By Senior Airman Christopher Stoltz, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Public Affairs
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam welcomed a former Navy Region Hawaii commander home Feb. 6-9 as Vice Adm. Dixon R. Smith, commander, Navy Installations Command, visited Hawaii.
The visit could be considered a homecoming for Smith as he was the former Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific commander from 2008 to November 2011.
Navy Installations Command, also known as the CNIC Enterprise, includes 11 regions, 69 installations and 123 naval operations support centers (NOSC).
It is also responsible for 31 business lines and 122 critical shore capabilities across three major categories: operations, quality of life and facilities management. The command oversees a $10 billion budget with more than 52,000 military and civilian personnel.
This visit marks the first time Smith has been to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam since his assumption of command of CNIC on Oct. 24, 2014.
During his three days in Hawaii, he visited several areas of Oahu, including the Hickam side of joint base, Ford Island, Camp Smith, Wahiawa Annex and various stops at Pearl Harbor, such as Sailor’s Attic.
Quartermaster 1st Class Aaron Martinez, one of the Sailors working at the Sailor’s Attic, was able to explain to him why the attic is so self-sufficient.
“We spend a decent amount of time here,” he explained to the vice admiral. “We usually come in a little early and stay late to ensure everything is sorted, so when the next person comes in, everything is ready to go,” Martinez said.
He explained how the civilian volunteers help them achieve a high level of efficiency and that they could not do it without their assistance. Lastly, he explained the Sailor’s Attic is able to operate thanks to the donations it receives and the efforts of volunteers.
Smith left the Sailor’s Attic and headed to the Fort Kamehameha housing area later that morning, where he learned more about the homes which are considered historic but are in need of refurbishment.
The area is under consideration as a site for a new Navy Inns & Suites recreation center.
Greeting Smith at the Fort Kamehameha housing area was Navy Cmdr. Marcus Williamson, JBPHH JB4 facilities management division director, NAVFAC Hawaii. Williamson was able to provide Smith with a brief tour of the area. He explained that although the area may require effort to restore, the benefits will outweigh the costs.
“Having Vice Adm. Smith here was great,” said Williamson.
“Joint Base Pearl Harbor -Hickam has a unique opportunity to restore historically-significant housing for both the state of Hawaii and the military, while fulfilling a shortfall in temporary housing. I look forward to developing a path forward that will help us meet these objectives.”