In the Military
USS Hawaii completes first evaluation phase
The Virginia-class nuclear submarine USS Hawaii (SSN 776) successfully completed its first phase of evaluation off the Florida coast this month.
"Over the next 12 months, each of the Virginia class' mission areas will be thoroughly exercised to validate the submarine's design and performance," said Capt. Michael Jabaley, the Virginia program's assistant program manager for test and evaluation. "In this case, the ship, crew, Sea Air Land (SEAL) special operations team and support personnel performed extremely well in what turned out to be a challenging environment created by Tropical Storm Noel."
The fast-attack submarine is the Navy's first major warship designed for the post-Cold War era involving special operations. The Hawaii has a torpedo room that can be transformed to carry Navy SEALs, and its deck can be equipped with a dry-deck shelter used by SEAL teams.
The Hawaii is commanded by Cmdr. Ed Herrington. Three Virginia-class submarines will be stationed at Pearl Harbor. The 377-foot Hawaii was commissioned in May, and the USS Texas was commissioned last year. They will arrive in the islands in 2009, followed by the USS North Carolina, which is undergoing sea trials.
Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard employee and Hawaii Kai resident Eleanor Shimogaki will receive the Hawaii Navy League's George S.B. Walters Shipyard Service Award. Shimogaki is the project material manager assigned to the shipyard's fleet maintenance availability project for submarines.
She will be honored by the Honolulu Council of the Navy League at the organization's annual Sea Service Awards luncheon Dec. 5 at the Ford Island Conference Center. The league created the George S.B. Walters Shipyard Service Award last year to recognize an outstanding civilian shipyard employee. The award comes with a $1,000 cash prize.
The naval shipyard is the largest industrial employer in the state of Hawaii with a combined civilian and military workforce of about 4,800. In fiscal year 2007, it had an operating budget of $550 million, of which $387 million was payroll for civilian employees.
Soldiers from Special Operations Command-Pacific and its component units recently completed a two-week exercise in Guam to sharpen their skills as the Pacific region's special operations Joint Task Force-510. The exercise, "Fortune Maker 2007," consisted of command post and field training events. The majority of the special forces operated on Guam, with some forces in the Northern Mariana Islands and others in surrounding waters.
"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