USS Pearl Harbor visits namesake port

Sailors assigned to amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) load supplies while moored at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam during a port visit to its namesake, July 14, before returning to its homeport in San Diego. Photos by MC3 Justin R. Pacheco

MC3 Tarra Samoluk

Commander, Amphibious Squadron 3 Public Affairs

The crew of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) arrived in Pearl Harbor for their first scheduled port visit of their 2017 deployment, July 14.

The ship’s arrival at its namesake location marks the first time Pearl Harbor has visited Hawaii since completing Pacific Partnership in 2013, followed by a nearly two-anda-half-year long maintenance period.

“It is only fitting that our first port visit after a major overhaul and work-up period should be to our namesake, Pearl Harbor,” said Cmdr. Theodore Essenfeld, Pearl Harbor’s commanding officer. “After a 25-month extended docking phased maintenance availability and a year of extensive training and certifications, Pearl Harbor has essentially been resurrected from the ship she was in 2013.”

The ship is arriving with various defense capabilities in its arsenal, to include .50-caliber Browning machine gun mounts, Phalanx close-in weapons systems, rolling airframe missiles, and more.

“If you look at the phoenix rising on our ship’s crest, memorializing the rising of our fleet to power after the devastating attack of Dec. 7, 1941, you can see how appropriate the symbolism is for us now,” said Essenfeld. “We’re not a new ship, but we feel like one. With all new systems, new capabilities, a new crew, it’s like the ship is reborn and the crew is ready to flex their muscles, ready to do our nation’s bidding. We’re not looking for a fight, but we’re ready for one if called upon.”

The events following the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 represent the United States military’s capabilities to recover from such a devastating attack and rally the troops to mobilize.

“As Sailors aboard this ship, we get the opportunity every day to represent the fighting spirit of Pearl Harbor,” said Ensign Kris Rodriguez, Pearl Harbor’s administrative officer. “To finally be able to bring her back to her namesake location, where so much history took place, is a very humbling experience. I know many of us are truly looking forward to seeing firsthand the place where so much history has happened.”

While Hawaii is a working port for Pearl Harbor, with departmental inspections, equipment onloads, and scheduled maintenance, Sailors and Marines will still be able to experience Hawaii and explore Pearl Harbor’s history, such as the USS Arizona Memorial.

“We’ve put together a two-hour remembrance tour, which will consist of a harbor cruise that will most notably include the USS Arizona memorial,” said Command Master Chief Thane Douglass, Pearl Harbor’s command master chief. “This is an amazing opportunity for Sailors and Marines from the namesake ship to visit the memorial for the first time in almost five years. It’s a great chance for our Sailors and Marines aboard to really soak up the heritage and history, and really take pride in being a part of Pearl Harbor.”

After visiting Hawaii, Pearl Harbor will continue on her scheduled deployment as a part of the America Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS

Category: News