National Guard March 2013 : Page 36

NGAUS By Andrew Waldman Aloha T HE C ITY While Honolulu is a con-solidated city and county covering the entirety of the island of Oahu, the downtown business center on the southern portion of the island is generally considered the city. The word Honolulu means “place of shelter” in Hawaiian. Beginning about 1,000 years ago, both native Hawaiians and visitors have landed in Honolulu’s port looking for a place of respite from long sea journeys. Polynesians who first settled the islands were living in Honolulu by the 11th century. The monarchs of the Kingdom of Hawaii used Honolulu as their capital. The first European visitor to the city was Capt. William Brown, who landed at Honolulu Harbor in 1794. It quickly became a main port of com-merce and debarkation for foreigners. Honolulu has since grown into an important Pacific port and financial hub, as well as a tourist destination. T HE C ONFERENCE This is the fifth time Hawaii will host the NGAUS confer-ence. It previously welcomed the association in 1960, 1971, 1991 and 2005. This year’s conference meetings and trade show will again be held in the Hawaii Convention Center, a 1.1-mil-lion square-foot facility built in 1998. Most conference attendees will ar-rive at Honolulu International Airport, located just west of the city. All major airlines offer service to Honolulu. A unique blend of work, play and tropical beauty await attendees at this year’s conference and exhibition in Hawaii OST ENGLISH SPEAKERS understand the word aloha to mean “hello” or “goodbye.” But in Hawaiian, the word means much more. Aloha is a state of being that has come to signify the peacefulness, unity and warmth of the Hawaiian culture. The aloha spirit is actually codified in the constitution of America’s 50th state. It’s hard not to feel a little aloha in Hawaii, a place of palm trees, pristine beaches and sea level temperatures that rarely dip below the 70s. The state, which consists of eight major islands, has long been a place to step away from the grind of daily life. Hawaii will host the 135th NGAUS General Conference & Exhibition in Honolulu from Sept. 20 to 23. Count on working hard, seeing National Guard col-leagues from across the country and experiencing a bit of aloha . M 36 | Na tional Guard

