joint base pearl harbor hickam

John Finn is back….

PEARL HARBOR, HI (July 10, 2017) – The United States Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS John Finn (DDG 113), arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI in preparation for its formal commissioning ceremony into the Fleet on July 15, 2017.

Traditional hula dancers give a Hawaiian “Aloha” (Welcome!) pierside to the brand-new ready for duty warship….as she arrives in her new homeport….and the site of John Finn’s exceptional heroism almost 76 years before.

                                                    It’s all in the name

DDG 113 is named in honor of Lt. John William Finn, U.S. Navy….who, as a Chief Aviation Ordnanceman, was the first member of America’s military to earn the Medal of Honor during World War II….for heroism during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Finn was honored for machine-gunning Japanese warplanes for over two hours during the December 1941 early morning attack on Pearl Harbor….despite being shot in the foot and shoulder, and suffering numerous shrapnel wounds. He retired as a Navy lieutenant, after thirty years of service….and died at age 100 in 2010.

Another fitting tribute to a most honorable and deserving shipmate and patriot!

Welcome back to Pearl, John Finn!


                          The 80-second movie version of this post


>>Note: The United States needs to continue – and strictly adhere to – the tradition of naming our Nation’s warships after names/events that inspire pride, sense of belonging, teamwork, sense of mission and purpose…..perhaps, even heroism, when necessary. 

Unfortunately, in recent decades, the naming of America’s warships has often fallen victim to political correctness and, possibly, even corruption. 

The bottom line: our Sailors and Marines out there on the forward lines….on the other side of the world…..doing the dirty work of freedom and democracy….should be the primary consideration for naming a warship.

I mean, really….wouldn’t YOU rather serve on a “USS Awesome” rather than “USS Huh?”?

Bangin’ nighttime KC-135 cockpit shot!

Capt. Michael Kerschbaum, a KC-135 Stratotanker pilot with the 154th Operations Group, and 1st Lt. Renn Nishimoto, a pilot with the 203rd Air Refueling Squadron, prepare to land a KC-135 April 2, 2014 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. This flight was in support of a mission in which two B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers from Barksdale Air Force Base, La. and two B-2 Spirit strategic bombers from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., flew round trip non-stop from their respective home stations to training ranges in Hawaii. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nathan Allen/Released)


Ships from 26 nations across the globe are converging on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam for the start of the U.S. Navy Exercise RIMPAC 2016.

The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.

More than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 30 to Aug. 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.

More pictures and info at source.


1. USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) passes the USS Arizona Memorial as the Nimitz class aircraft carrier arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam

2. USS Cheyenne (SSN 773) 

3. Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181) 

4. Royal Australian Navy Anzac-class frigate HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155)

5. Royal Australian Navy Anzac-class frigates HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) and HMAS Warramunga (FFH 152)

6. Royal New Zealand Navy ship HMNZS Te Kaha (F77)

7. Republic of Singapore Navy ship RSS Steadfast (FFG 70)

8. Royal Indonesian Navy ship KRI Diponegoro (365)

9. Armada de Chile ship CNS Almirante Cochrane (FF 05)

10. French Floreal-class frigate FS Prairial (F 731) 

A Gathering of Navies….

The short video above serves as an introduction to the world’s largest international maritime exercise….RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) 2016….now gathering from the vast reaches of the Pacific Ocean, and other parts of the world.

Twenty-six nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 30th to August 4th….primarily operating in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California naval operating areas.

Ships moored at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam display ceremonial maritime signal pennants and flags from their masts as the international fleet gathers.

RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.

Every available berth is single, double and triple-occupied at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base over the Independence Day holiday inport phase of RIMPAC 2016.

RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971. RIMPACs are held every even-numbered year.

     Who wouldn’t enjoy a break in Hawaii! (When you get off duty!)

                                           *          *          *          *

I participated in several RIMPACs during my Navy career. Each one was challenging, exciting, unique and a professional joy.

And, when we all gathered in port….what an amazing opportunity to meet your counterparts from a vast array of other nations!

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                                RIMPAC 2016 participating nations

                                                 New Zealand
                                                 South Korea
                                                 United Kingdom
                                                 United States

The traditional end-of-RIMPAC group photo….this one from RIMPAC 2012


>>Top photo: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeff Troutman, USN


Weekend, engage! Hope everyone had a good week back from the holidays.

“Master Sgt. Gerard Garrotte, C-5B Galaxy flight engineer with the 312th Airlift Squadron, controls the start switch on the ATM panel during preflight operations on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 16, 2014. He was flying a mobility channel mission, moving high-priority cargo and passengers among air bases in the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lt. Col. Robert Couse-Baker)”

An F-22 Raptor from the 199th Fighter Wing soars over the island of Oahu as a part of Warrior Day exercises at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Oct. 28, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Stoltz)

A Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptor takes off from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Sept. 26, 2015. The Raptors deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. It was the first combat deployment for the 199th Fighter Squadron since it deployed to Saudi Arabia in 2000 to patrol the southern no-fly zone of Iraq. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Airman 1st Class Robert Cabuco)

Haven’t featured the Blues in a while. Missed seeing ‘em this year, but photos like these help take the edge off :)

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet aircraft assigned to the Blue Angels perform during the Wings Over the Pacific Air Show at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Sept. 28, 2014. The Blue Angels were scheduled to complete 68 shows at 34 locations across the U.S. in 2014. (DoD photo by Capt. Raymond Geoffroy, U.S. Air Force/Released)


Teammembers from the women’s national U.S. Soccer team paid a visit to the NHCH Makalapa SMART clinic on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam where they met with wounded military members and patients, Dec. 3, 2015.

Lt. Cmdr. Tracy Wirth and Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle, crewmembers from the Coast Guard 14th District had the privilege of escorting the team to the base where Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe, Julie Johnston Heather O'Reilly and Alyssa Naeher conducted meet and greets with the servicemembers.

F-22 Raptor

An F-22 Raptor from the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 199th Fighter Squadron increases altitude shortly after takeoff at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, June 6, 2015. F-22 pilots from the 199th FS and 19th FS teamed up with maintenance Airmen from the 154th Wing and 15th Maintenance Group to launch and recover 62 Raptors that day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Aaron Oelrich/Released)

The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS La Jolla departs the submarine piers at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for the last time. After 34 years of commissioned service, with the last 14 years based at Pearl Harbor, USS La Jolla is scheduled to be decommissioned and converted to a moored training ship, serving as a training platform for nuclear power training at Naval Support Activity Charleston in South Carolina.