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Wednesday, February 23, 2000



Navy to use floating
drydock in ballistic
missile sea trial

By Gregg K. Kakesako


A converted floating drydock will undergo a crucial sea trial off Barbers Point today as part of the Navy's theater ballistic missile defense testing program.

The Navy maintains that the defense system will be able to provide protection to ports, airfields and other shore facilities from the sea without having to rely on a host nation.

Stan Rollins, marine systems engineer with the Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, said today's daylong sea trial is part of the military's program to develop capabilities to launch test drones at sea.

The drydock would house tracking equipment or fire drones that can be shot down by missiles from warships.

Using a $4 million appropriation obtained by Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye in 1995, the Pacific Missile Range took a section of an old floating drydock, cleared off its deck and installed a helicopter pad and launch pad for at least four test drones, Rollins said.

The 256-foot drydock looks like a large barge, Rollins added, with "a big flat deck" holding several 20-foot containers and a shack on its 80-foot wide deck.

Today's sea trial was to involve modifications made after earlier tests, and launching and recovering helicopters eight miles off Barbers Point, Rollins said.

Plans for later this year call for the installation of a five mega-watt antenna that will be used to gather data as target drones and missiles engage each other, Rollins said.

Fifty-six Navy warships are now equipped with AEGIS missile systems, which will be incorporated into its theater ballistic missile defense system.

During Desert Storm in 1991, AEGIS missile-equipped Navy cruisers were able to detect and track Saddam Hussein's Scud missiles from their positions miles away in the Arabian Gulf. AEGIS radar systems can detect and target hundreds of targets at ranges of hundreds of miles.

Hawaii Air Guard
delivered goods to
Philippine children

By Gregg K. Kakesako


Besides providing airlift support for the combined U.S.-Philippines "Balikatan 2000" military exercises, members of the Hawaii Air National Guard's 204th Airlift Squadron delivered books and supplies to school children in the Philippines.

"We have a lot of ties to the Philippines in our unit," said Maj. Terry Ganiko, mission coordinator for the squadron, based at Hickam Air Force Base. "Some of our members are either from the Philippines or have family living there, so our people were anxious to give. It's nice that we could help out in this way."

The goods were delivered to Virgen De Los Remedios Elementary School, which has 450 children in 12 classes with 15 teachers. Principal Nicolass Candras said many books in the school's library had been donated in the 1970s.

More than 120 Air Force members from the Pacific Basin are among the 2,500 U.S. military members still participating in Balikatan 2000, the first joint exercise in nearly half a decade.


Navy Petty Officer Matilda Kahoonei, a Waianae native, has been selected as the Patrol and Reconnaissance Forces' Pacific Sailor of the Year and is a candidate for the Naval Air Pacific Sailor of the Year competition.

Kahoonei, who left Waianae 19 years ago to live out a dream of traveling, is now an aviation structural mechanic at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay, leading 10 petty officers in monitoring 60 programs.

During her last tour, she served as a Navy recruiter in the islands.


Two Hawaii-based rear admirals have been nominated by President Clinton for promotion to the two-star rank.

Included in the list of 23 one-star admirals are:

Bullet Michael Holmes, commander of Patrol and Reconnaissance Force at Kaneohe.

Bullet William Klemm, deputy chief of staff for maintenance at the Pacific Fleet.

The promotions must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.



Bullet U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force (Pearl Harbor) -- Cmdr. Russ Janike relieved Cmdr. Joseph Skinner as commander of the Los Angeles class nuclear attack submarine USS Louisville.

Bullet Pearl Harbor: Cmdr. Carl Cramb assumed command of the guided missile frigate USS Reuben James from Cmdr. Steven Richter.

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