Honolulu's namesake ship is preparing to say farewell to its island home after two decades of service.
USS Honolulu (SSN 718), which is scheduled to inactivate next year, will hold a farewell ceremony April 15 prior to departing Hawaii on her final deployment to the Western Pacific.
"This is an exciting and challenging time for us," said Cmdr. John Russ, the nuclear-powered attack submarine's commanding officer. "We're preparing to leave our homeport for the last time, and at the same time we're going through the normal challenges associated with getting the ship ready to deploy."
The submarine is currently in the third week of a pre-deployment maintenance upkeep period in Pearl Harbor. When she leaves Hawaii for her deployment some time after April 15, it will likely be the last time the submarine ever sees Pearl Harbor. The ship is scheduled to return directly to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash., following its deployment to begin inactivation.
Honolulu has been homeported in Pearl Harbor for most of her operational life. After being commissioned in 1985, she moved to Hawaii to join the Pacific Fleet in September 1986. She has completed nine deployments to the Western Pacific, participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, and conducted operations under the Arctic ice. The submarine has received an impressive array of awards, including six Battle "E"s.
Current and past crew members, as well as elected officials and community members from Hawaii, will honor Honolulu at the April 15 ceremony at Pearl Harbor. Vice Adm. Jonathan Greenert, who currently commands the U.S. 7th Fleet
in Yokosuka, Japan, will be guest speaker at the April 15 event. Greenert commanded Honolulu from 1991 to 1993.
Honolulu is the third ship named
in honor of the city of Honolulu. She was launched in September 1983 and commissioned in July 1985, becoming the 97th attack nuclear submarine (SSN), and the 31st of the Los Angeles-class SSNs delivered to the Navy.
The submarine has the ability to conduct a broad spectrum of warfare missions. In addition to her traditional role of seeking out surface ships and submarines, Honolulu is capable of launching strikes, operating with special operations forces, and conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
From Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs