Case Says Congress-Passed Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations Measure Boosts IndoPacific Defense-Related Spending and Enhances Hawaii's Presence and Role
His Appropriations Committee Leads Additional Funding For The Red Hill crisis, Military Construction In Hawai?i and The Pacific Deterrence Initiative
Honolulu, HI, March 14, 2022
Tags: National Security
(Honolulu,HI) - U.S. Congressman Ed Case, a member of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations, responsible for all federal discretionary spending, voted on March 09, 2022, with a majority of his colleagues to pass a $1.5 trillion measure to fund the federal government for the current fiscal year (FY 2022), to include billions for America’s national security
H.R. 2471, the FY 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act, now awaits the President’s consideration and expected signature into law after the Senate voted to pass the measure a day after approval in the House.
Case said the bill addresses many priorities for Hawai‘i, including over $700 million more for Red Hill, $235 million for military construction projects throughout the state, and billions to fund the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) to strengthen America’s national security in the Indo-Pacific and Hawaii’s central role.
“On Red Hill in particular, and on the heels of the recent announcement by the Secretary of Defense to defuel and permanently close Red Hill, my Appropriations Committee included some $736 million in new funding I requested to continue supporting displaced servicemembers, civilians and their families, addressing drinking water contamination and conducting activities in compliance with the State of Hawaii’s emergency order.”
“These funds are in addition to the $403 million in emergency funding we obtained in another bill we passed just weeks ago, bringing Congress’ total funding for all aspects of Red Hill in the current fiscal year alone to over $1.1 billion. But billions more will be required to complete all aspects of the cleanup, stabilization, defueling and closing of Red Hill and the relocation of its fuel and build fuel storage capacity elsewhere, and I am already working with the Department of Defense on the Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations bill to assure that such funding is fully available,” said Case.
Case also stressed that PDI is key to ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific. “PDI provides the foundation for establishing a forward-deployed, properly equipped and postured force to deter aggression and assure our allies and partners,” he explained.
“We must deter and deny our adversaries’ ability to engage in acts of aggression or coercion against our partners and allies. We need investments in Guam, our Pacific Island partners, training ranges throughout the Indo-Pacific and a new generation of weapons to overcome the tyranny of distance.”
Case also highlighted the importance of continued Congressional support for the Homeland Defense Radar Hawai‘i (HDR-H).
“Given the prominence of Hawaii’s military and strategic value, Hawai’i has become far more of a target to those who wish to do us harm. The need for a fixed, persistent and comprehensive missile defense cannot be overstated. This requirement hasn’t gone away and won’t. The Homeland Defense Radar Hawai‘i is the solution. It is regarded by the Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command as vital and appropriate,” he said.
The agreement includes over $686 million to continue supporting displaced servicemembers, civilians and their families, addressing drinking water contamination and to conduct activities in compliance with the State of Hawaii’s emergency order. The Secretary of Defense is also directed to provide a report to Congress no later than 90 days after enactment of the bill detailing all options under consideration by the Department of Defense (DoD) to mitigate issues related to the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, as well as future fuel storage requirements.
The military construction section of the bill, developed by Case’s Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, also includes two key provisions related to Red Hill:
2. Directs the Secretary of Defense to provide the House Appropriations Committee a report, within 90 days, that identifies future military construction and remediation requirements related to Red Hill and implementation of the Secretary of Defense’s order.
Finally, the bill includes $5 million to continue improving the safety of underground fuel storage tanks at the Red Hill Underground Fuel Facility as the Navy works to defuel the facility.
National Defense Priorities for Hawai‘i
Hawaii’s strategic importance is growing with the continued threats and instability in the Indo-Pacific, home to more than 50% of the world’s population, several of the world’s largest militaries, and two of the three largest economies in the world. Case said this investment in the State of Hawai‘i has a direct economic impact as well. Per a 2021 report from the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, total defense-related payroll and contract spending in the state accounted for $7.2 billion.
Key programs and provisions requested and secured by Case relevant to Hawai‘i include:
· $75 million to continue development of HDR-H. This “discriminating radar” is a critical state-of-the-art radar system designed to protect our country and state from ballistic missile threats and was strongly supported by our Indo-Pacific military leaders. The radar system will be capable of identifying and classifying specific missile threats and will address current and emerging threats.
