Rear Adm. Rick Williams, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific
Later this month we will bid aloha to Adm. Samuel Locklear, welcome Adm. Harry Harris, who will assume command of U.S. Pacific Command, and welcome back Adm. Scott Swift as new U.S. Pacific Fleet commander.
This is a busy summer of transition throughout our Navy ohana. In the past month, I have seen tremendous examples of what makes the Navy Region ohana so strong, resilient and effective.
Did you know that our Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society raised nearly half a million dollars. That’s Sailors and Marines helping other shipmates, friends and families.
You don’t see that kind of commitment anywhere else in the world – such a strong willingness to help others in need.
The spouses’ organization Boutiki raised $50,000, and all of the profits are donated to help military families. The Armed Services YMCA and other groups in the community dedicate their time and talents – with a lot of help from caring volunteers – in order to assist our loved ones.
Military Appreciation Month is year-round here, especially with support from the Chamber of Commerce, Navy League and Friends of Hickam along with the stakeholder relationships we have with all of our historic partners.
Last month we promoted Earth Day and made it Earth Month. Region [Navy Region Hawaii], MIDPAC, Fleet Logistics Command, Navy Facilities Engineering Command, Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange, and others have worked with state and city and county partners to show what we’re doing for energy conservation, environmental stewardship and sustainability for the future.
I’m especially proud of how U.S. Pacific Fleet, Navy Region Hawaii, MIDPAC and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) have rallied together to bring community leaders and veterans in a national venue through our monthly Pearl Harbor Colors ceremony.
At Pacific Missile Range Facility, we had more than 250 middle school students participate in Earth Day events, and our Sailors and civilians sponsored a huge beach cleanup.
Throughout May, we are reminding people of the tremendous educational opportunities here in Hawaii. Our military team is showing how to work with the schools to share STEM, apprenticeship opportunities, scholarships, music, JROTC and research, and, yes, it is rocket science.
Our installations work tirelessly to build relationships both outside the command and within the fence line.
When several events in recent weeks raised security and safety concerns at JBPHH, we saw swift action and strong cooperation by groups as diverse as Federal Fire Department, Honolulu Police Department, Explosives Ordnance Detachment, Naval Criminal Investigation Service, and base security—all working together as a team.
Working together, we get things done here in Hawaii. We achieve as a community, with a sense of civic duty and responsibility to helping others. When there are misunderstandings or problems to resolve, we know how to work together.
We are fortunate to be so close and so closely tied with U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. Pacific Air Forces, Submarine Force and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, to name a few. People like Mayor Caldwell, Adm. (ret.) Fargo, Tim Guard and Jerry Coffee are part of our ohana.
That strength in leadership, teamwork and mentoring available to us in Hawaii is something we don’t take for granted.
It’s that feeling of ohana that makes Hawaii so special. It’s something I appreciate every day.