American Australian Leadership Dialogue In Honolulu

Former Congressman Marty Russo attends the Honolulu Leadership Dialogue for the American Australian Leadership Education Foundation.

It was a very interesting experience to travel to Oahu to join in the high level discussions about defense related issues that jointly face Australia and the United States.

The meetings included a full day off site at PACOM and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Field where we received briefings on defense and national security activity and plans as well as a tour of the many impressive features of the base.

I was deeply impressed by the professionalism of our military and civilian leaders.  Here’s a photo gallery and commentary on some of the highlights.

  • The PACAF Luncheon and Briefing was held in the Courtyard of Heroes where you can still see the bullet holes from the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.  I’m told that all throughout the base, they have kept the bullet holes intact as a reminder to be ever vigilent.
  • We toured a C-17 and it was fascinating to check out the cargo area and sit in the cockpit.  It was a nice memory of my time 20 years ago at Cassidy & Associates when we ran the campaign to save the C-17 from budget cuts.  It’s nice to see that they are still in use!
  • For me, the most heartfelt moments of the day were when we toured the USS Michael Murphy, guided missile destroyer that is among the most advanced, state of the art war ships in the fleet.  It is named for the 28 year old Michael Murphy who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan in June 2005. He was the first sailor awarded the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.  As we toured this ship which cost well over a billion dollars you could feel the pride that its young sailors felt about serving on a ship named after “one of them.”
  • It was a pleasure to see my good friend, Governor Neil Abercrombie and tell stories of our days in Congress.

Australian American Leadership Dialogue Honolulu 2014

[img src=]Hall of Heroes, Pearl Harbor-Hickam Field
[img src=]Bullet holes from strafing on December 7, 1941
[img src=]Original flag that flew over Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941
[img src=]Former Congressman Marty Russo and General Hawk Carlisle
[img src=]C-17 on display at Pearl Harbor-Hickam Field
[img src=]Marty Russo in the cockpit of a C-17 at Pearl Harbor-Hickam Field
[img src=]Marty Russo in the cargo hold of a C-17 at Pearl Harbor-Hickam Field
[img src=]USS Michael Murphy - a proud ship
[img src=]Portrait of Michael Murphy on board the destroyer named after him
[img src=]Marty Russo and the USS Michael Murphy
[img src=]The big guns
[img src=]View of Pearl Harbor from the deck of USS Michael Murphy
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[img src=]Leadership
[img src=]Military briefing on the guided missile destroyer Michael Murphy
[img src=]The powerful guns of the USS Michael Murphy
[img src=]American-Australian Leadership Dialogue in Honolulu 2014
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