Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam: The next step in partnership
By Col. Andrew Hockman, 15th Airlift Wing Joint Basing director
/ Published January 28, 2010
HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii -- Continuing more than 70 years of serving side-by-side with our U.S. Navy Partners here at Pearl Harbor, we begin a new chapter as we stand up Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Jan. 31.
Just as we operate jointly in the AORs across the globe, with Initial Operational Capability of the Joint Base we solidify this new partnership at our home base as we combine our installation support functions into one high-performance team.
The new joint base structure will directly affect more than 600 military and nearly 1,200 civilians on Hickam; most coming from the 15th Mission Support Group and selected portions of the 15th Airlift Wing Staff, as they merge into the new Joint Base organization. Currently, functional working groups, Joint Base departments and special staffs are completing implementation plans and standard operating procedures, moving toward phased function activations on Feb. 1 and June1, and Full Operational Capability on Oct. 1.
While most segments of the joint installation's support forces will be merging, the shift should be barely noticeable to operational units and families residing on the base. Most important, service levels for the joint base should actually improve as the new common output levels marry the best practices and delivery standards across all services, and provide additional manpower and resources to meet those standards.
At Pearl Harbor-Hickam the 15th Airlift Wing retains essentially unchanged missions for the 15th AW operations, maintenance and medical groups -- along with its core mission functions of Airfield Operations and Explosive Ordnance Disposal. Also unaffected are the many other supported units and tenants on the joint base -- Pacific Air Forces, Air Mobility Command, 13th Air Force and our Total Force partners in the Hawaii Air National Guard.
There may be some growing pains associated with the overall consolidation in the beginning, however, both the Air Force and Navy already conduct missions in the multi-service joint environment around the world every day. With careful planning and execution over three years in the making, using a time-phased approach, and learning the lessons from the bases a year ahead of us in this journey, we hope to keep any "pain" to a minimum.
The more we can function together in how we prepare and support our Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines in-garrison, the better we can function together in projecting peace and power in the Pacific, and beyond.