PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (KHON2) — The USS Daniel Inouye arrived at its homeport in Pearl Harbor on Thursday, Nov. 18. 

It is named in honor of Hawaii’s longtime senator, Dan Inouye, who received the Medal of Honor for his service in World War II.

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Family and loved ones eagerly awaited the vessel as it sailed into its homeport. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi was even on-hand to proclaim Nov. 18 as “USS Daniel Inouye Day.”

“And whereas, the USS Daniel Inouye, with its suite of sophisticated weapons and censors, will augment global maritime security, and proudly honor Daniel Inouye’s legacy of service to our nation. Now, therefore, I, Rick Blangiardi, mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, do hereby proclaim November 18th, 2021, to be ‘USS Daniel Inouye Day’ to celebrate the commissioning of the USS Daniel Inouye and to congratulate the U.S. Navy and the commissioning committee on presenting this historic event and for honoring Hawaii, its most respected and influential statesmen.”

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi

The ship and crew were greeted with cheers and whistles as they sailed into Pearl Harbor. It was a long journey to Honolulu: The crew departed from Bath, Maine in March and passed through the Panama Canal before stopping at the Big Island, Maui, Kauai, and finally, Oahu.

Cmdr. DonAnn Gilmore said, she would not have had it any other way.

I can’t think of a better way to end than doing the honoring ceremonies through the different islands. I personally have never seen anything like it. The crew was all on deck watching it. It was really a remarkable experience.”

DonAnn Gilmore, Commander of uss daniel inouye

“And we can’t wait to see our families, and then get to work,” Gilmore added.

After a paddle-raising and a traditional Haka performance from the Army’s 25th Infantry Division, crewmembers greeted their loved ones after months away from home.

The USS Daniel Inouye, an Arleigh-Burke guided missile destroyer, is equipped with anti-air, anti-surface and anti-subsurface systems that operate simultaneously, as well as a missile-tracking radar system. The Inouyes even donated a family bible, which is stored and sealed in the mast of the vessel. But what is its most critical equipment?

“The most important part is I employ those 300 sailors that are onboard,” Gilmore said. “With the amount of training and the work and the effort that goes into them, they are truly remarkable and one of our most important pieces of equipment.”

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The USS Daniel Inouye will remain in Pearl Harbor and is scheduled to be commissioned on Wednesday, Dec. 8, one day after the 80th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Commemoration.