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Honolulu III (SSN-718)

Image related to Honolulu III
Caption: Honolulu III (SSN-718) Seal.

(SSN-718: displacement 6,927 (submerged), 6,090 (surfaced); length 360’; beam 33’; draft 32’; speed 20+ knots (submerged), 20+ knots (surfaced); complement 127; armament 4 Mk. 48 torpedo tubes, ADCAP torpedo, Harpoon, Tomahawk cruise missiles.)

The capital of Hawaii.


Background on Name: The third ship named in honor of the capital city of Honolulu, Hawaii. The first was a cargo ship (1918-1919) that earned a World War I Victory Medal for her service. The second was a light cruiser (CL-48) commissioned on 15 Jun 1938 at New York Navy Yard. Honolulu (CL-48) earned 9 Battle Stars in action at Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, Tassafaronga, Saipan, Guam, Caroline Islands and Leyte Gulf.

Specifications (includes armament and major systems at commissioning date):

Shipbuilder: Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia.

Keel Laid: 10 November 1981

Launched: 24 September 1983

Sponsor: Mrs. Joan B. Clark wife of The Honorable William P. Clark, former Secretary of the Interior and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

Commissioned: 6 July 1985, Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.

Decommissioned: In commission, in reserve 01 November 2006

Strike Date: n/a

Final Disposition: n/a

Ship Insignia:

The central theme of the design is a tiki image of "Kuka'ilimoku," the Hawaiian god of war. During the wars of Hawaiian unification by Kamehameha, the first King of Hawaii (1790-1832), it was believed that Kamehameha took on the power (or "mana") of Kuka'ilimoku during battle. The pennant with the ships' motto "Maka'ala Mau", meaning "Always on the alert," centered in a blue field represents both the commissioning pennant as well as the colors of the national ensign. The diesel boat and dolphins illustrate the submarine's heritage. The palm trees are typical of the Hawaiian Islands and compliment the symbolism of the tiki, as well as add color to the design.

Chronology and Significant Events:

6 Jul 1985: Commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk, VA.

26 Aug – 28 Sep 1985: Honolulu departed Norfolk, VA for her first extended at-sea period. She sailed to Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico for Weapons System Accuracy Trials (WSAT) following which she made a brief port visit to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Honolulu completed acoustic trials at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) prior to returning to Norfolk on 28 Sep.

Oct – Dec 1985: In early October, Honolulu completed Harpoon Weapons Certification and began workup for her first Operational Reactor Safeguards Examination (ORSE). Honolulu completed her ORSE from 22-23 October with an overall grade of average. Following ORSE, Honolulu sailed to AUTEC for MK-48 Torpedo Certification (11 Nov). Honolulu returned to Norfolk in time for the holidays.

Jan – Feb 1986: Honolulu participated in the Atlantic Fleet Submarine Exercise LANTSUBASWEX 3-86 and FLEETEX 1-86.

10 Mar - 9 Aug 1986: Honolulu underwent Post Shakedown Availability (PSA) at Newport News Shipyard.

25 Aug 1986: Honolulu departed Norfolk and sailed toward Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. En route she stopped for a liberty call in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

6 Sep 1986: Honolulu transited the Panama Canal and turned south to the Equator for a "Shellback Ceremony." One hundred and eleven Pollywogs are initiated into the "Order of the Deep King Neptune."

21 Sep 1986: Honolulu arrived in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii with much fanfare. She “toured the Waikiki waterfront less than one mile from shore escorted by many small pleasure crafts. Upon entering Pearl Harbor the ship paused for a salute at the Arizona War Memorial before receiving a warm 'Welcome Home' ceremony at the Hotel Pier that included Hula dancers, an escort of outrigger canoes, and a speech by the City of Honolulu Mayor, Frank Fasi.”

Oct – Dec 1986: Honolulu spent the remainder of the year in port completing a Nuclear Weapons Acceptance Inspection (NWAI) and Supply Management Inspection (SMI).

Jan – Apr 1987: Honolulu began a busy year at sea participating in FLEETEX 1-87 and Prospective Commanding Officer Operations (PCO OPS). Following these events she began her Pre-Overseas Movement (POM) cycle including Pre-Deployment Training (PDT) and upkeep in March and April.

12 May 1987: Underway from Pearl Harbor for a western Pacific deployment.

22 May 1987: In port Moen, Truk Island, thus becoming the first warship since World War II to enter that port. Unfortunately, when departing Moen, Honolulu touched aground forcing the ship to Guam for minor rudder repairs.

