The retired rear admiral selected by President Donald Trump to be the next secretary of the Navy started his operational career at Naval Air Station Barbers Point in 1986 flying anti-submarine missions in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean.
Kenneth Braithwaite, 59, currently the ambassador to Norway, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1984. He was designated a naval aviator in 1986 and reported to Patrol Squadron 17 at Barbers Point.
Barbers Point at one time was the largest naval air station in the Pacific. For decades it had about six P-3 Orion sub-hunter squadrons and around 50 of the propeller aircraft.
Trump on Sunday said Navy Secretary Richard Spencer’s services had been “terminated” by Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement the same day that Esper asked for Spencer’s resignation “after losing trust and confidence in him regarding his lack of candor over conversations with the White House involving the handling of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher.”
Esper proposed that Braithwaite be considered as the next Navy secretary, Hoffman said.
“Admiral and now Ambassador to Norway Ken Braithwaite will be nominated by me to be the new secretary of the Navy,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “A man of great achievement and success, I know Ken will do an outstanding job!”
Barbers Point had more than 3,800 acres and up to 6,500 military, family members and civilian employees at one point, according to the Navy.
The last naval air station in the Hawaiian Islands and known as the “Crossroads of the Pacific,” Barbers Point was disestablished during a July 1, 1999 ceremony, closing out 57 years of service.
About 2,300 Navy personnel were transferred to Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay along with 29 P-3 aircraft and nine SH-60 Seahawk helicopters.