cadets worldwide for over a decade.

Hawaii Public Safety Committee Hearing – Update Shelter Plans in Case of Nuclear Attack from North Korea

The House Public Safety Committee (PBS) is holding a public hearing on SCR169 SD1 HD1. This resolution urges the state Department of Defense to update and modernize Hawaii’s disaster preparedness plans, as the current state of geopolitical tensions between North Korea and the United States make Hawaii a vulnerable and strategic target for a nuclear weapons.

Click to read

The resolution is proposed by PBS Vice Chair Rep. Matt LoPresti (Ewa, Ewa Beach, Ewa Gentry, Ewa Villages, Hoakalei, Ocean Pointe), changes the way the state deals with future disasters and emergencies.

  • WHO: State Representative Matthew Lopresti
  • WHAT: The House Public Safety Committee will hold a hearing on Senate Concurrent Resolution 169 SD1HD1 urging the State Department of Defense to modernize Hawaii’s disaster preparedness plans amidst recent actions by North Korea and the Trump Administration.
  • WHEN: Thursday, April 13, 2 p.m.
  • WHERE: Room 312, House Public Safety Committee State Capitol

Sterett-Dewey Surface Action Group Stops in Hawaii

Ships and units from the Sterett-Dewey Surface Action Group (Sterett-Dewey SAG) arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, April 11, the first stop of the group’s Western Pacific deployment.

USS Dewey (DDG 105) sits along the pier at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, April 11. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Corwin Colbert)

The command staff of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 31 and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104) and USS Dewey (DDG 105), along with embarked helicopter detachments from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49 and HSM 78, deployed from Naval Base San Diego on March 31.

During the transit to Hawaii, the Sterett-Dewey SAG completed a series of training and certification exercises tailored to meet projected expectations of Western Pacific operations. The group additionally worked with Carrier Strike Group 11 in a series of communications exercises.

The Sterett-Dewey SAG will operate with regional navies to conduct routine patrols, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation activities to enhance regional security and stability in the Western Pacific.

U.S. 3rd Fleet will retain control of the Sterett-Dewey SAG as it crosses the international dateline. U.S. 3rd Fleet operating forward offers additional options to the Pacific Fleet commander by leveraging the capabilities of both the 3rd and 7th Fleets. This operational concept allows both numbered fleets to complement one another and provide the foundation of stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

“The Sterett-Dewey SAG has demonstrated exemplary technical and tactical proficiency and teamwork, giving this deployment a very strong start,” said Capt. David A. Bretz, commander, DESRON 31. “I’m extremely proud of the dedication and mission focus on display from every Sterett-Dewey SAG Sailor, and we are looking forward to putting these sharpened skills to use in support of maritime security and stability operations with our partners and allies in the Western Pacific.”

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy, constantly coordinating with U.S. 7th Fleet to plan and execute missions based on their complementary strengths to promote ongoing peace, security, and stability throughout the Pacific theater of operations.

North Korea Nuclear Threat to Hawaii is REAL

Nuclear arms experts think North Korea already has, or soon will have, the ability to target Hawaii with a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile with possibly about the same destructive force as the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Warnings are mounting apace with that growing threat.

“North Korea’s unprecedented level of nuclear testing and ballistic missile development offers a sobering reminder that the United States must remain vigilant against rogue nation-states that are able to threaten the homeland,” Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson, who heads the North American Aerospace Defense Command, told a congressional committee Thursday.

In Hawaii a profusion of four-star military commands — including U.S. Pacific Command, which oversees U.S. military activity over half the globe — makes Oahu a strategic and symbolic target. The threat from an unpredictable North Korea, in turn, is prompting a revisitation of some old Cold War practices that until recently seemed laughable.

Duck and cover? Still there in the form of “shelter in place,” state officials say.

Nuclear fallout shelters? In 1981 Oahu had hundreds of them. The Prince Kuhio Building could hold 14,375 people — not because it has a secret underground bunker, but because its concrete parking structure could be used as shelter.

“Each one of those facilities had to be surveyed for how much concrete density (was present),” said Toby Clairmont, executive officer of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, the successor to Civil Defense. “And they had to be equipped, so they put medical kits in them, food, sanitary kits, all that kind of stuff.”

As time went on, funding for those provisions stopped, and the stocks were disposed of because they became too old, Clairmont said. In the majority of cases, existing fallout shelter markings are out of date and no longer applicable.

