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Honolulu Mayor Bids Aloha to Namesake City Submarine

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS060330-14
Release Date: 3/30/2006 5:00:00 PM

By Chief Journalist (SW/AW) David Rush, Command, submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann visited the Pearl Harbor-based USS Honolulu (SSN 718), March 29, to bid farewell to the nuclear-powered attack submarine that has served as his city’s namesake for the last two decades.

“I have come away with a profound appreciation of what USS Honolulu has meant to our defense capabilities," he said. "I am sad that we are going lose a namesake of our city. It is such an important submarine for Pearl Harbor and our country.”

Honolulu is scheduled to depart for its final deployment to the Western Pacific, following which, it will return directly to Bremerton, Washington, to begin inactivation.

Meeting with crewmembers, Hannemann credited current and past crewmembers for creating an enduring legacy of Honolulu's service to the nation.

“I came here today to say thank you to present and former crewmembers of USS Honolulu who have made this relationship with the city of Honolulu a very distinctive one for the past 20 years," Hannemann said.

Honolulu will host a farewell ceremony in Pearl Harbor on April 15 for current and past crewmembers, as well as members of the Honolulu community. Seventh Fleet commander Vice Adm. Jonathan Greenert, who commanded Honolulu from 1991 to 1993, will be guest speaker.

Additional speakers and guests will include Hawaii Lieutenant Governor James “Duke” Aiona and Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Gary Roughead.

“This is an exciting and challenging time for us,” said Cmdr. John Russ, the submarine’s commanding officer. “We’re preparing to leave our homeport for the last time and, at the same time, we’re going through the normal challenges associated with getting the ship ready to deploy.”

Those challenges, according to Russ, included getting the submarine ready for deployment in six-months, versus the normal 18 months prior to deploying. The crew undergoes numerous certifications, including navigation, propulsion, and weapons, before getting a green light to get underway for deployment.

Honolulu has been homeported at Pearl Harbor for most of its operational life. After its commissioning in 1985, it moved to Hawaii to join the Pacific Fleet in September 1986. It has completed nine deployments to the Western Pacific, participated in Operation Enduring Freedom and conducted operations under the Arctic ice.

The submarine has received an impressive array of awards, including six Battle ‘E’s.

Honolulu is the third ship named in honor of the city of Honolulu, Hawaii. It was commissioned in July 1985, and is the 31st of the Los Angeles class.

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