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Hirono secures priorities for Hawai‘i in committee markup of annual defense bill

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Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Photo Courtesy: U.S. Navy

U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, secured several priorities for Hawai‘i and the U.S. military during the Committee’s markup of the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act.

As Chair of the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, Senator Hirono has made modernizing Department of Defense infrastructure in Hawai‘i and across the country one of her top priorities.

“Modern, high-quality infrastructure is critical to our military’s ability to defend our nation and support our servicemembers,” said Senator Hirono. “The crisis at Red Hill has made all too clear the consequences of failing to properly maintain and modernize DOD infrastructure.”


In addition to her infrastructure-related priorities, Senator Hirono also secured provisions focused on communities in Hawai‘i, and supporting servicemembers and their families.

“Hawai‘i plays a critical role in our nation’s defense, and this bill acknowledged that importance by investing in DOD projects across the state to benefit both military and civilian communities,” said Senator Hirono.

Specifically, Senator Hirono secured provisions that:

  • Continuing last year’s work, authorizes funds for the Navy to pay for the cost to transfer customers off the Navy’s electrical system at Kalaeloa to a new system operated by Hawaiian Electric.
  • Invests in Department of Defense facilities in Hawai‘i to include funding for:
    • Replacement of Dry Dock 3 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
    • Planning and design (P&D) funds for the waterfront production facility at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
    • A water storage tank at Schofield Barracks
    • Water reclamation facility compliance upgrades at Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay
    • Maintenance & Operations Complex for 10th Marines at Kaneohe Bay
    • New water well and booster pump at Fort Shafter
    • Water well and storage tank at Helemano Military Reservation,
    • Water storage tank at Aliamanu Military Reservation,
    • Planning and design funds for an air traffic control tower at Wheeler Army Airfield
    • Completion of a 500-kilowatt solar covered parking lot and electric vehicle charging station at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam,
    • Planning and Design funds for an air traffic control tower at Wheeler Army Airfield
    • An elevated water tank and distribution line at Schofield Barracks,
    • Completion of primary electrical distribution at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
    • Military housing restructuring at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam.
  • Authorizes the procurement of a dual-use aviation safety and missile defense radar in support of the defense of Hawai‘i.
  • Increases the budget for the High-Performance Computing Modernization Program which will support the Maui High Performance Computing Center.

Committee approval is the first step in the process to establish defense funding levels and set policies for the Department of Defense. The bill will next be debated and voted on by the full Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives will debate and advance its own separate bill.

Once both the Senate and House pass their versions of the National Defense Authorization Act, they must be reconciled by a bicameral conference committee, and then approved by each chamber before a final version is sent to the President to be signed into law.

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