Alternatively, the U.S. military would try to shoot down an incoming North Korean ICBM with ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California, although the $36 billion system was rated by the Pentagon in December as having low reliability.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, ICBMs in the late 1990s came off Hawaii Emergency Management’s threat list of mostly natural hazards. Terrorism was added, and in 2006 the state practiced for a half-kiloton explosion in Honolulu Harbor that resulted in up to 8,000 casualties with injuries or radiation.

A new threat

President Donald Trump, who met last week with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida, has warned that the United States might take unilateral action against North Korea unless China does more to rein in its pugnacious neighbor. He did not mention a pre-emptive first strike per se.

Such a first strike presumably would take out the fixed launch sites at Sohae and Tonghae, but North Korea is also believed to have road-mobile launchers that could survive to retaliate — if they actually work.

With North Korea emerging as a new threat, state Emergency Management Administrator Vern Miyagi said it’s time to update the previous plans.

“If you were to ask me what is the status of North Korea, and is (a missile attack) a high probability, no, it’s a low probability,” said Miyagi, a retired Army two-star general who served at the Pacific Command as senior adviser for military support to civil authorities operations and Reserve and National Guard affairs.

“But then, so, we have to keep a lookout for that (threat). That’s why we’re talking about updating the plan. It’s an awakening. Maybe we should get involved with” fallout shelters again and identify where still-usable shelters are located, he said.

Fallout protection exists to some degree in any building, but it is most effective in heavy concrete buildings and underground structures, he said.

The agency does monthly tests with the Pacific Command using secure communications, Miyagi said. The advice in the event of a missile attack is still to duck and cover and “get into a substantial building,” he said.

“The bottom line in our plan right now is close coordination with Pacific Command, the military side, so that we understand what’s happening, and we can prepare for it with what we have — and what we have right now is very thin,” Miyagi said.

Looking for a solution

During the Cold War the state envisioned moving hundreds of thousands of Oahu residents to the neighbor islands if things heated up with the Soviet Union. However, a North Korean ICBM could reach Hawaii in under 20 minutes with no warning, experts say.

Robinson, the North American Aerospace Defense commander, said 2016 was “one of North Korea’s most active years in terms of nuclear weapon and missile program development in pursuit of weaponizing a nuclear ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States.”

Riki Ellison, chairman of the nonprofit Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, is among a growing number of voices calling for “operationalizing” the Aegis Ashore facility on Kauai in emergencies to be able to shoot down North Korean missiles. Right now it’s used for missile defense testing only.

Ellison said the new SM-3 Block IIA missile, which is expected to have ICBM shoot-down capability, is a “critical asset required for the region and Hawaii.”

“For U.S. homeland defense, the emergency operational activation of the Aegis Ashore site, to include the AN/TPY-2 radar at the Pacific Missile Range Facility,” is needed in the short term, Ellison said in a release.

In 2015 Adm. Bill Gortney, then commander of North American Aerospace Defense, said, “Our assessment is that they (North Korea) have the ability to put … a nuclear weapon on a KN-08 (missile) and shoot it at the homeland.”

Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program and founding publisher of Arms Control Wonk.com, said the road-mobile KN-08 hasn’t been flight-tested yet.

“This is a very important caution because an ICBM that has never been tested is very unreliable,” he said in an email. If it works, it can probably hit targets throughout the U.S., he said.

North Korea claimed that its last nuclear test validated a standardized warhead of at least 10 kilotons for its long-range missiles, but it “may be significantly more than that,” Lewis added. Ellison, with the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, maintains North Korea might have a miniaturized warhead around 20 kilotons.

The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 was 15 kilotons, while a 20-kiloton device was detonated over Nagasaki

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Commemorates Day of Valor, Honors Filipino Veterans

This morning at the Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Kauaʻi Mayor Bernard Carvalho delivered remarks to honor Filipino and Filipino-American veterans in commemoration of the 75th Ara Ng Kagitingan—The Day of Valor.  In her remarks, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a twice-deployed Major with the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard, shared the following:

“In 1942, over 60,000 Filipino and 15,000 American soldiers were surrendered to the Japanese in what we now know as the Fall of Bataan. Despite the unimaginable hardship that they endured, these brave men fought relentlessly against their enemies without any outside support from either the Philippines or the United States. In total, around 21,000 soldiers lost their lives. The legacy and sacrifice of these heroes must never be forgotten. Nor can we forget the high cost of war and the lasting effects that inevitably define those who are touched by its reaches. Today, as we commemorate the Day of Valor, we honor all of our courageous warriors, as well as their families who have made tremendous sacrifices, and we give thanks for the great and lasting partnerships that were paved—truly—by these heroes.”

