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Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor is more than a mere port or naval station. It is a workplace, a naval base, a home and a graveyard. To many Americans, Pearl Harbor is the ultimate symbol of treachery and our nation's official entry into World War II. The harbor's history is much longer and richer, however, stretching back several hundred years. Although recognized as a strategic port and surveyed by European explorers almost 200 years ago, it eventually took over a century to convert a native fishery on the island of Oahu into one of the most strategic naval ports in the world.

The Naval Station, across Quarry Loch, was authorized in 1908. Dredging of the Pearl Harbor channel entrance began in 1910 and, on December 14, 1911, USS California (CA-6) became the first warship to pass through the new channel into Pearl Harbor. Today, the Naval complex at Pearl Harbor serves as a major homeport and "pit stop of the Pacific" for the submarines and surface ships of the US and Allied Pacific fleets.

Naval Station Pearl Harbor had its beginning in 1912 as a receiving station located at Hospital Point. In 1940 the receiving station moved to the present Naval Station headquarters building. On 07 May 1940, the U.S. fleet moved its headquarters from San Pedro, California, to Pearl Harbor. The move was undertaken with great reluctance by Admiral James O. Richardson, Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet. Richardson and most Navy officials who opposed the move thought a fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor would be unnecessarily exposed to Japanese naval strength. President Roosevelt, however, considered the move as a necessary countermeasure to growing Japanese bellicosity.

The 7 December 1941 Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor was one of the great defining moments in history. A single carefully-planned and well-executed stroke removed the United States Navy's battleship force as a possible threat to the Japanese Empire's southward expansion. America, unprepared and now considerably weakened, was abruptly brought into the Second World War as a full combatant.

The battle-scarred and submerged remains of the battleship USS Arizona (BB-39) are the focal point of a shrine erected by the people of the United States to honor and commemorate all American servicemen killed on December 7, 1941, particularly Arizona's crew, many of whom lost their lives during the Japanese attack on the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Arizona's burning bridge and listing masts and superstructure, photographed in the aftermath of the attack and her sinking and emblazoned on the front pages of newspapers across the land, epitomized to the Nation the words "Pearl Harbor" and form one of the best known images of the Second World War in the Pacific.

Arizona and the Arizona Memorial have become the major shrine and point of remembrance not only for the lost battleship but also for the entire attack. Indelibly impressed into the national memory, Arizona is visited by millions who quietly file through, toss flower wreaths and leis into the water, watch the irridescent slick of oil that leaks, a drop at a time, from Arizona's ruptured bunkers after more than forty years on the bottom, and read the names of Arizona's dead carved in marble on the Memorial's walls.

Just as important as the shrine, as embodied in the form of the modern memorial that straddles Arizona, is the battleship herself. Intact, unsalvaged, and resting in the silt of Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona is a partially frozen moment of time, her death wounds visible and still bleeding oil, and her intact hulk holding most of the battleship's crew. Overlooked in the original designation of Pearl Harbor as a National Historic Landmark, Arizona, the greatest victim of the Pearl Harbor attack and the nation's focal point for remembering a day of infamy, is of exceptional national significance.

By 1954, ninety percent of the Navy's enlisted personnel enroute to and from duty in the middle and western Pacific were processed through the receiving station. In 1955, Naval Station Pearl Harbor was established.

The first submarines arrived in Honolulu in August of 1914. Four F-class submarines operated from the old Naval Station, at Pier 5 in Honolulu Harbor. During World War II, the Pearl Harbor Submarine Base serviced submarines which made 488 war patrols from Hawaii sinking a total of 2,009,744 tons of enemy shipping. The expansion of the Submarine Base reached its peak in 1944 when there were 6,633 enlisted personnel serving on the base. Since World War II, many facilities have seen change with permanent buildings replacing the old temporary ones and new facilities to service both the diesel and nuclear powered submarines of the fleet. A-3 Missiles were carried aboard the two-crew POLARIS Submarines that were homeported in Pearl Harbor from 1964 to 1981. The submarines actually operated out of FBM Refit Site III on Guam under the direction of COMSUBRON FIFTEEN. The submarine crews were stationed in Pearl Harbor for training when they were not "on-crew" for upkeeps alongside USS PROTEUS (AS-19) in Guam or on deterrent patrol.

