PEARL HARBOR - Guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Nov. 14, as part of a homeport swap with USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), which departed Hawaii earlier in the year for its new homeport of San Diego.
"The Navy 'ohana' (family) in Hawaii welcomes USS William P. Lawrence Sailors and families to their new home and new homeport," said Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. "We have a robust plan in place to formally welcome our shipmates and their loved ones, and show them the 'who, what, when, where, why, and how' about living here in the 50th state."
Over the past year, William P. Lawrence has sailed as part of the Great Green Fleet, supported Oceania Maritime Security Initiative, operated in the South China Sea during a seven-month deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific, and participated in Rim of the Pacific exercise.
"The William P. Lawrence crew has proved time and time again to be tenacious, taking on any given task safely, effectively, and professionally," said Cmdr. Brandon Burkett, commanding officer. "Included in that task list is our homeport shift to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. As with every mission in the past, it was no surprise that the crew has taken on this assignment with fervor and urgency. It was not an easy transition, as the crew had to move their families and lives across the Pacific all while on deployment, but William P. Lawrence executed, and we are glad to be in our new home!"
William P. Lawrence, commissioned in 2011, is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer that performs key roles in support of a carrier strike group, expeditionary strike group, or surface action group.
"To each of our new shipmates, I say congratulations," said Fuller. "You are joining a winning team. You are coming to the gateway of Asia-Pacific where you will have an opportunity to make a difference in defending of our nation. And you are coming to, arguably, our nation's most beautiful state, where we treasure the environment, diversity, and the spirit of 'aloha.' Welcome aboard!"
The destroyer's namesake is for Vice Adm. William P. Lawrence. Lawrence served in the Vietnam War as commanding officer of Fighter Squadron 143. He earned the Silver Star for a strike against a heavily-defended target in North Vietnam. He was later captured after his aircraft crashed in June 1967 and was a prisoner of war until March 1973. He earned the Distinguished Service Medal for his leadership during his time captured with other POWs.
DDGs are capable of sustained combat operations supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence. These combatants operate in a network-centric warfare environment and execute multi-mission tasking to include air, surface, undersea, space, and cyberwarfare.