Federal defense bill set to strengthen Hawaii's security and economy


By:  HJ Mai
Hawaii is set to benefit from a $700 billion federal defense bill that passed the U.S. Senate on Thursday.

The National Defense Authorization Act, which will now head to the desk of President Donald Trump, will strengthen Hawaii's security and economy during fiscal year 2018, according to a statement from Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii.

The measure includes investments of more than $300 million for military construction in the state.

“This year’s NDAA reflects the central role Hawaii plays in supporting and advancing our country’s strategic interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” she said. “From establishing the Asia Pacific Security Initiative, to fighting back against headquarters cuts at Pacific Command, and enhancing our nation’s missile defense capabilities, this legislation strengthens our national security and benefits those who serve in Hawaii and across the country.”

Hirono, who is a ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee and the NDAA Conference Committee, was able to secure a number of provisions that could benefit Hawaii.

They include, among other things, a required review of data before assessing staffing cuts, improvements to the country's missile defense capabilities and enhancing energy resiliency.