the assorted works of G. H. Spaulding

What happened to NAS Barbers Point and Iroquois Point

 

 Iroquois Point Souvenirs

(pics from Joe Rasfeld)

 

 

Photo from the Tim Pontious collection

(Second link below)

 

Good links to:

Photos of NAS Barbers decommissioning ceremony    http://members.aol.com/barberspt/

Tim Pontious's many photos of NAS Barbers Pt:   http://www.hawaiiagain.com/NASBPT.htm

Hawaii Museum of Flying at former Barbers Pt:    http://www.geocities.com/thmoflying2003/

Static displays at former Moffett Field:   http://home.comcast.net/~i.k.abbott/moffett_statics.htm

 

 

Dec 15, 2004 e-mail from Gary Davidson:

Eva and I just returned from Hawaii. I worked 19 days at Pearl Harbor while Eva visited family. We drove around MCAS Kaneohe, saw the P-3s strung out on the flight line with one in the barn.

 

Drove around the previous NAS Barbers Point. Worse than a year ago. Grass is two feet tall between the cracks at the P-3 hangar area.

 

HOT ONE: We drove out to Iroquois Point, approached a new guard house at the entrance and we were denied entrance unless we were on the "list" to visit the people at the specified address. The homes have been sold to the civilians!!!

 

Another HOT ONE: You might want to put on website that when our retired VP-17r's travel to Hawaii (Oahu) an excellent place to stay is the NEW Navy Lodge on Ford Island. 

 

Gar

 

 From Seapower Magazine, September 1999 

 

Barbers Point Closed After 57 Years of Service

Sea Services

By Richard R. Burgess
Managing Editor

The Navy's last naval air station in the Hawaiian Islands has been disestablished, closing out 57 years of service. NAS Barbers Point--the "Crossroads of the Pacific," carved out of brush and coral on the leeward side of Oahu early in World War II--has been turned over to the state of Hawaii.

Barbers Point was named for Henry Barber, master of the Arthur, a 100-foot British brigantine that ran aground on the point of Oahu during a storm in 1796. Construction of the airfield began in November 1941, but was temporarily suspended after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor so that construction crews could rapidly complete Marine Corps Air Station Ewa. Barbers Point was still not complete when it was established as a naval air station on 15 April 1942.

The new air station quickly became a busy hub of aviation activity as the Navy amassed forces in Hawaii to carry the war across the Pacific. Base operations centered on working up carrier air groups (CAGs) and squadrons for deployment to combat theaters farther west. By the end of World War II, Barbers Point was home to almost 13,000 personnel. After the Japanese surrender, Barbers Point served as a demobilization
center for more than 6,000 personnel leaving for civilian life.

During the late 1940s the station was the beneficiary of a consolidation of naval aviation facilities on the leeward side of the island. The beginning of the Cold War and the outbreak of the war in Korea in 1950 increased activity at Barbers Point, which became a main base for patrol plane operations and, later, airborne early warning barrier patrols. P-2 and P-3 maritime patrol aircraft assigned to the "Rainbow Fleet" based at Barbers Point tracked Soviet submarines in the Pacific and supported fleet operations during the Vietnam War. In 1981, Barbers Point became the center of Pacific Fleet strategic communications operations when Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 3 moved from NAS Agana, Guam.

The end of the Cold War, in which Barbers Point played a major albeit relatively unpublicized role, eventually brought about its closure. The 1993 Base Closure and Realignment Commission recommended to Congress that Barbers Point be closed, a move that Congress accepted. The Coast Guard Air Station, an NAS tenant, remains at Barbers Point, which now serves general aviation on Oahu and hosts units of the Hawaii National Guard. The Navy has retained 1,100 acres for military housing and family support facilities. The 2,150-acre section ceded to Hawaii is now officially designated the Kalaeloa Community Development District.

Naval aviation still maintains a formidable presence in Hawaii, however. The last five Navy squadrons at Barbers Point--Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light 37, Special Projects Patrol Squadron 2, and Patrol Squadrons 4, 9, and 47--were transferred earlier this year to Marine Corps Air Facility Kaneohe Bay (part of Marine Corps Base Hawaii) located on the lush windward side of Oahu.

The return to Kaneohe is a homecoming of sorts for the patrol squad-rons; Kaneohe was a prominent patrol aviation base before and during World War II.

*******

 

 

And this recent article from the Honolulu Advertiser (courtesy of Dan Straus)

 

2,000 military homes to go on rental market

By William Cole
Advertiser Military Writer

O'ahu's tight housing rental market is about to get some major breathing room as the result of a unique business deal between the U.S. Navy and a private developer.

Approximately 2,000 former Navy homes at Iroquois Point and Barbers Point are being made available to military personnel and civilians as part of an $80 million land sale and lease that also involves millions being spent for refurbishment of the base housing.

Fluor Hawai'i LLC is hoping that big yards, beach access and gated-community security will be draws at Iroquois Point, where 1960s single family homes and duplexes sit mostly unoccupied among mature plumeria and towering monkey pods. About 75 homes are considered to be beachfront.

At the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station now called Kalaeloa the rental housing is within the desirable Kapolei school system boundaries.

The business deal is unique and the move to offer so many rentals unprecedented.

Now they just have to get people to sign on the dotted line.

