The base is often called Hickam Air Force Base, however, an official name change was made in 2010. At that time, Naval Station Pearl Harbor joined with Hickam in accordance with the Base Realignment and Closure Law. The 2005 law realigned 26 separate bases into 12 combined bases, and Hickam was renamed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is located close to Honolulu on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. JBPHH is spread over multiple locations, occupying a combined area of approximately 28,000 acres.
The U.S. Air Force 15th Wing supplies strategic and tactical airlift capabilities to the mission. Its C-17 Globemaster III aircraft is the military’s largest and speediest cargo plane, and it is capable of rapid deployment of troops/cargo. Additionally, the F-22 Raptor strengthens the mission with its power, reach and versatile air-to-ground or air-to-air capabilities.
JBPHH also supports the ships of the Pacific Fleet. It functions as a naval submarine maintenance depot, and plays host to many visiting submariners.
In the early 1900s, Hawaii’s location presented an ideal base from which to promote and monitor U.S. interests in the Far East, and Pearl Harbor was built. In 1911, the USS California was the first of the large warships to enter Pearl Harbor.
In 1917, the War Department procured land on nearby Ford Island, and the U.S. Army built an air facility called Luke Field. Six years later, the U.S. Navy bought the land on the other side of the island and created a naval facility. The naval and air units co-existed side-by-side for many years until they each outgrew their available space. Consequently, the Army Air Corps built a new air base. It was completed and activated in 1938 under the name of Hickam Field.
Housing is provided through a public-private association. There are more than 4,000 housing units but, given the ratio of personnel to units, housing is somewhat limited. Housing applications are coordinated by the Family Housing Office. The office also assists with off-base housing, and it provides listings of temporary accommodations in neighboring communities and Honolulu.
Honolulu is the state capital, as well as its largest city. It is a financial and commercial hub, and the center of Hawaiian government.
The city has a host of sporting and cultural attractions, and there are many fascinating neighborhoods for visitors to explore.
The main airport is Honolulu International Airport. The USO maintains a lounge at the airport, and the staff is happy to assist military members with issues such as transportation to the base – an approximate distance of two miles.
Oahu is a volcanic island, and the third largest of the eight Hawaiian Islands. It is also the most populated. The island is a shoppers’ paradise and a popular tourist destination, especially with mainland Americans and Japanese travelers.
Oahu’s place in U.S. and military history is irrevocably tied to the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II. Two waves of planes from Japanese aircraft carriers attacked the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet on December 7, 1941. The attack caused thousands of American deaths, and destruction of American ships and aircraft. It also provided the impetus for the United States to enter the Second World War.
Today, the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Oahu benefits from the combined strengths of the United States Navy and the United States Air Force. Together, they present a powerful front in the Global War on Terrorism.