April 25, 2013

AT ARMED SERVICES HEARING, SENATOR HIRONO COMMENDS NAVY SECRETARY FOR TRYING TO STOP FURLOUGHS AT PEARL HARBOR, ELSEWHERE

Hirono Also Discussed Military’s Alternative Energy Efforts, Marine Movements In The Pacific with the Secretary of the Navy and top Navy & Marine Corps officers

Washington, D.C. - Senator Hirono thanked Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus today for trying to find ways to avoid furloughing civilian workers at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and other naval facilities across the country. Hirono also spoke with General James Amos, the current Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the Chief of Naval Operations, during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today.

“Secretary Mabus, I want to thank you for doing everything you can to use some other method than furloughing thousands civilian employees at our various shipyards and other places in order to meet your budget cuts,” Hirono said. “The thousands of civilian employees at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and I commend you on those efforts.”

Earlier this month, the Navy announced that leaders are looking for ways to avoid furloughing civilian workers, including those at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

In response to a question from Senator Hirono about the importance of alternative energy research in the military, Mabus argued that the military’s dependence on fossil fuels is a major vulnerability.

“Senator this is a military vulnerability -- the amount of fuel that we use, the type of fuels that we use, the vulnerability we have to supply shocks and also to price shocks,” Mabus said. “I think that if we were to lessen that commitment to diversifying our sources, to becoming more efficient, that we would simply be making a military vulnerability worse.

Hirono also asked Amos for an update on the relocation of Marine forces throughout the region. The Marines play a significant role in the President’s strategy to rebalance to the Pacific.

You can watch video of Senator Hirono’s exchanges here: http://youtu.be/rEIR6vCIjCk