History comes alive with Navy Remembrance Barge tour

| March 4, 2016 | 0 Comments
The Remembrance Barge approaches the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial during a tour for the 599th’s leadership and professional development training, Feb. 25. The barge tour provides a more personal encounter with history.

The Remembrance Barge approaches the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial during a tour for the 599th’s leadership and professional development training, Feb. 25. The barge tour provides a more personal encounter with history.

Story and photos by Donna Klapakis
599th Transportation Brigade Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR — Members of the 599th Transportation Brigade explored the past, here, during a Remembrance Barge tour to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial for leadership and professional development training, Feb. 25.

All personnel who took the tour were impressed.

“It was very emotional for me,” said Sgt. 1st Class Mattie James, terminals NCOIC. “When we saw all of the names on the wall of the memorial, I was moved by the number of family members who were together on the ship.

“I was also impressed with the knowledgeable young Sailors who led the tour,” she added.

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Sgt. Amado Punto, 599th Command Operations Center movement noncommissioned officer, agreed.

“The Sailors were subject matter experts on Pearl Harbor and the attack,” he said.

“I learned a lot on the tour. It was very informative to be able to see and feel what happened at that time. I knew the basics, but didn’t know any details, and I didn’t know the depth of the planning before the attack by the Japanese.”

Information technology specialist Nicolas Rosse said he had been on the U.S. Park Service tour about 10 years ago.

“The Remembrance Barge tour was definitely more personal,” Rosse said. “The Park Service also shows a film, but the boathouse for our tour today had a museum. And while the Park Service tour just takes you to the Arizona Memorial, our tour got to see the other memorials and the SBX (Sea-Based X-Band Radar) up close.”

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“The U.S. Navy puts on an outstanding remembrance tour,” said Command Sgt. Maj. William Funcheon, 599th senior enlisted adviser. “And it is absolutely free to Soldiers and their families. It just takes the coordination to make it happen.

“This has enlightened our Soldiers’ perceptions and motivated them to learn more about the attack on Pearl Harbor,” Funcheon continued. “I think that every unit and their Soldiers should go on the remembrance tour for leadership and professional development to get an in-depth account of what happened.”

Punto agreed.

“Knowing more about our history makes us stronger,” he said. “Going on the tour made me feel honored to carry on the military tradition.”

The Remembrance Barge approaches the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial during a tour for the 599th’s leadership and professional development training, Feb. 25. The barge tour provides a more personal encounter with history.

The Remembrance Barge approaches the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial during a tour for the 599th’s leadership and professional development training, Feb. 25. The barge tour provides a more personal encounter with history.

The tour began with a visit to the Commander Pacific Fleet Boathouse that houses the barges, a museum of Pearl Harbor photos and exhibits, and a cinema.

After a brief introduction to the museum, the group viewed a 23-minute film about events leading up to Dec. 7, 1941; about the attack itself; and about the aftermath.

The group then boarded the barge and embarked on a tour around Ford Island that passed the SBX, the U.S.S. Utah Memorial, the U.S.S. Nevada Memorial and the Battleship Missouri Memorial. The group disembarked at the Arizona Memorial.

The group toured the memorial for 15 minutes before reboarding the barge to return to the boathouse.

James set up the tour for the brigade.

“Arranging the tour was easy,” James said. All I did was call the boathouse and ask for a date. They told me we had to have 15 people for a group, and we had that.

“The first date I asked for wasn’t available, but they gave me a choice of some other dates, and once I got them cleared, we were set,” James explained. “Then, it was just a matter of making sure everyone knew how to get there and what to wear.”

 

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