Maui News

Hirono presses senior DOD official on need for Unified Missile Defense Plan for Hawaiʻi

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US Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, questioned General Glen VanHerck, Commander of the US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and North American Aerospace Defense Command, on the need for a robust, unified plan for missile defense of Hawaiʻi during a full committee hearing.

“General VanHerck, you are responsible for homeland defense and you noted this morning that you have concerns about attack assessment and threat warning, and that brings me to concerns I have about the missile defense of Hawaiʻi—concerns that I’ve been expressing for a number of years now,” said Senator Hirono during the hearing. “And I do remain concerned that the Department of Defense does not have a plan to address the current and future missile defense needs of Hawaiʻi.”

As a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, Senator Hirono said she is fighting to ensure the Department of Defense (DoD) is ready and able to defend Hawaiʻi from foreign threats, and continues to press DoD leadership on the need for a unified, department-wide plan for the missile defense of Hawaiʻi.  In a hearing last month, Senator Hirono pressed the Commanders of US Strategic Command and US Space Command about the roles their commands play in Hawaiʻi’s missile defense. 


“There is no single Commander entirely responsible for coordinating the DOD’s defense of Hawaiʻi,” continued Senator Hirono. “So, just as we saw in the crisis at Red Hill, when no single leader has ultimate responsibility for the coordination and execution of the mission, there is room for issues to fall through the cracks and adding to the concerning lack of trust that Hawaiʻi’s communities have regarding the military.”


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