Impacts of Sequestration Outlined by Hawaii Military Officials

March 7, 2013, 8:12 AM HST · Updated March 7, 8:13 AM
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Pearl Harbor file photo by Wendy Osher.

Pearl Harbor file photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Top military officers and defense contractors met with state lawmakers on Wednesday to discuss the impacts of sequestration on Hawaii’s military services.

Military officials indicated that the cutbacks would not affect core functions.

Major General Darryll Wong, Hawaii State Department of Defense reportedly said their “critical missions were exempt” and Major General Roger Mathews, US Army Pacific said readiness has been prioritized.

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While active military personnel are exempt from cuts, authorities say they do anticipate around a 20% decrease in wages for civilian positions, with the cuts coming primarily through furloughs.

Authorities say the loss in wages would affect discretionary spending, particularly for local retailers near military installations.

The impact on the defense contractors, meantime, is not as clear.  Some indicated that construction contracts that have been funded will move forward, but noted anticipated “inevitable” delays.

“We don’t know what’s coming. It’s hard to gauge the impact,” said Alan Hayashi of BAE, a civilian contractor who primarily does ship repair in Pearl Harbor but has subcontractors throughout the islands.

Representative K. Mark Takai, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans, Military & International Affairs said lawmakers now need to aggressively push for legislation that ensures the availability of adequate training areas and ensures continuing ship repair at Pearl Harbor.

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