"(At Iroquois Point) there are the yards, the proximity to the beach and the mature neighborhood," said Ricky Cassiday, a residential market researcher. "It's a really neat place. But it's a hell of a lot of units (to rent)."

There are 1,463 units at Iroquois Point and the adjoining Pu'uloa housing. Rent will range from about $1,300 and up depending on unit location. Another 540 units built from the 1940s through the 1980s are available at Kalaeloa.

About 35 percent of the housing already is rented to military personnel. Roy Yee, a local representative for Fluor, said the marketing plan called for 90 percent occupancy within two years, which he admits is "very aggressive," and may have to be modified.

But Fluor also is looking ahead to an anticipated military buildup with new units like the Army's Stryker Brigade, which could bring 500 to 800 more soldiers and their families to O'ahu.

Cassiday said although Fluor is essentially flooding the market, and will have to be very competitive to achieve high occupancy, the offering will be welcomed by renters facing fewer and fewer choices as homeowners sell off houses instead of renting them out.

"They are coming into a market that's tightened significantly over the last year and then some, so they will satisfy demand that's been building for reasonably-priced housing," Cassiday said.

Don't call just yet, though.

Work crews are painting, cleaning, repairing and landscaping, and by October, Fluor's goal is to have 10 homes ready to rent each week. Officials say the best time to start inquiring is after Oct. 1, although the rental agent, Chaney Brooks, already has a trailer open at Iroquois Point to process military renters converted over to new leases.

In the meantime, Fluor is looking to add to its military tenants, who will be able to sign a civilian lease or a "military friendly" lease with clauses that allow them to leave if they get transferred.

Yee said some Army personnel transferring to Hawai'i from the Mainland had no options within the Army inventory of housing, and contacted Fluor about renting at Kalaeloa.

"So we've gotten all these names and numbers down and dates when they are going to relocate to see if we can get some units cleaned up in time for them," Yee said.

Special legislation was passed by Congress in 1999 allowing the Navy to lease and sell off some of its under-used outlying properties and use the money to centralize operations and increase efficiencies in the Pearl Harbor area. As part of the plan, family housing, bachelor-enlisted quarters and new office space will be built on Ford Island.

Fluor is paying the Navy more than $80 million for a 65-year lease of Iroquois Point and Pu'uloa, which was built in 1975; fee simple purchase of the Kalaeloa housing after three years; ownership of the 515-acre former Waikele naval magazine; and a 65-year lease of 6.6 acres at Halawa Landing.

At the ceremonial signing of a master developer agreement last month with Fluor, U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie said Hawai'i was the "originator, the initiator" of the type of land sale and lease deal that is expected to be a model for similar projects across the country.

The rental plan by Fluor is no less unique particularly at Iroquois Point, which will mix military and civilian tenants, but retain base elements like a gate guard, and mini-mart and gas station that can be used only by military personnel, like at any base facility.

"The military families have a certain culture, they have a quality of life they've come to expect, and one of the examples is out at Iroquois (where) the Navy has elected to keep the mini-mart and gas station," Yee said.

The Navy also will continue to run military-only Morale, Welfare and Recreation activities and a community center.

"Gray boat" ferry service to Pearl Harbor is in place from Iroquois, and the Iroquois Lagoon Yacht Club is open to active duty or retired military, but Yee said discussions are ongoing with the state to revive ferry service to Aloha Tower Marketplace with the hope of offering it for the greater community's use.

Leanne Howe, who has lived at Iroquois Point for two years, said there are mixed feelings within the military community about the upcoming change.

"I know that some people have reservations," said Howe, whose husband is an Army warrant officer at Camp Smith. "I have found local people to be cordial and kind-hearted, and I'm hopeful it will be a good mix of people in here."

But Howe added that "security is a major issue I would say it is the issue, because our husbands are deployed for a great length of time and we are left home alone."

She and her husband chose military housing because neighbors are in similar deployment situations, and residents can count on one another for support.

Howe also said in the past month, since the base became an "open community," thefts have risen, fishermen have removed safety fencing to gain access to a lagoon, and campers have pitched tents on the stretch of beach that provides a front-row seat to the passage of Navy ships and submarines.

Yee said it's Fluor's goal to re-establish the Iroquois Point and Kalaeloa housing as gated communities "very quickly." A private company also has been hired to provide roving patrols.

"We want to ensure the quality of life that our military tenants have become accustomed to," Yee said.

Military and civilian tenants will pay approximately the same rent, depending on unit location, officials said. Between Iroquois Point and Pu'uloa where the majority of housing is available there are 110 two-bedroom units, 843 three-bedroom units, and 510 four-bedroom units.

The interior of one of the four-bedroom, two-bath ranches at Iroquois Point revealed a large living room, linoleum floors, and fairly new kitchen cabinets and appliances. Inside and out, the homes reflected the spartan styling of past military housing.

But with big yards and beach access, Yee says it's unique.

"It's a different product," he said. "There are no comparables."

Cassiday, who analyzed the project for Earnst & Young and a group that competed with Fluor, said the average three-bedroom home on O'ahu rents for about $1,700. Average 'Ewa Plain area rent is about $1,400, and $1,600 for a 3-bedroom Kapolei home.

At a minimum, Cassiday believes the housing will compete with rentals from Kapolei to Royal Kunia and Waikele, and at a maximum, reach to Wai'anae.

********

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