William Cole reported in the Honolulu Star Advertiser “Subs ahoy: five new subs for Pearl Harbor says Inouye” (March 3, 2012) that despite cutbacks in many parts of the defense budget, Senator Inouye has secured assurances from the Navy that the attack submarine fleet will actually increase in Hawai’i, adding to the largest concentration of submarines in the Pacific:
Navy plans over the next two years call for an increase in the number of submarines based at Pearl Harbor or coming for shipyard work, with up to five more subs being added to Hawaii’s 19-boat fleet, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye’s office said.
Among the additions planned are two more Virginia-class attack submarines — one in fiscal year 2013 and another in 2014, Inouye’s office said.
Over the next two years, Pearl Harbor’s surface fleet total will dip to nine from 11 ships, but the additional submarine presence would make up for it, with 30 ships and subs combined, growing to 31 next year and 33 the year after, the Hawaii Democrat’s office said.
The Navy gave assurances that there will be no negative effects on the shipyard workload over the next 10 years, Inouye’s staff said.
The Navy plan for Hawaii calls for the retirement of the cruiser Port Royal and an unidentified frigate in 2013, and the addition of one Virginia-class submarine and two other subs — one from Groton, Conn., and the other from Guam, the senator’s office said.
Groton has 16 submarines that are a combination of older Los Angeles-class and newer Virginia-class attack submarines, while Guam will soon have three attack subs.
Fiscal year 2014 would bring a new destroyer, the Michael Murphy, named after a Pearl Harbor-based SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005; the retirement of the cruiser Chosin; and arrival of two subs: one Virginia-class and one unidentified from Groton, according to Inouye’s office.
Oahu-based military units will convoy from Kawaihae Harbor to Pōhakuloa Training Area on March 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. via Kawaihae Road, Queen Kaahumanu Highway, Waikoloa Road, Mamalahoa Highway and Saddle Road.