Sen. Hirono: “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 Hawaii’s communities have regarding the military.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, questioned General Glen VanHerck, Commander of the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and North American Aerospace Defense Command, on the need for a robust, unified plan for missile defense of Hawaii 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 Hawaii—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 Hawaii.”
As a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, Senator Hirono is fighting to ensure the Department of Defense (DoD) is ready and able to defend Hawaii from foreign threats, and has repeatedly pressed DoD leadership on the lack of a unified, department-wide plan for the missile defense of Hawaii. In a hearing last month, Senator Hirono pressed the Commanders of U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Space Command about the roles their commands play in Hawaii’s missile defense.
“There is no single Commander entirely responsible for coordinating the DOD’s defense of Hawaii,” 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 Hawaii’s communities have regarding the military.”
A link to download video of Senator Hirono’s full question line is available here.
As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Chair of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, Senator Hirono is focused on overseeing the safe closure of Red Hill, rebuilding and modernizing military infrastructure in Hawaii and around the country, strengthening U.S. relationships with partners and allies, and advancing DOD’s work to combat climate change.