Midway: Interview with Admiral Cecil D. Haney

Adm. Cecil D. HaneyThis past Monday, June 4, 2012 marked the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway. It was a major sea and air battle that marked the turning point in our war with Japan back in 1942. I was fortunate to be invited by the U.S. Navy, Pacific Fleet to attend the commemoration ceremonies on Sand Island, one of the main atolls in Midway. This interview with Adm. Cecil D. Haney, Commander of the Pacific Fleet took place at the grand opening of the Midway Atoll Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. You can listen to the interview here and read along to the transcript of the interview:
Bytemarks: I know Dan (Nakaso) asked you the same question and I wanted to get an idea direct from you and I didn't want to steal his quote. As far as the Navy supporting and commemorating Midway on a going forward basis, how important do you see this as being something that would be recognizing going forward? Adm. Haney: I think throughout my history we have always commemorated the battle of Midway and that will continue going forward because it is such a unique and part of our rich heritage and what we've all learned from. When you look at things of what we've learn from Navy aviation and celebrate it's 100 year anniversary, what we learned from code breaking and operational intelligence, how we've used it to our advantage and how we learned and even without the technology... it's really about the people their courage, their commitment and bravery that makes a difference as we fight wars tomorrow, when and if deterrence arise. Bytemarks: But each year there will be less and less people that have a connection with Midway you will always try to find their relatives or find some kind of connection to the people that fought here? Adm. Haney: What I find interesting even here although we only have two members that fought in the battle, the two veterans, we have a number of siblings, we have a number of kids, their fathers have fought in the battle. I thing that legacy will live on in itself in terms of people, not just us reaching out them but them reaching out to us as we continue to do celebrations in the future. Bytemarks: Do you think Midway has any Defense signification going forward? Adm. Haney: When you say Defense significance you mean... Bytemarks: I guess national security significance. Adm. Haney: I think as you look around here you will see Midway has transform itself from the base it was to a very tranquil wildlife environment. I am very thankful it has in that regard. Quite frankly it is a unique island strategically located and it did is job in World War II in terms of being a very strategic asset for us. We were able able to keep it as a result of the efforts of the Battle of Midway and quite frankly I am just as grateful to see its condition and where it is today. Bytemarks: It is really a nice preserve/reserve. I think it would be great to continue to recognized it as a turning point militarily and it such a natural reserve for the native life and native plant life. I think it is testament to how it has evolved over time. Adm. Haney: Very much so. I think when you look at this as a refuge, a wildlife refuge, just the whole business of its history, this building we are standing in here which gives you that. it really tells you that what we in the United States of America, what we in the United States military are all about and it's maintaining the peace. So to me this is nothing but success and it should be celebrated. Bytemarks: Thank you very much. Adm. Haney: Thank you.