Today the Submarine Base consists of about 125 acres of land and 118 buildings. The Naval Submarine Training Center [the "Big Blue Building"] was built in 1962 to train submarine crews and SUBASE personnel who performed submarine repairs. It offers realistic diving and attack center simulators and has been extensively modernized to keep pace with the latest submarine technologies.

As part of the Navy's effort to modernize its bases, a $24 million, 865-foot-long submarine pier [Piers S-8/9] was designed and constructed to accommodate up to four submarines at Naval Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor. Project included dredged material unsuitable for ocean disposal. The dredged material was contained in a confined aquatic disposal (CAD) system which entailed a unique containment structure using prestressed concrete sheet pile panels, driven under the pier deck. The CAD was the first of its kind to be constructed in Hawaii.

Naval Station Pearl Harbor supports 50 homeported fleet units and 24 submarines, since merging with SUBASE. Naval Station's fleet support mission is accomplished by a staff of nearly 2,000 military personnel and civilian employees. The station currently occupies and maintains 1,107 acres of land throughout the Pearl Harbor complex, ranging from Waipio Peninsula to Bishop Point and including Ford Island. The current plant value of the Naval Station is in excess of $1 billion.

Naval Station Pearl Harbor provides service comparable to a large city. Operating the Navy's busiest harbor, Naval Station annually completes 65,000 boat runs and transports 2.4 million passengers and 200,000 vehicles to and from Ford Island and other harbor locations. Navy-manned USS Arizona tour boats transport nearly 2 million visitors to the memorial each year. The bachelor quarters house approximately 3,000 permanent party and transient personnel. Naval Station's Family Service Center provides essential training, counseling, spouse employment and family enhancement programs for over 55,000 people each year. Naval Station also owns and operates one of the Navy's largest recreation and special services programs, has its own police and security force and is responsible for DOD firefighters in 13 stations island-wide.

The entire Navy is undergoing regionalization to determine better and more economical ways to deliver services at shore installations, by streamlining services and merging similar functions under one commander. Capt. George B. Covington, commanding officer of Submarine Base Pearl Harbor relieved Capt. Kraig M. Kennedy as commanding officer of Naval Station Pearl Harbor in a change of command ceremony on 25 July 1997. The ceremony marked the consolidation of Naval Station and Submarine Base, as part of regionalization efforts in Hawaii. Covington, SUBASE commanding officer since October, will lead the new merged command of approximately 2,100 military and civilian personnel. Instead of two separate organizations, each with departments performing similar tasks, there is now one streamlined organization, providing better services more efficiently. Pearl Harbor is modeling its regionalization plan on the successes of other naval bases, such as San Diego and Seattle, both of which have shown that regionalizing makes sense. Commander, Naval Base, Pearl Harbor Hawaii has first-line responsibility for implementing Regionalization and Claimant Consolidation for the Navy in Hawaii. Both initiatives are closely linked together and are necessary for the Navy to gain service improvements in Shore Installation Management, including food service, supply, building maintenance, firefighting, public affairs and data processing support. Individual supply departments from Pearl Harbor shore commands were consolidated into the Fleet Industrial Supply Center (FISC) Pearl Harbor in 1996. The result is local supply resources combined into one efficient and effective regional supply department.

Pearl Harbor is located on the south coast of Oahu, the third largest of the eight major islands generally considered to be "Hawaii." In addition to the eight major islands, the archipelago of the Hawaiian Islands also include many islets, reefs, and shoals. The westernmost island of the group is Midway Island, which is located approximately 1,200 nmi west-northwest of Oahu near the 180th meridian in the central North Pacific Ocean. Midway is the only island of the group not part of the State of Hawaii. Pearl Harbor is located west of and adjacent to Honolulu, the capital city and chief population center of the State of Hawaii. The Port of Honolulu is the principal deep-water, commercial port of Hawaii.

