Pearl Harbor-Hickam Puts History in Your Hand

The new Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Historic Sites app for iPhone and iPad was recently released in time for the 71st anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7. The JBPHH Historic Sites app allows users to pull up information about various points of interest around the base, including vintage photographs, historical data and more. Joint Base commander Capt. Jeff James puts the app in context.

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Michael Tolbert, left, and Information Systems Technician 2nd Class An-Marie Ledesma upload geographical data onto tactical Apple iPads for combat operations in the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 operations room aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher K. Hwang/Released)

By Capt. Jeff James, Commander, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam

The Navy’s history is one of innovation, from sails to steam to nuclear power and from battleships to aircraft carriers. Since its inception in 1947, the Air Force has been dedicated to state-of-the-art technology and innovation as well. From Morse code to cyber  communication, cannonballs to cruise missiles, the military has found new and powerful ways to get the message out. Whether in energy, warfighting or communication – including communicating history – we are committed to being on the cutting edge of science and technology. The Joint Base, itself, represents a commitment to achieving greater efficiencies and new ways of doing business.

Another way that we are thinking outside the box and leading the way in innovation is with our new Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam history app. Imagine having your own personal tour guide to describe the historic sites around base. This app, which anyone can download for free from iTunes, takes the visitor throughout various locations around JBPHH and uses text and nearly a hundred historic photographs to introduce them to the many aspects of the base’s history.

As Rear Adm. Frank Ponds, commander, Navy Region Hawaii, has said, “Here in Hawaii, we embrace innovation while preserving history and maintaining force readiness.” This app is a good example of how we’re moving forward in preserving and sharing history through
innovation and new technologies.

We are helping to preserve our history through the creative use of technology, and we plan to expand it even further through the use of audio and video. Imagine standing at Battleship Row and hearing survivors themselves tell the story of what happened on December 7, 1941. Hawaii and JBPHH are the DoD’s gateway to the Asia Pacific region, and serve as the ideal launch point for our Naval and Air Forces to support this re-balancing. I encourage everyone who can to learn more about the rich history of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam – and this new app is the ideal tool to do so with. I invite you to give it a try.

Capt. James is a former commanding officer of USS Hopper (DDG 70), namesake of Rear Adm. “Amazing” Grace Hopper, one of the Navy’s greatest all-time innovators. The app was developed by a team led by Commander Navy Region Hawaii historian Jim Neuman with the CNRH Public Affairs Office.

Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) render honors as the ship passes by the battleship USS Arizona Memorial. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph M. Buliavac/Released)