Navy Shuttle Boat to the USS Arizona Memorial
To ensure that the shuttle is reliable throughout the year, the US Navy has five shuttlecrafts on Ford Island. Two boats are used daily, one is usually under maintenance, and the other two are for backup in case of a breakdown. The crew consists of a captain and three experienced sailors; for their breaks and lunch, the National Park Service has provided them with their own lounge office on the backside of the theaters. It is estimated that the US Navy spends over 1 million dollars on gasoline to operate and maintain these boats annually.
Every day, the Navy supplies the boats and sailors that shuttle the visitors to and from the USS Arizona Memorial. Their crews are immaculately dressed in their whites and safely transport young and old to the Memorial. It is estimated that the Navy spends at least a million dollars yearly on gasoline and maintenance of its Arizona shuttles.
The US Navy, solely at its discretion, can cancel the shuttle to the USS Arizona Memorial due to bad weather conditions, either for a short period or the day’s duration. High winds and thunderstorms usually cause these cancellations, and these dangerous weather conditions can affect the safety of their passengers.
Another reason for shuttle cancellations to the USS Arizona Memorial is problems with the docks. In the past few years, the dock at the Memorial was broken for 18 months, and this year the Visitor Center dock was out of service for a month. The responsibility for these extended closures falls directly on the National Park Service, a typical government agency with no urgency in completing construction projects. In the case of the Visitor Center dock, it was a lack of a proper maintenance program because the pier had been broken for years. Meanwhile, the public and veterans are screaming due to the situation in which they are unable to pay their respects to the fallen heroes at the USS Arizona Memorial,
During the Christmas holiday, the Navy offers free tours of Pearl Harbor for military and civilian families with these same Shuttle boats. This is an incredible, narrated tour of Pearl Harbor, a chance of a lifetime. The passengers have the opportunity to cruise Pearl Harbor, see the Navy’s mothball fleet, check out the harbor’s entrance, learn where their destroyer and submarine are docked, circle Fort Island and get up close to the USS Arizona, Battleship Row and hear all the stories of the Dec 7th