The island of Oahu has an areal extent of 604 square miles Oahu measures 39 nmi southeast to northwest between Makapuu and Kaena Points and 26 nmi south to north between Barbers and Kahuku Points. Oahu is a mountainous island of volcanic origin. The Koolau Mountain Range parallels the northeast coast for most of its length. The portion of the range between Makapuu Point and the Mokapu Peninsula has a sheer rocky cliff on its seaward side. The cliff is nearly 2,000 ft (610 m) high in some places. The entire range has a jagged appearance and is cut on its inland side by deep gorges and valleys. The highest elevation in the Koolau Range is 3,150 ft (960 m) at a point approximately five nmi northeast of Honolulu. The Waianae Range parallels the southwest coast of Oahu between Kaena and Barbers Points. Elevations over most of its length commonly exceed 2,000 ft (610 m). The highest elevation in the range is 4,046 ft (1,233 m). Several peaks exceed 3,000 ft (914 m) in height. An extensive plain lies in a valley between the Koolau and Waianae ranges.

The land areas surrounding Pearl Harbor and Honolulu Harbor are generally low in elevation, slowly rising to 250 ft (76 m) approximately 1.3 nmi inland from the harbor (Figure 3). Once 250 ft (76 m) is reached, the terrain slopes rapidly upward east of Pearl Harbor on the west side of the Koolau Range and west of Pearl Harbor on the east side of the Waianae Range. North of Pearl Harbor, the slope is more gradual through the valley separating the two mountain ranges. The valley elevation does not exceed 1,000 ft (305 m) at any point.

Several prominent landmarks mark the eastern seaward approaches to Pearl Harbor and Honolulu. Makapuu Head, located on Makapuu Point, the eastern extremity of Oahu, is a bold, barren, rocky headland 647 ft (197 m) high that is the landfall for vessels inbound from the mainland United States. Koko Crater, a sharp, brown, 1,204 ft (367 m) high cone is located 2.6 nmi southwest of Makapuu Head. Koko Head, located 4 nmi southwest of Makapuu Head, is a bold, 640 ft (195 m) high promontory with a steep seaward side. Diamond Head, the most widely known landmark on Oahu, is an extinct, 761 ft (232 m) high crater located nine nmi southwest of Makapuu Head, and about 9.5 nmi southeast of Pearl Harbor.

Seaward approaches from the west offer less dramatic landmarks. The coastline between Kaena Point and Barbers Point consists mainly of alternating ledges of rock and stretches of white sand with spurs of the Waianae Mountains extending to most of the points. Between the spurs and ridges are heavily wooded valleys that contrast with the rocky and bare mountains.

Pearl Harbor, is a Defensive Sea Area established by Executive Order No. 8143 of May 26, 1939. The area of water in Pearl Harbor, Island of Oahu Territory of Hawaii, lying between extreme high-water mark and the sea, and in and about the entrance channel to said harbor, with an area bounded by the extreme high-water mark, a line bearing S from the SW comer of Puuloa Naval Reservation, a line bearing S from Ahua Point, and a line bearing W from a point 3 miles due S from Ahua Point, has been established as a defensive sea area for purposes of national defense, and no persons (other than persons on public vessels of the United States) are permitted to enter this defensive sea area, and no vessels or other craft (other than public vessels of the United States) are permitted to navigate in this area, except by authority of the Secretary of the Navy. Permission to enter Pearl Harbor must be obtained in advance from Commander, Naval Base, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Although Pearl Harbor is located in a low, flat plain, many features exist that are identifiable from its seaward approaches. The dome-shaped Ala Moana Building (2117'34.3"N 15750'35.0"W) in Honolulu is conspicuous. Blue lights are shown from the 315 ft high tower. An unmarked channel approach point (Papa Hotel) is located at 2116'06"N, 15756'23"W [United States Coast Pilot 7 lists Papa Hotel as being located at 2116'17"N 15756'33"W, approximately 500 yd northwest of the Fleet Guide's position]. The Pearl Harbor Entrance Channel commences some 4,000 yd from "Papa Hotel" on a bearing of 33336'. The entrance channel is marked by lighted and unlighted buoys and a lighted range. With an approximate width of 350 yd, the channel has an initial project depth of 49.9 ft (15.2 m) near the center and 45 ft (13.7 m) on either side of the central 100 yd wide main channel. The central channel project depth decreases to 45 ft (13.7 m) approximately one nmi north of the channel entrance. The project depths on either side of the central channel decrease to 40 ft (12.2 m) at the same location. The same depths are maintained in the Main Channel to a point adjacent to Dry Docks 1 and 2. Channel depths within Pearl Harbor vary by location, and should be verified with the Pearl Harbor Port Operations Office.