15 Jun 1987: Underway from Guam for operations.

19 Aug 1987: In port Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines for liberty. Following her stay in Subic Bay, the submarine sailed to Yokosuka, Japan for a upkeep. With minor repairs complete, Honolulu then sailed for Hong Kong on 8 September.

11 – 16 Sep 1987: In port Hong Kong for five days of liberty.

13 -21 Oct 1987: Honolulu returned to Yokosuka, Japan for her last upkeep prior to heading home.

30 Oct 1987: Returned to Pearl Harbor.

Nov – Dec 1987: In port Pearl Harbor for holiday stand down and upkeep.

7 Jan 1988: Honolulu entered dry dock at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for her first Selective Restricted Availability (SRA).

30 May – Jun 1988: Honolulu departed Pearl Harbor to begin at sea testing of new sonar systems and to participate in RIMPAC 88, a multi-national fleet exercise involving forces from Japan, Canada, Australia, and the United States. Following RIMPAC, Honolulu enjoyed a liberty call in San Diego over the Fourth of July weekend.

Jul – Aug 1988: On the return voyage to Pearl Harbor, Honolulu completed an unscheduled ORSE. Following a two week upkeep, the boat returned to sea to participate in PCO OPS with Louisville (SSN 721). This rigorous at sea period took Honolulu to the Barking Sands range off Kauai, ending in a three day liberty stop at Lahaina, Maui and dependents cruise back to Pearl Harbor.

Sep - Dec 1988: Honolulu spent the month of September in upkeep before participating in PACSUBASWEX 89-1 (17-21 Oct) and conducting systems testing required for deployment.

27 Dec 1988: Underway from Pearl Harbor for her second western Pacific deployment.

29 Jan 1989: Following a month long mission, Honolulu visited Yokosuka, Japan for a ten day upkeep.

09 Feb 1989: Underway for PACSUBASWEX 89-2.

24 Feb – 9 Mar 1989: In port Subic Bay, Philippines for upkeep and liberty. “The crew enjoyed the sights and sounds the friendly population had to offer and several crewmembers assisted in a COMSEVENTHFLT public affairs office request to help paint a local village school.”

Mar – Apr 1989: Honolulu sailed to Hong Kong and moored alongside the fleet ocean tug Sioux (T-ATF-171). The crew enjoyed five days of liberty in the city. “Many took advantage of the China Fleet Club’s exchange and did some serious shopping for everything from oriental rugs to fine china to tailor made clothing. Everyone agreed that this was the best stop of the entire deployment.” Following the port visit, Honolulu embarked on a month long operation.

30 Apr – 4 May 1989: In port Chinhae, South Korea for a rigorous upkeep alongside the submarine tender Proteus (AS 19). “Crew members took advantage of the few off hours they had to explore the areas around Chinhae and Pusan, enjoying the local color and flavor.”

14 Jun 1989: Honolulu completed another operation and sailed to Guam for a post- operation upkeep alongside Proteus.

28 Jun 1989: Return to port Pearl Harbor.

Jul – Aug 1989: After post-deployment stand down, Honolulu prepared for the Naval Technical Proficiency Inspection (NTPI). The ship completed the NTPI and received orders to deploy to the North Pacific.

8 Sep 1989: Underway from Pearl Harbor for northern Pacific operations.

30 Oct 1989: Return to port Pearl Harbor.

Nov – Dec 1989: Honolulu spent the remainder of the year alternating in port upkeep and at sea services for various surface ships. The ship entered dry dock on 1 December.

Jan – Apr 1990: Underway for local research and development operations. Completed TRE in February and returned to port for upkeep in March and April.

28 May 1990: Underway from Pearl Harbor for north Pacific operations.

28 Jul 1990: Return to port Pearl Harbor.

Aug – Sep 1990: Honolulu conducted PCO OPS and completed a successful ORSE.

Oct – Nov 1990: Honolulu entered Pearl Harbor’s floating dry dock Resolute (AFMD-6) for SRA.

Dec 1990: Honolulu completed sea trials and a shakedown cruise prior to returning to Pearl Harbor for holiday stand down.

Jan – Mar 1991: Honolulu spent the first quarter primarily at sea for PCO OPS, TRE and Tactical Weapons Proficiency. She returned to Pearl Harbor for her final POM upkeep prior to deployment.

23 May 1991: Underway from Pearl Harbor for western Pacific deployment.

May – Nov 1991: Honolulu conducted a successful deployment completing missions vital to national security and participated in operations with both Japanese and Korean naval forces. Honolulu also visited Yokosuka, Japan; Chinhae, South Korea; Sasebo, Japan; Guam and Singapore.

