U.S. Coast Guard Base Honolulu evolved from the former U.S. Lighthouse Service Depot at Pier 4 and a 5-acre plot on Sand Island. The property was acquired in 1939 by the Coast Guard when it absorbed the Lighthouse Service. In 1945, an additional 5 acres were acquired and the Base Sand Island was established. Its primary mission of buoy repair was expanded to include industrial, shipping and receiving support.
Base Sand Island continued to grow in size and responsibilities, eventually reaching 48.6 acres. Some comptroller functions were moved to the base, as well a medical and dental facility. MWR facilities were added and expanded. Family housing was built on Red Hill. In 1988, Base Sand Island became Sector/Base Honolulu, with the added responsibility of search and rescue and law enforcement within the Hawaiian Islands.
In May 1996, Base and Sector Honolulu became separate commands, with the sector retaining responsibility for the operational missions. Base Honolulu again increased responsibilities and became Base Honolulu, a separate command.
The base combined elements of the 14th Coast Guard District to become a full-service support command, providing base functions as well as financial functions.
The myriad support functions include: engineering support for ships and facilities; hazardous materials management; housing; comptroller services; galley support; and MWR services. The base still maintains a buoy depot and overhauls buoys, as it has done since before 1938.
From Hawaii to Guam to Japan, Base Honolulu supports 35 commands throughout the 14th District area of responsibility.