Pearl Harbor is fan shaped with an entrance width of 400 yd (366 m). Extending inland some 5 nmi, the main basin is divided by two peninsulas and an island into four smaller basins: West Loch, Middle Loch, East Loch, and Southeast Loch. Most of Pearl Harbor's facilities are located on East Loch and Southeast Loch. Middle Loch is used primarily as a Reserve Fleet Anchorage. The Naval Magazine maintains berths at the approximate mid-point of West Loch, but the upper half of the loch is too shallow for deep draft vessels. Three additional, smaller lochs, Quarry Loch, Merry Loch and Magazine Loch, are located adjacent to Southeast Loch.

Due to lack of swinging room, there is only one anchorage within the confines of Pearl Harbor. It is an explosives anchorage located north of Ford Island in East Loch. Harbor pilots state that if a large vessel assigned to the anchorage requires more swinging room than the approximate 175 yd radius the anchorage allows, the anchorage is shifted to a position 200 to 300 yd southwest of the charted position. Anchorage is available outside Pearl Harbor in 60 ft (18.3 m) of water adjacent to the "Reef Runway" of Honolulu International Airport.

The Fleet Guide for Pearl Harbor contains a listing of 99 berths inside the main channel entrance. Of those, 29 are assigned to the Naval Station, 32 to the Naval Shipyard, 19 to the Naval Supply Center, 14 to the Submarine Base, and five in West Loch to Naval Magazine. Specific data for each berth, such as berth length and alongside depth can be found in the Fleet Guide for Pearl Harbor. One significant change in the 1994 berth listing applies to Berth F5 just southeast of the USS Arizona Memorial monument on Ford Island. It was rebuilt and lengthened to 1,000 ft to accommodate the planned berthing of battleships at Pearl Harbor. The South Channel has been dredged to depths of 45 ft over much of the area between Ten Ten Dock and the USS Arizona Memorial to provide adequate clearance and turning room for the deep-drafted battleships. Because all of the battleships in the US Navy inventory are now decommissioned, the pier is now designated for other uses.

According to local harbor authorities, there were 14 surface ships home ported at Pearl Harbor in 1994, with two more scheduled to arrive. In addition, there were 19 submarines home ported at Pearl Harbor, with five more scheduled to arrive. The best berths for large surface vessels were thought to be the Hotel berths and Kilo Piers 3 through 5 at the Naval Supply Center, the Naval Station's Foxtrot berths 12 and 13 on Merry Loch, and Bravo berths 22 through 26 at the Naval Shipyard. The best berths for small ships are Bravo 1 through Bravo 21 at the Naval Shipyard. Submarines are berthed in Magazine and Quarry Lochs.

Local harbor pilots state that the Naval Shipyard berths B15 through B21 and Naval Station berths M3 and M4 are in very good condition. Naval Shipyard berths B7, B8, B10, B11, B12 and B13 are weak due to toredo worm damage to wood pilings at and near the water level. Because of the worm damage, camels tend to crush the damaged pilings if a ship is forced on to her berth. As a result, ships requesting that a camel be placed inboard will normally be berthed outboard of another ship. Exceptions are granted only when required for specifically approved hull maintenance evolutions.

The new Nimitz-MacArthur Pacific Command Center features a state-of-the-art facility designed in a Hawaiian/Pacific architectural style reminiscent of the 1920s. The six-story, 274,500 square foot structure will house existing Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Command and Special Operations Command, Pacific personnel. The new headquarters of the future will consolidate existing USCINCPAC and Special Operations Command, Pacific personnel into a six-story, 274,500 square foot structure overlooking views of majestic Halawa Valley. It will be built across the street from the existing headquarters complex at Camp H.M. Smith. The building will have a Hawaiian/Pacific Rim architectural style reminiscent of the 1920s Hawaiian architecture. The architectural style was chosen with consideration of its visible location on Halawa Heights. The interior architecture and state-of-the-art fiber optic network will be designed for maximum flexibility, allowing for long-term change and reconfiguration. PACDIV awarded the $78 million contract in June 2000 to Dick Pacific Construction Company. Work began in early 2001 with move-in planned for September 2003.

