In the Military
Honolulu's namesake submarine to retire
The Navy will hold a farewell ceremony April 15 for the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Honolulu before it leaves on its last six-month Pacific deployment, ending a 20-year tour at Pearl Harbor. The Honolulu will be inactivated at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard following its last deployment.
Various news media reports on the draft of the Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review, which will be released Feb. 6 along with the president's fiscal 2007 budget, say the Navy should put half of its 12 aircraft carriers and 60 percent of its nuclear submarines in the Pacific.
Ronald O'Rourke, the chief naval analyst for the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, told Bloomberg News that the Navy in recent years has kept five of its 12 carriers in the Pacific with the remainder in the Atlantic and as many as 27 of its 54 submarines in the Pacific.
The news service says the draft report recommends adding at least one aircraft carrier and five nuclear submarines over the next decade.
The increase is driven by the Pentagon's concern over China's increased military might, according to the news service.
Both Guam and Pearl Harbor have been considered prime Pacific locations for a nuclear carrier.
Currently, the USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan are berthed in San Diego, while the USS Carl Vinson, USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS Stennis are homeported in the state of Washington. The USS Kitty Hawk, one of the Navy's two remaining non-nuclear carriers, is based in Yokosuka in Japan, but will be retired in 2008 and will be replaced by the USS George Washington, now berthed on the Atlantic coast.
The other Atlantic-based carriers homeported at Norfolk, Va., include USS Dwight Eisenhower, USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Harry Truman and USS Enterprise.
The Navy's other remaining non-nuclear carrier, USS John Kennedy, is based in Mayport, Fla.
The Navy decided in late 2004 to scrap plans to overhaul the ship, saving $350 million. Retiring the Kennedy would free up $300 million per year for new ship construction, the Navy said.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declined to say whether the Navy will be transferring ships to the Pacific because of the Chinese threat.
"In the Military" was compiled from wire reports and other sources by reporter Gregg K. Kakesako
, who covers military affairs for the Star-Bulletin. He can be reached by phone at 294-4075 or by e-mail at email@example.com