U.S Navy Recognized for its Hawaiian Cultural Stewardship and Renewable Energy Initiatives

L-R: Jeff Pantaleo, Cultural Resource Specialist, Cory Campora, Natural Resource Specialist, Patricia Coleman, Environmental Outreach Coordinator, Victor Flint, Joint Base Community Plans and Liason Officer, Master-At-Arms Chief James Wooten, Joint Base Volunteer Coordinator, Captain Nicholas Mongillo, Commanding Officer, Pacific Missile Range Facility, Captain Jeff James, Commander, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Rear Admiral Frank Ponds, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii

Front row, L-R: Sen. Clarence Nishihara, Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, Cory Campora, Jeff Pantaleo, Tom Clements, Master-at-Arms Chief James Wooten, Captain Jeff James (Commander, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam), Rear Admiral Fernandez ‘Frank’ Ponds (Commander, Navy Region Hawaii/Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific), Captain Nicholas Mongillo (Commander, Pacific Missle Range Facility), Victor Flint, Patricia Coleman, Sen. Ron Kouchi, Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, & Sen. Jill Tokuda.  Back row, L-R: Sen. Gil Kahele, Sen. David Ige, Sen. Laura Thielen,  Sen. Malama Solomon, Sen. Mike Gabbard, Sen. Wil Espero, Sen. Kalani English, Sen. Suzanne Chun-Oakland, Sen. Michelle Kidani, Sen. Brian Taniguchi, Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, & Sen. Sam Slom.  [Click photos to enlarge

My Speech Honoring the Navy:

Aloha and good morning!

Today I am honored to recognize the United States Navy for their achievements in promoting environmental and Hawaiian cultural stewardship in the State of Hawai`i, and leading the way to energy security through a number of renewable energy initiatives.

The Navy is thankful for the cultural sharing opportunities available by gratefully accepting invitations to and attending the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo virtually every year since 1964. They also host Makahiki events at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam which the Navy has co-sponsored with the O`ahu Council of Hawaiian Civic Clubs for the past ten years.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam partnered with City, State, Local Legislators, Army Corps of Engineers, Private Businesses and Community Based Organizations to mitigate flooding in Nanakuli and Kapolei, and to reduce dust and prevent fires in the area of Lualualei.

They continue their partnership with Ka`ala Farm, Nanakuli High School, and Kamehameha Schools in clearing brush from Ni`oi`ula Heiau. They have rendered it visible and accessible, and allowed for the education and cultural awareness of the many students whose kupuna have lived there for generations.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam partners with the community, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Hawaii Air National Guard, military and Department of Defense families in the annual National Public Lands Day event. The group maintains the Halealoha Haleamau Burial Platform and removes invasive Pickleweed, and outplants native Hawaiian plant species at Ahua Reef.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam also partnered with various groups to beautify many areas surrounding Navy property, including the Pearl Harbor Bike Path, Nimitz and White Plains Beaches in Kalaeloa, and Pouhala Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam further promotes environmental stewardship by utilizing photovoltaic arrays to lower energy costs in support of U.S. Navy and Department of Defense initiatives, and operating a fuel oil reclamation facility to reduce disposal costs and dependence on foreign oil. They were recently recognized as best in the Navy for energy and water efficiency.

The Kauai Pacific Missile Range Facility (or PMRF), and its partnership with Ke Kula Ni`ihau O Kekaha sustains the educational display of habitat types that existed on the Mana Plain prior to western contact. The partnership also supports educational programs that include remotely piloted water craft and model rockets developed by Kaua`i students.

PMRF has managed light sources to reduce potential for harm to the Newell’s Shearwater and Hawaiian Petrel, both listed by the Endangered Species Act. They have combined wildlife protection and energy savings by replacing light fixtures that reduce both energy consumption and harmful distraction to birds. PMRF continues its partnership with numerous agencies and volunteers to enhance the survival of Laysan Albatross populations located at the facility.

The essence of “Aloha Spirit” is epitomized by the selfless efforts and leadership of our honored guests here with us today. On a personal note, I was raised in large part by my step-grandfather, Fred Calkins. Both he and his son, Fred Jr., served in the Navy for many years. So I am especially greatful for this opportunity to give much deserved recognition to the excellent community service provided by our Navy.

Will the special guests please stand when I announce your name to be recognized, and I ask the audience to please hold their applause until the end of all the introductions:

1) Rear Admiral Frank Ponds, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii

2) Captain Jeff James, Commander, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
3) Captain Nicholas Mongillo, Commanding Officer, Pacific Missile Range Facility
4) Master-at-Arms Chief James Wooten, Joint Base Volunteer Coordinator
5) Victor Flint, Joint Base Community Plans and Liaison Officer
6) Patricia Coleman, Environmental Outreach Coordinator
7) Cory Campora, Natural Resource Specialist
8) Jeff Pantaleo, Cultural Resource Specialist

I ask my colleagues in the Hawaii State Senate and the audience to join me in applauding our Navy’s representatives for their dedication to preserving and protecting the environment and culture of Hawaii.

And now I yield the floor to the Chair of the Senate Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs Committee, Sen. Will Espero.

New Links:

Navy’s Hawaii Webpage

Garden Isle article regarding the Navy being honored at the Senate




Link to Senate Majority Flickr Album for more photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hawaiisenatemajority/sets/72157632980170371/with/8553517502/ 

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