· Funding for the non-construction elements of the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP), to include $264 million for ongoing operations and maintenance (in addition to military construction described below). Case requested funds to ensure support for the SIOP, which is undertaking a multi-year $21 billion effort to improve the Navy’s public shipyards, including Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Hawaii’s largest industrial employer.
· $4 million for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s Regional Centers. This funding will help expand the work of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies at Fort DeRussy, a premier defense-supported research and education center in Honolulu that fosters shared understanding and networked relationships among civilian and military leaders throughout the Indo-Pacific.
· $293 million for Environmental Restoration, Formerly Used Defense Sites Program, which is $74 million over the President’s budget request. These funds will help accelerate efforts to remove unexploded ordnance and discarded military munitions in Hawai‘i and throughout the nation.
· A study from the DoD’s Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation (OLDCC) on how local communities are impacted by military helicopter and tiltrotor noise. This study will result in noise contour maps that can be incorporated in community planning through the OLDCC’s existing Noise Mitigation Community Partnership Program.
· Military contracting preference language for Native American tribes and Native Hawaiian Organizations.
· Support for the Naval Shipyard Apprentice Program, with instructions to the Secretary of the Navy to induct classes of not fewer than 100 apprentices at each of the respective naval shipyards and to include the costs of the class of apprentices in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget request.
· Blocked efforts to change the command and control structure of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. There have been efforts within the department to streamline control of forces under one command structure, which would limit the ability of Navy forces in Hawai‘i to respond quickly to changing threats in the Indo-Pacific region.
· A briefing to Congress on any upgrades to the electrical utility system on Barbers Point that would be necessary to facilitate its divestiture from the Navy. The briefing shall identify the funding requirements by appropriation for the design costs and electrical utility infrastructure upgrades, as well as customer connections to the new lines.
The measure also includes:
Military Construction Projects for Hawai‘i
Military installations in Hawai‘i play a crucial role in keeping the U.S. safe and protecting our national interests worldwide, especially given the shift in our national security strategies and resources to the Indo-Pacific. Improvements to these facilities also expand Hawaii’s economy and support high-paying construction jobs that ensure a high-quality standard of living.
Programs and provisions requested and secured by Case include:
o $65 million to Marine Corps Base Kāne‘ohe to upgrade its electrical distribution system, which needs major improvements to support future missions at the base related to redesigning the Marine Corps for current threats in the Indo-Pacific.
o $55 million to complete U.S. Army Pacific’s new Command and Control Facility on Fort Shafter.
o $51 million for the West Loch Naval Magazine Annex, which would enable the Army to move its munitions from its current storage magazines at the Navy’s Lualualei Annex near Wai‘anae on the leeward side to the West Loch Annex.
o $30 million for the Veterinary Treatment Facility Replacement at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, which is staffed by Army Veterinary Corps personnel who provide complete veterinary care for all government-owned animals.
o $19 million for advance planning and design efforts to support the Homeland Defense Radar-Hawai‘i.
o $9 million for advance planning and design efforts to support planned upgrades to the Air Force’s Maui Experimental Lab.
o $6 million for Marine Corps Training Area Bellow’s perimeter security fence.
PDI / Indo-Pacific Priorities
Congress created and funded the PDI to help prioritize China as the number one pacing challenge for our military. It is designed to bolster deterrence and maintain our competitive edge in the Indo-Pacific in recognition of threats posed by China and the need to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Key components of the PDI for FY 2022 include:
The bill’s defense section supports federal agencies and programs in the DoD and Intelligence Community, including the military branches of services, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. The bill provides $728.5 billion for these national defense programs, an increase of $32.5 billion over the FY 2021 enacted level. A detailed summary of the bill’s defense provisions is available here.
The bill’s military construction section supports the construction and maintenance of our defense facilities throughout the country and world. The bill provides a total of $15 billion for military construction, which is nearly $7 billion above the FY 2021 enacted level. A detailed summary of the bill’s military construction provisions is available here.
The bill also includes the Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act that provides $13.6 billion in emergency funding to support the Ukrainian people and defend global democracy in the wake of Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine. A detailed summary of the bill’s Ukraine-related provisions is available here. A detailed summary of the overall bill is available here.