Dec 1991: Following stand down, Honolulu conducted a dependents cruise from Oahu to Kona. The crew enjoyed holiday stand down for the rest of the month.

Jan – Mar 1992: Honolulu completed a series of vigorous local operations (7-24 Jan) and PCO OPS (31 Jan-14 Feb). Honolulu returned for an arduous upkeep (17 Feb-20 Mar). Honolulu departed Pearl Harbor to begin TRE workup on 23 Mar.

Apr – Jun 1992: Honolulu completed TRE from April 27-29 and participated in PACSUBASWEX 92-3 (6-18 May), an exercise that involved four submarines developing active sonar tactics. The ship spent the following month in upkeep (19 May-19 Jun). Following upkeep, Honolulu began workup for RIMPAC ’92.

7 - 23 Jul 1992: Underway for Eastern Pacific deployment and RIMPAC ’92. This international naval exercise involved vessels from the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan and South Korea.

23 Jul – 26 Aug 1992: Honolulu visited several ports along the western United States and Canada including San Diego, CA; Alameda, CA; Bangor, WA; Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada; and Esquimalt, British Columbia, Canada. While visiting Nanaimo, Honolulu participated in the Nanoose Torpedo Test Range Exercise assisting in torpedo development.

Sep 1992 – Mar 1994: Honolulu returned to Pearl Harbor for a Depot Modernization Period (DMP), spending eighteen (18) months undergoing modernization work.

Apr – Aug 1994: Honolulu left dry dock on 7 April and began an intense crew training period. From May through August Honolulu completed Phase I, II and III crew certification.

3 – 19 Oct 1994: Underway for Tactical Weapons Certification.

26 Oct – 13 Dec 1994: Underway for Eastern Pacific deployment where Honolulu conducted joint U.S. and Canadian operations. She enjoyed port calls in Nanoose, British Columbia, Canada (4-8 Nov); Esquimalt, British Columbia, Canada (10-14 Nov); Alameda, CA (25-30 Nov); and San Diego, CA (3-6 Dec). Honolulu returned to Pearl Harbor in time for holiday stand down.

Jan – Mar 1995: Honolulu spent the month of January underway for local operations, a VIP cruise (13 Jan) and a dependents cruise (14-17 Jan). Upon her return she completed a short upkeep.

Apr – Jun 1995: In April Honolulu participated in ENCOUNTEREX with the Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) battle group (17-25 Apr). She completed TRE work up and inspection for much of May (3-19 May). From 20 May to 5 July Honolulu completed her final POM upkeep prior to deployment.

Jul 1995: Honolulu completed Tactical Weapons Proficiency (TWP) (10-15 Jul) and POMCERT (21-28 Jul).

10 Aug 1995: Underway from Pearl Harbor for Western Pacific deployment.

Aug 1995 – Feb 1996: Throughout deployment Honolulu conducted operations vital to national security. She visited Yokosuka, Japan (21-31 Aug and 10-28 Oct); Singapore (8-16 Sep); Pattaya Beach, Thailand (19-24 Sep); Guam (24 Dec-8 Jan) and Brisbane, Australia (19-24 Jan).

7 Feb 1996: Return to port Pearl Harbor.

Feb – Mar 1996: Honolulu completed a short upkeep in March after enjoying some post deployment stand down.

Apr – Jun 1996: Starting in April, Honolulu spent several weeks underway providing TRE support for submarines Tautog (SSN-639), Pasadena (SSN-752) and Henry M. Jackson (SSBN-730). Honolulu enjoyed a dependents cruise to Maui (10-14 May) and a VIP cruise (15 May) prior to participating in RIMPAC ’96. From May through June Honolulu participated with the Independence (CV 62) battle group in RIMPAC ’96 providing valuable training for all ships involved.

18 Jun – 4 Aug 1996: In port Pearl Harbor for IMA upkeep.

Aug – Dec 1996: Honolulu completed several inspections including TWP (22 Aug – 6 Sep), TRE (10-19 Sep) and ORSE (14-27 Nov). She also provided support to submarines Louisville (SSN 724) and Charlotte (SSN 766) prior to holiday stand down.

Jan 1997: In port for POM upkeep and training.

Feb 1997: Honolulu completed POMCERT (9-13 Feb) before enjoying some pre deployment stand down. During this time she also hosted photographer Brian Wolfe who took numerous photos for his book “From the Sea.”