Today’s commemoration ceremony also celebrated the passage of landmark legislation, the Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015, which was introduced by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Sen. Mazie Hirono to honor Filipino Veterans of World War II, as well as the launch of the Filipino-American Veterans Parole Program.

Transcript of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s remarks:

Aloha. Mabuhay. It’s wonderful to be back home here in Hawaii from Washington and to be able to spend this special morning with all of you.

As a veteran and someone who has spent a lot of time in the Philippines, and with many friends from there, I feel very much at home and amongst family here today. I appreciate you welcoming all of us to join you in recognizing this important Day of Valor and sharing why it is so important to reflect on this historical event, especially in this most special place and amongst courageous heroes of past and present.

In 1942, over 60,000 Filipino and 15,000 American soldiers were surrendered to the Japanese in what we now know as the Fall of Bataan. Despite the unimaginable hardship that they endured, these brave men fought relentlessly against their enemies without any outside support from either the Philippines or the United States.

In total, around 21,000 soldiers lost their lives. The legacy and sacrifice of these heroes must never be forgotten. Nor can we forget the high cost of war and the lasting effects that inevitably define those who are touched by its reaches.

For decades, legislation has been introduced in the United States Congress to honor our Filipino Veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal and, as you’ve heard, we were finally successful at obtaining this long overdue recognition—thanks in large part to the support and leadership of so many of you here today. Last Session, I was very proud, along with Senator Hirono, to reintroduce and finally pass this legislation, honoring our Filipino Veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal Act, and see President Obama signed it into law in December, just before he left office.

It was a special thing to be able to share the stories and experiences of some of the Filipino veterans here today and their families with other members of Congress as we were seeking support to pass this legislation. In the House, where we have more than 435 members of Congress, we were able to get more than 300 of them to support and sponsor the legislation. It was wonderful to be able to talk with them on the House Floor, to share some of these stories with them, and to educate them about the storied history of these brave heroes who fought alongside our American soldiers—they deserve nothing but the highest honor.

So now, on behalf of the United States Congress, we can officially honor the more than 200,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers who served our country during World War II. These loyal and courageous soldiers served, suffered, and sacrificed—many paying that ultimate price—alongside their American counterparts throughout the war.

Though less than 18,000 of our Filipino WWII veterans are still alive today, some of whom are among us, this recognition is an important testament to each and every one of our veterans who earned and deserve their place amongst our greatest generation.

Today, as we commemorate the Day of Valor, we honor all of our courageous warriors, as well as their families who have made tremendous sacrifices, and we give thanks for the great and lasting partnerships that were paved—truly—by these heroes.

Annually, as we gather to honor this important Day of Valor, we recognize that it helps current and future generations to understand a little better the hardships and the values for which the ultimate sacrifice is made. And it inspires us to live our lives in a way that honors the values that they sacrificed for.

Here in Hawaii, we are a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities, and faiths, bound by a common thread of the aloha spirit.  The principles that guide us as we live aloha teach us to sincerely respect one another and come together with care, compassion, and love. So, let us remember these remarkable individuals and the driving forces of freedom, righteousness, and the desire for lasting peace that sustained their fighting souls. Thank you very much. Aloha.

Navy Complies with EPA, Closes Cesspools on Joint Base – Fined $94,212

The Navy recently closed the last of three remaining Large Capacity Cesspools (LCCs) located on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, settling a Consent Agreement and Final Order with the Environmental Protection Agency.  The Navy paid a penalty of $94,212 for violations of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act at JBPHH.

Adm. John Fuller

Rear Adm. John Fuller, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, announced the closure of the cesspools in his sixth Red Hill stakeholder letter of March 2017. “Just recently, we closed legacy cesspools that predated joint-basing in order to comply with state law.  Our Navy is not perfect, but we are committed to confronting what is not right or not in the nation’s best interest.  We are accountable for our actions, and we are committed to doing the right thing.  We are equally committed to presenting science-based evidence to enhance our understanding,” Fuller wrote.
The Navy acquired the LCCs in 2010 when Hickam Air Force Base and Naval Station Pearl Harbor became Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.  With the Navy as the lead Department of Defense agency for JBPHH, thousands of assets and inventory items were consolidated under Navy responsibility.

