Retired Rear Admiral says generations of families work at the shipyard

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Thursday non-essential shipyard personnel were told to stay home as the investigation continues. But work will resume Friday morning, December 6.

We wanted to know more about the shipyard and spoke to retired Rear Admiral Alma Grocki who tells us many generations of families work at the shipyard, so the news of the fatal shooting has a devastating ripple effect.

Grocki is a retired Rear Admiral and fleet maintenance officer, overseeing several shipyards including Pearl Harbor. Grocki explains how the Navy and civilian shipyard workers are a team.

“The relationship has to be very close. It has to be a good relationship where people get along because everybody is working to the same degree, to the same mission. They want these ships out,” said Grocki.

Grocki tells us there are four dry docks within the Controlled Industrial Area.

“You have to have more credentials, you have to have more clearance to go into, and that’s where it happened behind that gate,” she said.

It’s an area where you’re not even allowed to have your cell phones.

“With all the electronic hackings that happen, you don’t want to inadvertently be broadcasting something you shouldn’t be and so they are very tightly controlled,” said Grocki.

We also learned there are three shifts and the shooting took place during a shift change.

“At the time it happened at 2:30, that’s right at the shift change. So you have more people there because you have the off-going first shift and on-coming second shift and there’s always turnover and time so that the second shift knows what the first shift is doing and what’s expected of them,” said Grocki.

We asked about active shooter drills and back when Grocki was at Pearl Harbor they didn’t have any.

“The active shooter wasn’t a big issue way back when I was there in the yard. We did not have those drills but I know they do have them now,” she said. “I think that’s probably why the response was so good. They had the giant voice, the system that went out and everybody heard it all over any of the base including Ford Island they actually heard to shelter in place.”

Grocki says her thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims and also the family of the shooter who is going through this crisis as well.

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