By Dino W. Buchanan
USACE-Honolulu District Public Affairs
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii – Led by Honolulu District Commander Lt. Col. James Hoyman and former Honolulu District Commander Lt. Col. Christopher Crary, more than 16 District teammates and their friends braved blustery rain storm conditions on a pre-dawn hike to view the Makapu`u Lighthouse April 21 in celebration of the 112th anniversary of the District’s founding.
Deputy District Commander Maj. Tom Piazze, Capt. Tobias Apps, Capt. Ken Porter and 1st Lt. Brenna Heisterman also participated in the hike to the lighthouse.
Makapu`u Lighthouse was built by the Corps in 1909 on a 600-foot sea cliff overlooking Makapu`u Beach in southeast Oahu. The lighthouse is 46-feet-tall (14 meters) and was fully automated in 1974. It is still an active U.S. Coast Guard navigation aid in use today.
Makapu`u Point is an important location passed by all ships moving between Honolulu and the U.S. Mainland. Makapu`u Point rises 647 feet above the ocean and is composed of a number of lava flows. The station’s three keeper’s dwellings, constructed of the abundant blue lava rock on the point, were built in a depression near the summit, while a notch, large enough to hold the lighthouse, was blasted out of the lava face at a height of 395 feet above the water.
The Corps’ history in Hawaii and the Pacific began in 1905 when Lt. John R. Slattery became the District’s first commander. Slattery's original mission was to construct lighthouses for navigation in Hawaii, like Makapu`u. As “America’s Engineers in the Pacific,” the Honolulu District's civil works, military construction and environmental missions evolved over time -- in periods of peace and war -- for more than 100 years.
Today, the Honolulu District is a full-service District, providing a wide range of timely, effective, innovative solutions to meet our customers’ engineering, construction and environmental needs. The Honolulu District has seven primary missions: Military Construction, Civil Works, Interagency and International Services, Real Estate, Regulatory, Environmental Services, and Emergency Management. Honolulu District offers project management, design, construction management, contracting, cost engineering, and more.
The Honolulu District's area of operations is enormous - crossing five time zones, the international dateline and approximately 12 million square miles of the Pacific Ocean - and includes the territories of Guam, American Samoa and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, as well as the Freely Associated States including the Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.