New Pearl Harbor subase berthing piers are under construction in a $22 million project that will be completed in July next year. PACDIV awarded the contract in June 2000 to Healy Tibbits Builders which also replaced Pearl Harbor's Bravo and Mike piers in 2000. The new wharves will accommodate 100-ton cranes. The current structures built in the early 1940s cannot take that immense load. The project includes dredging to be sure the water depth is 35 feet at all locations along the pier. Two concrete holding cells are being constructed at a confined disposal facility at Waipio Peninsula for dredged materials that are unsuitable for ocean dumping. The cells cover 15 and nine acres. The contractor also rerouted a temporary 8-inch potable water line because the existing fresh water pipe is too close to the new wharf construction site. The new pier's wider concrete deck will be moved further from the harbor. The older, existing line will be demolished when the new conduit is activated.

BRAC 2005

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to close the Naval Shipyard Portsmouth, Kittery, ME. As a result, it recommended to relocate Portsmouth's ship depot repair function to Intermediate Maintenance Facility at Pearl Harbor and two other naval stations. This recommendation would retain one nuclear-capable shipyard on each coast, plus sufficient shipyard capacity to support forward deployed assets.

In another recommendation, DoD would realign Hickam AFB, HI, by relocating the installation management functions to Naval Station Pearl Harbor, HI, establishing Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI.

All installations employed military, civilian, and contractor personnel to perform common functions in support of installation facilities and personnel. All installations executed these functions using similar or near similar processes. Because these installations shared a common boundary with minimal distance between the major facilities or are in near proximity, there was significant opportunity to reduce duplication of efforts with resulting reduction of overall manpower and facilities requirements capable of generating savings, which would be realized by paring unnecessary management personnel and achieving greater efficiencies through economies of scale.

Intangible savings would be expected to result from opportunities to consolidate and optimize existing and future service contract requirements. Additional opportunities for savings would also be expected to result from establishment of a single space management authority capable of generating greater overall utilization of facilities and infrastructure. Further savings would be expected to result from opportunities to reduce and correctly size both owned and contracted commercial fleets of base support vehicles and equipment consistent with the size of the combined facilities and supported populations.

Regional efficiencies achieved as a result of Service regionalization of installation management would provide additional opportunities for overall savings as the designated installations are consolidated under regional management structures. The quantitative military value score validated by military judgment was the primary basis for determining which installation was designated as the receiving location. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 511 jobs (277 direct jobs and 234 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Honolulu, HI Metropolitan Statistical Area (less than 0.1 percent).

DoD would realign Naval Station Pearl Harbor, HI, by disestablishing storage and distribution functions for tires, packaged petroleum, oils, and lubricants, and compressed gases. This recommendation would achieve economies and efficiencies that would enhance the effectiveness of logistics support to forces as they transition to more joint and expeditionary operations. This recommendation would disestablish the wholesale supply, storage, and distribution functions for all tires; packaged petroleum, oils and lubricants; and compressed gases used by the Department of Defense, retaining only the supply contracting function for each commodity.

The Department would privatize these functions and would rely on private industry for the performance of supply, storage, and distribution of these commodities. By doing so, the Department could divest itself of inventories and eliminate infrastructure and personnel associated with these functions. This recommendation would result in more responsive supply support to user organizations and would thus add to capabilities of the future force. The recommendation would provide improved support during mobilization and deployment, and the sustainment of forces when deployed worldwide.

Privatization would enable the Department to take advantage of the latest technologies, expertise, and business practices, which translates to improved support to customers at less cost. It centralizes management of tires; packaged petroleum, oils, and lubricants; and compressed gases and eliminates unnecessary duplication of functions within the Department. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in the maximum potential job reductions of 2 total jobs (1 direct and 1 indirect) in the Honolulu, HI Metropolitan Statistical Area over the 2006-2011 time period (less than 0.1 percent).

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Page last modified: 16-02-2017 19:58:52 ZULU