Coast Guard Establishes Temporary Safety Zone in Vicinity of Active Kilauea Lava Flow

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for the navigable waters surrounding the Kilauea Volcano active lava flow entry into the Pacific Ocean on the southeast side of the Big Island, Hawai’i, Tuesday.

The temporary safety zone will encompass all waters extending 300 meters (984 feet) in all directions around the entry of the lava flow into the ocean from noon March 28 to 8 a.m. Sept. 28.  Experts from the U.S. Geological Survey recommend 300 meters as the minimum safe distance to avoid hazards from the lava flow.

The Coast Guard has taken action to ensure public safety because of the danger the unstable sea cliff, volcanic shrapnel, toxic gases and potential bench collapses pose to vessel traffic and the public. As long as lava enters the ocean, further sea cliff degradation, hazardous conditions, delta construction and collapse are likely to occur.  These collapses occur with little to no warning and cannot be predicted.

According to the HVO, large and dense fragments ejected during delta collapses can be thrown in all directions from the point of collapse, including out to sea.  Based on a review of nearly 30 years of delta collapse and ejecta distance observations in HVO records, a radius of 300 meters was determined as a reasonable minimum high hazard zone around a point of ocean entry.

A Broadcast Notice to Mariners has been issued via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the safety zone. Entry of vessels or people into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Honolulu or his designated representative.

To view documents in the Federal Register mentioned in this release, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0172 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.”  Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule. It may take up to five days for documents to publish in the Federal Register, once published public comments may be submitted for a period of 60 days.

The Coast Guard is also issuing a Notice of Proposed Rule Making to establish a permanent Safety Zone for this region. We solicit feedback from the public on this rule making process. You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2017-0234 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

Written Comments: Written public comments will be accepted on or before 11:59 p.m. June 3, 2017, via http://www.regulations.gov. The Coast Guard strongly prefers comments to be submitted electronically; however, written comments may also be submitted (e.g. postmarked) by the deadline, via mail to Commander (spw), U.S. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, 433 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96850.

Oral Comments: The Coast Guard will provide the public an opportunity to make oral comments by holding a public meeting on May 08, 2017, at 5 p.m. at the East Hawaii County Building (Hilo) Aupuni Center Conference Room located at 101 Pauahi St. #7, Hilo, Hawaii 96720.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Announces Hawaiʻi Students Nominated to Military Service Academies

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today released the names and photos of her nominations to the U.S. Military Service Academies for classes entering Summer 2017.  After an exhaustive application and interview process, she nominated twenty-two students from across Hawaii’s Second Congressional District. Their applications are now being considered for final selection by the United States Military Academy at West Point, the United States Naval Academy, and the United States Air Force Academy.

“Across Hawaiʻi, high school seniors will soon begin gearing up for graduation, summer plans, and either beginning college, serving in our military, or entering the work force. A select few will be enrolling in one of the U.S. Military Service Academies, and I’ve had the privilege and great responsibility of nominating twenty-two phenomenal applicants to represent our Aloha State in service to our country.  I wish each of these nominees the very best in the final weeks of the selection process and in their promising futures,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

The nomination application period opens May 15th of each year for candidates who are high school juniors and will be seniors the following school year, or who have already graduated. Nomination does not guarantee an appointment. The honor of attending a Military Service Academy comes with the obligation and commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation. More information about the nominations process is available here.  

The following students from Hawaii’s Second Congressional District were nominated by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard to the corresponding military academy / academies below (photo available for download by clicking the nominee’s name).

