Story by Sgt Jesus Sepulveda Torres on 04/11/2019Aloha and welcome to Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), we have training areas and historical sites galore!
To strengthen relations with local and state leaders, as well as federal and foreign representatives, MCBH conducts multiple tours a year for invited guests to learn more about the base.
Recently, MCBH staff conducted a tour of the Pu'uola Range Training Facility on Apr. 8, 2019, for Hawaii State Rep. Rida Cabanilla Arakawa and Ewa Beach neighborhood board Chairman Mitchell Tynanis.
"We invited Hawaii Rep. Arakawa and Chairman Tynanis for a tour Pu'uloa Range Training Facility," said Tiffany Patrick, the MCBH community plans liaison officer. "The visit included an informational brief from the commanding officer of MCBH discussing community partnerships, economic impact and mission statement, range staff also showcased their facility with a marksmanship demonstration."
Patrick said MCBH reaches out to members of the community and State representatives to strengthen local ties, and leave with a better understanding of the installation's purpose.
"Hosting these events improves our relationship and provides an opportunity for questions and concerns to be addressed," said Patrick. "Just as much as we want their support, they can feel rest assured that we will support them."
She said U.S. Marines assist in emergency relief efforts, participate in parades and actively volunteer across the island. Being the largest employer on the West side of island, MCBH helps input 1.77 Billion dollars into the local economy.
"It's not always just U.S. members that visit our base and training areas," said Patrick. "Throughout the year, we have various foreign delegates and military leaders that tour our airfield, ranges and historical sites. Just as we strengthen our local ties, we also improve positive relations with our partner nations."
Once every two years Hawaii hosts the Rim of the Pacific exercise, the largest naval training event in the world with multiple countries participating. For this event, Marine Corps Base Hawaii provides unique training venues to produce strong bonds and confidence between ally nations.
Assisting Patrick in planning and conducting visits is U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Bryon Edwards, the current operations officer for MCBH. He provides insight into how the base supports its operational units in the Pacific.
"We have a detailed command brief and video showcasing our capabilities," he said. "When guests are brought to Kansas Tower, the highest point in the center of MCBH, they get a 360 degree view of our base and see for themselves what we talk about."
The mission of MCBH is discussed to show how it supports and helps train units, said Edwards. He added that there is much more to see than just MCBH.
"Marine Corps Base Hawaii is more than just what is on this Peninsula, we have property across Oahu such as Marine Corps Training Area Bellows, Pu'uloa Range Training Facility and other property," he said. "We like show that although we don't have a lot of area to work with, we are able to maximize the uses for what we do have. Another key factor in inviting State and local leaders is to address our efforts on environmental, cultural and historical concerns. We are very conscious when planning construction projects and conducting major exercises."
Beyond just visits, there is constant participation in attending community meetings, Edwards said.
"There is constant representation at board meetings here on the Windward side as well as more participation in Ewa, where this week we had that city's State Representative attend with the board chairman," he said. "It's another opportunity for us to meet with the community leaders and we hope to continue our growth with everyone who visits us."