March 04, 2020

Hirono to Defense Secretary and Joint Chiefs: HDR-H Provides Critical, Layered Defense for Hawaii

President’s FY21 Budget Request Zeroes Out Funding for Critical Project that Would Help Protect Hawaii from North Korean Ballistic Missile Threat

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) pressed Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to justify why the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2021 zeroes out funding for the Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii (HDR-H) – a critical program that would help protect Hawaii from the threat of a ballistic missile attack from North Korea. Congress has previously authorized the program four times and has appropriated funding for it three times. The Senator also insisted that Secretary Esper commit not to divert previously appropriated funding for the program.

From Senator Hirono’s Questioning:

 “You state your budget request ‘increases missile defense capacity and capability to keep pace with adversary missile systems,’ while investing in a layered defense of the homeland. But in spite of 4 years of authorizations and 3 years of appropriations from Congress, and your own 2019 Missile Defense Review, you have zeroed out the HDR-Hawaii which is part of a system that provides layered defense of the homeland. Is the decision to zero out the funding for HDR-H a decision to not build this radar at all?”

Senator Hirono has advocated for funding for the Homeland Defense Radar in previous defense packages, including authorizing more than $173 million in funding for HDR-H during Fiscal Year 2020.

###