Aloha NGAUS

Andrew Waldman

A unique blend of work, play and tropical beauty await attendees at this year’s conference and exhibition in Hawaii<br /> <br /> MOST ENGLISH SPEAKERS understand the word aloha to mean “hello” or “goodbye.” But in Hawaiian, the word means much more.<br /> <br /> Aloha is a state of being that has come to signify the peacefulness, unity and warmth of the Hawaiian culture.The aloha spirit is actually codified in the constitution of America’s 50th state.<br /> <br /> It’s hard not to feel a little aloha in Hawaii, a place of palm trees, pristine beaches and sea level temperatures that rarely dip below the 70s. The state, which consists of eight major islands, has long been a place to step away from the grind of daily life.<br /> <br /> Hawaii will host the 135th NGAUS General Conference & Exhibition in Honolulu from Sept. 20 to 23.<br /> <br /> Count on working hard, seeing National Guard colleagues from across the country and experiencing a bit of aloha.<br /> <br /> THE CITY While Honolulu is a consolidated city and county covering the entirety of the island of Oahu, the downtown business center on the southern portion of the island is generally considered the city.<br /> <br /> The word Honolulu means “place of shelter” in Hawaiian. Beginning about 1,000 years ago, both native Hawaiians and visitors have landed in Honolulu’s port looking for a place of respite from long sea journeys.<br /> <br /> Polynesians who first settled the islands were living in Honolulu by the 11th century. The monarchs of the Kingdom of Hawaii used Honolulu as their capital.<br /> <br /> The first European visitor to the city was Capt. William Brown, who landed at Honolulu Harbor in 1794.It quickly became a main port of commerce and debarkation for foreigners.<br /> <br /> Honolulu has since grown into an important Pacific port and financial hub, as well as a tourist destination.<br /> <br /> THE CONFERENCE This is the fifth time Hawaii will host the NGAUS conference.It previously welcomed the association in 1960, 1971, 1991 and 2005.<br /> <br /> This year’s conference meetings and trade show will again be held in the Hawaii Convention Center, a 1.1-million square-foot facility built in 1998.<br /> <br /> Most conference attendees will arrive at Honolulu International Airport, located just west of the city. All major airlines offer service to Honolulu.Conference organizers suggest booking travel as far in advance as possible to secure the best fares.<br /> <br /> Military aircraft will fly into Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Base, which is right next door to the airport and home to the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing.<br /> <br /> Complimentary transportation to and from the airport will be provided by the Hawaii Guard during the traditional conference travel days, which are two days before and one day after the conference.<br /> <br /> The Sheraton Waikiki Hotel is the headquarters hotel. Five other hotels are also designated as official conference hotels. All of those reserved for attendees are beachfront resorts in Waikiki. Free bus transportation to the convention center will be provided.<br /> <br /> The annual sponsors and NGAUS golf tournaments will be held Sept. 19 and 20, respectively. Courses for each tournament are still being determined, but will likely be on the island’s North Shore, says Brig. Gen. Stanley Osserman, the conference chairman in Hawaii.<br /> <br /> This year’s other conference social events and activities feature one major break with recent tradition. The Governor’s Reception, typically held after the First Business Session, has been moved to the evening of Sept. 20, the day before the gavel drops. It will be in the exhibition hall.<br /> <br /> The annual area meetings and caucuses begin at 9 a.m. on Sept. 21.At 10:15 a.m., the trade show reopens with a complimentary brunch.<br /> <br /> Then, the real business starts. At noon, the First Business Session will begin with an opening ceremony and feature the popular Roll Call of States. Most business session speakers will reflect or address this year’s conference theme, “America’s National Guard: A Force Leaning Forward,” which was selected to encourage discussion of the Guard’s role in future defense strategy.<br /> <br /> After the first day’s official business, many attendees will go to the Host- State Adjutant General’s Reception or the Company Grade/Warrant Officer Mixer. Others will have an open Saturday night in Honolulu.<br /> <br /> The second business session kicks Off at 8 a.m. on Sept. 22. Spouses traveling to the conference can enjoy the annual Spouse’s Reception and Luncheon from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.<br /> <br /> The afternoon of Sept. 22 will include a number of different sessions for attendees, including task force meetings, officer professional development, and committee meetings and luncheons. One of the most widely attended activities, Hospitality Night, concludes the day.<br /> <br /> The Army and Air separate sessions and the final business session take place Sept. 23. The conference will conclude with the annual States Dinner.<br /> <br /> Often a formal affair, the dinner dress is aloha attire. Authentic Hawaiian shirts can be purchased from many retailers in Honolulu.<br /> <br /> A no-host cocktail hour before the States Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. with the dinner following at 7 p.m.<br /> <br /> Details on events and speakers will be announced as they are finalized on the NGAUS website, www.ngaus.org.<br /> <br /> BEYOND THE CONFERENCE For most conference attendees, the trip to Hawaii is a long day of travel. So, if you have a few days of leave saved up and can take them before or after the conference, you might want to consider extending your stay.<br /> <br /> Osserman encourages NGAUS members to take advantage of a special negotiated rate at their hotels three days before and after the conference.<br /> <br /> “Families can come out, book a room at a really reasonable rate and let them enjoy Hawaii before and after the conference,” says Osserman.<br /> <br /> A first-time visitor should not miss the luau, a feast accompanied by traditional Hawaiian music and entertainment, he says. Your hotel’s concierge can help you find one.<br /> <br /> A trip to Ford Island will serve the history buff well. The USS Arizona Memorial, the Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Bowfin Museum and Park and the Pacific Aviation Museum are all located on this island in the middle of Pearl Harbor.<br /> <br /> The Arizona, a battleship sunk during the Japanese attack Dec. 7, 1941, and the Missouri, the ship on which the Japanese surrendered to the United States to end World War II, serve as bookends to Hawaii’s importance during the Pacific campaign.<br /> <br /> For those wanting to experience the outdoors, a hike around the Diamond Head crater will scratch that itch. One of Hawaii’s most recognizable landmarks, Diamond Head is an easy trek and a great way to see the Honolulu skyline from above.<br /> <br /> Another popular spot just outside Honolulu is Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, a marine embayment formed within a volcanic cone. It features some of the islands best snorkeling.<br /> <br /> Farther east is Makapu‘u Point and the Makapu‘u Point State Wayside, a roadside stop with an excellent view of Makapu’u Point and its lighthouse.The pristine beaches in this area are less frequented by the tourists in Waikiki.<br /> <br /> A drive around the island is a great way to see Honolulu. Rental cars are available at the airport and can be hired on a daily or hourly basis.<br /> <br /> The variety of activities and sights in Honolulu is vast. Do yourself a favor: Attend the conference and enjoy a little aloha.<br /> <br /> Andrew Waldman can be contacted at 202-408-5892 or at andrew.waldman@ngaus.org.

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