3 Mar 1997: Underway from Pearl Harbor for Western Pacific deployment.

Mar – Aug 1997: Honolulu completed a successful deployment conducting operations vital to national security. She also participated in Exercise SEA EAGLE ’97, an operation with the Royal Thai Navy and P-3 patrol craft. Honolulu enjoyed several port visits including Okinawa, Japan on 3 May. Honolulu visited Pattaya Beach, Thailand from 12-17 May where she, along with sailors from USS Curts (FFG-38), Independence (CV-62), and Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54) made structural, electrical and esthetic repairs to a school for homeless children. While in Sasebo, Japan (24 May-3 Jun and 6 Jul), Honolulu hosted several dignitaries including Rear Admiral Kazunari Doke, Chief of Staff for the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Sasebo District; Mr. Hideyake Miyajima, General Manager of Holiday Inn Sasebo and Mr. Yutaka Kawachi, a senior official from Shinwa Bank. While in Guam (29 Jul-6 Aug), Honolulu assisted in the effort to rescue victims of the Korean Airlines Flight 801 plane crash and she completed a maintenance availability.

27 Aug 1997: Return to port Pearl Harbor.

20 Oct 1997 – 30 Jan 1998: In port for SRA.

Feb 1998: After completing Sea Trials (31 Jan-1 Feb), Honolulu conducted PCO OPS (9-14 Feb).

Mar 1998: Honolulu spent the beginning of March hosting several guests including the New Zealand Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade, the Honorable Derek Quigley. Honolulu also hosted U.S. Luge Olympians Gordy Sheer and Brian Martin and members of the “721 Club.”

15 Mar – 2 Apr 1998: Honolulu sailed to Submarine Base Bangor, Washington and the South East Alaska Facility (SEAFAC) Acoustic trials range where she completed sound trials. In Bangor, she participated in the first ever fast attack submarine TLAM loading exercise at Strategic weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC).

Apr – Jun 1998: Honolulu provided TRE and TWP support for various ships (15-27 Apr) prior to successfully completing her TWP (28-30 Apr). Honolulu completed a surprise ORSE from May 5-6. She then held a dependent’s cruise in Lahaina, Maui (9-11 May) before returning to Pearl Harbor to enter dry dock. On 4 Jun Honolulu entered dry dock at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

Jul – Sep 1998: Honolulu left the dry dock on 9 Jul and completed Sea Trials on 28-30 Jul. She participated in PCO OPS (2-15 Aug) before enjoying a port visit to Kona, HI (21-24 Aug). Honolulu spent the month of September preparing for the upcoming deployment.

Oct – Dec 1998: Honolulu spent much of the time at sea preparing for her TRE and POMCERT. She completed both inspections on 14-18 Dec. On 22 October, CDR Haney received the VADM Stockdale Leadership Award in Washington, D.C.

4 Jan 1999: Underway from Pearl Harbor for western Pacific operations.

Jan – Jul 1999: Honolulu completed a western Pacific deployment conducting operations vital to national security. Honolulu also participated in the multi-national exercise Tandem Thrust where she simulated attacks on the carrier Kitty Hawk (CV-63) and various American, Australian and Canadian warships. While deployed Honolulu hosted several special guests and dignitaries including RADM Masanori Ogino of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force. Honolulu enjoyed port visits in Yokosuka, Japan (13-22 Jan and 7-21 Jun); Guam (4-18 Apr); Okinawa, Japan (20-24 Apr); Sasebo, Japan (15-17 May); and Phattaya Beach, Thailand (24-30 May).

1 Jul 1999: Return to port Pearl Harbor.

Jul – Sep 1999: This time period was marked by several significant VIP tours starting with a visit from officers LCOL Cheong, LCOL Lee and CAPT Liow of the Singapore Royal Navy (21 Jul). On 23 July Honolulu hosted The Republic of Korea Ambassador, Sung, National Defense Assembly Committee Chairman, Mr. Han, Assembly members Mr. Hur, Mr. Lee and Mr. Bin and Military Representative, CDR Choi.

12 Oct – 23 Nov 1999: Underway for EASTPAC ’99 where Honolulu participated in several exercises including FLEETEX and JTFEX with the John C. Stennis (CVN-74) Battle Group. Honolulu enjoyed a brief stop in Bangor, WA (18-22 Oct) before launching an exercise Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM). Honolulu also visited San Diego, CA (27-29 Oct and 8-12 Nov) before returning to Pearl Harbor on 23 November.

Dec 1999: Honolulu spent the month preparing for Mine Certification and enjoyed holiday stand down.

Jan – Mar 2000: Honolulu spent the first quarter of the year alternating in port upkeep and at sea operations and inspections. During this period Honolulu completed Mine Readiness Certification Inspection (MRCI) and Torpedo Exercise (10-14 Jan), Combat systems Readiness Review (CSRR) (18-26 Jan), PCO OPS (27 Jan-11 Feb), INSURV (15-16 Feb) and ORSE (28 Feb-16 Mar).

