JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – Today Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY & IMF) celebrated the centennial anniversary of Dry Dock One. U.S. Rep. Ed Case, (HI-1), Mayor Kirk Caldwell, City and County of Honolulu, Rear Adm. Robert Chadwick, Commander Naval Region Hawaii/Commander Naval Group Middle Pacific, shipyard commander, Capt. Greg Burton, and the Ali`i Pauahi Hawaiian Civic Club participated in today’s ceremonies held at Dry Dock One and historic Building One.
In a celebration that highlighted both the shipyard history and the local history and heritage of the land, Kahu Winston Lum, Sr. and Kahu Bruce Keaulani of the Ali`i Pauahi Hawaiian Civic Club honored Dry Dock One with the name Keaoonāmanō, meaning The Realm of the Sharks. Building One also received the Hawaiian name of Keaowāmaluhia, or The Light in the Time of Peace.
In delivering his address, Case highlighted the importance of reflecting on the past, but also the importance of looking to the future and shipyard’s role in national defense.
“As our host culture took special care of this special place for so many years, so too does our military now, in fulfillment to our nation and world.”
Mayor Caldwell expressed his gratitude for the work shipyard employees do and their long history of protecting the citizens of Hawaii and supporting the Navy.
“It is a real honor to be here with those who live here, who are from here, who support and back up those who put their lives on the line.”
Capt. Greg Burton, shipyard commander, talked about the importance of working with local partners and had praise for the Hawaiian names, saying that the connection to sharks was particularly applicable to the shipyard.
“These ancestors act as guardians or protectors. They would keep the harbor safe, allowing Hawaiians to fish and feed their families. And I believe Dry Dock One, and those who have worked in and around it have also played the role of protector for a century.”
Rear Adm. Chadwick noted the shared values between Hawaiian and Navy culture.
“This one hundred years is a story of two cultures and their shared values,” he said. “It is an incredible story and an amazing legacy.”
Building One is the administration building and historic headquarters of the 14th Naval District. Its basement was home to Station HYPO where codebreakers intercepted the Empire of Japan’s war plans, which was critical intelligence that eventually led to U.S. victory at the Battle of Midway.
In 1913, during initial construction of the dry dock, it imploded and many locals concluded that it was because it was being built on a sacred site: the home belonging to the ancestors of a shark goddess. After many offerings and a Hawaiian blessing at the site, the dry dock was rebuilt and has worked dutifully for 100 years.
The dry dock was ceremonially opened on August 21, 1919, by Mrs. Josephus Daniels, wife of the Secretary of the Navy. Ultimately, Dry Dock One cost $5 million to build. The first ship floated into place on October 1, 1919.
PHNSY & IMF is a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command and a one-stop regional maintenance center for the Navy’s surface ships and submarines. It is the largest industrial employer in the state of Hawaii, with a combined civilian and military workforce of approximately 6,000. It is the most comprehensive fleet repair and maintenance facility between the U.S. West Coast and the Far East, strategically located in the heart of the Pacific, being about a week’s steaming time closer to potential regional contingencies in East Asia.
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