USS PEARL HARBOR, At sea –- The dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) is underway once again following a Nov. 21-23 port visit to its historic namesake of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Cmdr. Homer Denius, USS Pearl Harbor’s commanding officer, said every visit to the place where the ship earned her namesake is a special visit.
“The men and women aboard this ship earned the break,” said Denius. “They’ve put in the hours and hard work to make the ship ready and Pearl Harbor was just the place to prepare and reflect on the deployment ahead.”
During the port visit, USS Pearl Harbor Sailors and embarked Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit took part in Morale, Welfare and Recreation sponsored tours, sporting events and cultural awareness programs.
Denius also said he feels it’s important for the crew to have a connection with Pearl Harbor. He said it should be a reminder that anything can happen and that they must be prepared when it does.
“When we take this ship around the world, we proudly carry with it the name ‘Pearl Harbor,’” said Denius. “We carry the memories of what happened that day in 1941. We carry the knowledge that the unexpected can happen anytime and that we must be prepared to meet these challenges head on.”
“I’ve seen what this crew is capable of and I know that they are ready for anything,” added Denius.
Denius also said he and several other crew members have had the privilege of meeting survivors of the attack on multiple occasions.
One such occasion was just over a week ago, when a group of survivors gathered to see the ship depart San Diego for the current deployment.
“I truly believe that they are very proud of their ship and we are proud and honored that they were able to come out and see the ship deploy,” said Pearl Harbor’s Command Master Chief Todd Gruchalla. “They’re just incredible people and it is amazing to sit and talk with them and hear their stories.”
Pearl Harbor deployed Nov. 14 in support of the Navy’s Maritime Strategy, along with the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18), which make up the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group.
The mission of the Makin Island ARG is to help provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas and provide humanitarian/disaster response as well as supporting the Navy’s Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.