16 Mar – 25 Apr 2000: In port Pearl Harbor for POM Upkeep.

25 Apr – 5 May 2000: Underway for noise evaluation.

5 May – 16 Jun 2000: In port Pearl Harbor or upkeep and pre-deployment training.

Jul – Aug 2000: Honolulu completed PDT and completed a final POM upkeep prior to successfully completing POMCERT.

7 Sep 2000: Underway from Pearl Harbor for western Pacific deployment.

Sep 2000 – Feb 2001: Honolulu conducted missions vital to national security. She participated in two multinational exercises, Exercise Foal Eagle and exercise Annualex. Honolulu enjoyed port visits in Yokosuka, Japan (18-22 Sep, 18-21 Nov and 24-31 Dec); Chinhea, Korea (20-22 Oct); Sasebo, Japan (2-8 Nov).

21 Aug 2002 - 13 Apr 2003: Underway from Pearl Harbor for western Pacific deployment.

Apr - Sep 2003: Local operations, Hawaiian Operations Area.

Sep - Nov 2003: Underway from Pearl Harbor for northern Pacific Arctic deployment.

Nov 2003 - May 2004: Local operations, Hawaiian Operations Area.

9 Feb 2004: Honolulu hosts professional golfer Michelle Wie for a VIP tour.

Jun - Oct 2004: Underway from Pearl Harbor for western Pacific deployment.

14 Apr 2006: Senator Daniel Inouye, Lieutenant Governor James Aiona, and Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Gary Roughead joined past and current crewmembers of the Honolulu to bid farewell to the nuclear powered attack submarine.

13 May 2006: Underway from Pearl Harbor for final western Pacific deployment.

1 Nov 2006: Honolulu returns to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for inactivation, decommissioning and recycling. In an unusual decision to actually recycle part of the submarine, the shipyard planned to transplant the bow of retiring Honolulu onto submarine San Francisco (SSN-711), which had been severely damaged after it ran into an underwater sea mount off Guam in 2005.

Home Port Assignments Date  
Norfolk, Virginia 6 Jul 1985
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 21 Sep 1986

Squadron/Group Assignments Date
Submarine Squadron 8 24 Sep 1983
Submarine Squadron 7 21 Sep 1986
Submarine Squadron 3 17 Jul 1997

Commanding Officers Date Assumed Command
Captain Robert M. Mitchell 24 May 1983
Commander Thomas J. Flanagan 19 Jul 1985
Commander Joseph E. Enright 10 May 1988
Commander Jonathan W. Greenert 19 Mar 1991
Commander David L. Jones 27 Jul 1993
Commander Cecil D. Haney 28 Jun 1996
Commander John Richardson 10 Jun 1999
Commander Chuck Harris 2002
Commander John Russ 21 Oct 2004

Major Overseas Deployments    
Date of Departure Date of Return Area of Operations
12 May 1987 30 Oct 1987 Western Pacific
27 Dec 1988 28 Jun 1989 Western Pacific
9 Sep 1989 30 Oct 1989 Northern Pacific
28 May 1990 28 Jul 1990 Northern Pacific
23 May 1991 Nov 1991 Western Pacific
7 Jul 1992 26 Aug 1992 Eastern Pacific
26 Oct 1994 13 Dec 1994 Eastern Pacific
10 Aug 1995 7 Feb 1996 Western Pacific
3 Mar 1997 27 Aug 1997 Western Pacific
4 Jan 1999 1 Jul 1999 Western Pacific
7 Sep 2000 Feb 2001 Western Pacific
21 Aug 2002 13 Apr 2003 Western Pacific
Sep 2003 10 Nov 2003 High Arctic
1 Jun 2004 Oct 2004 Western Pacific
13 May 2006 Oct 2006 Western Pacific

Unit Awards Received

Navy “E” (1 Oct 1989 – 30 Sep 1990)
  (1 Oct 1990 – 30 Sep 1991)
  (1 Oct 1991 – 30 Sep 1992)
  (1 Jan 1995 – 31 Dec 1995)
  (1 Jan 1997 – 31 Dec 1997)
  (1 Jan 2002 – 31 Dec 2002)
Meritorious Unit Commendation (1 Jan 1989 – 1 Jan 1990)
  (1 Jun 1991 – 30 Nov 1991)
  (1 Jun 1994 – 28 Feb 1996)
  (1 Sep 2000 – 1 Mar 2001)

Command Histories Submitted

1985-2000, 2004

Published: Mon Jul 20 08:46:28 EDT 2015