Ho'okele Staff | Aug 11, 2012
Rear Adm. Frank Ponds
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific
Last week, our Navy concluded a very successful Rim of the Pacific Exercise — the biggest and most comprehensive RIMPAC ever. The Sailors, civilians and family members of region and MIDPAC can and should be very proud of their contributions and hard work that made for a successful RIMPAC 2012.
Congratulations to USS Lake Erie, USS Chosin, USS Port Royal, USS Paul Hamilton, USS Chafee, USS Chung-Hoon, USS Crommelin and USS Reuben James for your stellar performance in RIMPAC, working alongside our allies, friends and partners.
This year’s theme was “capable, adaptive partners.” It is a theme that can apply to everything we do this year, even after RIMPAC.
The CNO says in his tenets that we must “be ready to fight and win today, while building the ability to win tomorrow.” We must operate forward to “provide options to deter, influence and win in an era of uncertainty.” And we need to be ready at all times. We must “harness the teamwork, talent and imagination of our diverse force to be ready to fight and responsibly employ our resources.”
USS O’Kane is currently forward-deployed, working with international partners and part of our Navy’s leading edge in deterring aggression and keeping the sea lanes free and open.
USS Hopper began a major selected restricted availability July 26 in the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, one of the largest tenant commands at Joint Base Pearl HarborHickam. The maintenance period is needed to keep Rear Adm. “Amazing Grace” Hopper’s namesake on the cutting edge of technology—innovative, modernized and ready.
USS Russell completed an extended deployment just 16 weeks ago, and the ship and crew, and families, are to be commended for their commitment to national security in real-world operations in the western Pacific, East Asia, Indian Ocean and Middle East.
I recognize the long deployment. long hours and extra workload USS Russell has endured and the dedication by everyone involved, from the deck plates to the bridge, from every Sailor and family member. You have my deep gratitude.
It’s not easy being on the front lines, which is where our MIDPAC warships operate routinely. Our Sailors and families make sacrifices every day to preserve peace, ensure the free flow of commerce, and protect the safety of our nation.
Our Sailors’ and families’ commitment to readiness, as demonstrated on deployment, during RIMPAC and all along the waterfront, is in keeping with the highest ideals of Navy Ethos and our core values.
Our ships, guests and visiting dignitaries received the best possible welcome and assistance from our installations.
Thank you, Pearl HarborHickam and PMRF—military service members and civilians alike—for your red carpet treatment to our visitors and excellent training support that helped make the exercise so successful.
RIMPAC 2012 is in the history books, but our optempo and pace of change here in Hawaii will continue. As CNO Adm. Greenert says, Hawaii is the gateway to all of Asia and beyond. The work you do is strategically important to our Navy and our nation. The Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific team is making a global difference in protecting maritime freedom and preserving peace.
Mahalo nui loa.