HAWAIʻI ISLAND RESIDENTS

KAUAʻI RESIDENTS

MAUI RESIDENTS

OʻAHU RESIDENTS

USS Port Royal (CG 73) Returns to Pearl Harbor Friday

The guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73) will return from a 212-day independent deployment to the Arabian Sea, Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, South China Sea, Western Pacific, and Indian Ocean, March 24.
While deployed to the U.S. 5th, 6th, and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility, the ship and crew of more than 390 Sailors conducted joint maritime security exercises with South East Asia partners, theatre anti-submarine operations, joint counterterrorism/smuggling exercises, Pacific presence operations in the South China Sea, 5th Fleet sector air defense, and carrier strike group operations with USS Dwight D Eisenhower and USS Carl Vinson. Port Royal also conducted straits transits, providing protection for U.S. and international commerce and projecting sea control in the vicinity of Yemen and Somalia.
“Port Royal’s 2016-2017 deployment was the culmination of the hard work that had been ongoing since the ship’s last deployment. Port Royal’s crew remained focused on getting their ship materially ready for operational excellence, which they demonstrated throughout their 2016-2017 deployment.  The crew has lived up to the ship’s motto, ‘The Will to Win,’ and they have never wavered in their support of the ship and its mission,” said Capt. Adolfo H. Ibarra, Port Royal’s former commanding officer.
Ibarra turned over command to Capt. Christopher J. Budde during an official change of command on Feb. 24, 2017 while the ship was operating in the Western Pacific.  Budde echoed Ibarra’s sentiments. “The Port Royal crew performed brilliantly throughout a seven month deployment spanning the 5th, 6th, and 7th Fleet AORs.  More impressive was the effort that went into certification and workups.  Getting this ship prepared for its first deployment in five years was a Herculean task that required incredible work and dedicated deckplate leadership,” said Budde.
Port Royal is a multi-mission ship with air warfare, submarine warfare, surface warfare, and strike capabilities; designed to operate independently or with carrier strike groups, surface action groups or amphibious ready groups. Lt. Cmdr. Daniel A. Hancock, Port Royal executive officer, said he was proud of the crew’s performance and execution of diverse mission sets throughout deployment.
“At the heart of it, our crew proved that our Sailors truly represent the best of America,” said Hancock. “They have the hearts of lions and showed it daily under combat conditions. I am extremely proud of the work they have done for this nation. This ship returns to Pearl Harbor materially-sound and operationally ready. That is a testament to the leadership of my chiefs and officers, but above all, it reflects the tireless dedication of my Sailors to mission accomplishment. They have exuded excellence throughout this deployment, and because of their efforts, we return to our loved ones with our heads held high, undoubtedly the finest cruiser in the fleet.”
Port Royal is home ported in Pearl Harbor and is part of Naval Surface Forces and U.S. 3rd Fleet.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Commemorates 75th Anniversary of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the World War II Doolittle Raid with special presentations for youth and the general public by Jonna Doolittle Hoppes, author, educator and granddaughter of General Jimmy Doolittle, leader of the famed Doolittle (Tokyo) Raid that took place, April 18, 1942.

On 18 April 1942, airmen of the US Army Air Forces, led by Lt. Col. James H. (Jimmy) Doolittle, carried the Battle of the Pacific to the heart of the Japanese empire with a surprising and daring raid on military targets at Tokyo, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Nagoya, and Kobe. This heroic attack against these major cities was the result of coordination between the Army Air Forces and the US Navy, which carried the sixteen North American B-25 medium bombers aboard the carrier USS Hornet to within take-off distance of the Japanese Islands.

On April 17, from 10 – 11 am, students and their teachers are invited to a free youth presentation by Hoppes entitled, “Calculated Risk: Jimmy Doolittle and the Tokyo Raid.” The presentation is named after Hoppes’ first book. Hoppes will discuss the Doolittle Raid and the brave men who, under her grandfather’s leadership, inspired a nation and changed the course of WWII.

This youth event is provided at no cost, and teachers who register their classes will receive a free copy of one of Hoppes’ books, Just Doing My Job or Calculated Risk, as well as corresponding curriculum to use before or after the event. Funding for bus transportation will be provided if requested on the registration form. Seating is limited and registration is recommended by emailing Education@PacificAviationMuseum.org or calling 808-445-9137.

On April 18, at 2:30 pm, Hoppes will conduct a Hangar Talk for the general public, followed by a book signing and meet and greet reception. Admission for the Hangar Talk is free with Museum admission, free to Museum members, and free to military and military families with valid ID.

On April 18, 1942, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, eighty men from all walks of life volunteered to fly B-25 bombers (normally land-based aircraft) that took off from the deck of the USS Hornet. The dangerous and unorthodox mission, led by (then Lt. Colonel) Jimmy Doolittle, represented the first air strike by the United States on Japanese homelands. The raid provided a much-needed boost to American morale and changed the course of WWII. It bolstered American morale to such an extent that on April 28, 10 days after the attack, Lt. Colonel Doolittle was promoted to Brigadier General and was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Theodore Roosevelt upon his return to the United States in June.