2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 28 Jul 2003 15:38:20 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] State may experience buildup of military forces
State may experience buildup of military forces
By William Cole
Monday, July 28, 2003

A reorganization of U.S. forces worldwide could bring a degree of
military buildup to Hawai'i not seen since the Vietnam War, subsequently
undoing much of the downsizing that followed the end of the Cold War.

Ambitious plans for a $1.5 billion Stryker brigade, eight C-17 cargo
planes, and the possibility of an aircraft carrier strike group would
re-orient some of the United States' most advanced firepower to the
middle of the Pacific.

All of the additions could bring approximately 17,000 military members
to O'ahu, counting their families  even more if carrier escort ships
are added to Pearl Harbor.

"It's kind of interesting to look at the evolving military strategy here
in Hawai'i because that mission has changed dramatically in the past 10
years," said Daniel Martinez, historian for the USS Arizona Memorial.

_From a peak of 134,000 in 1988, the number of military and family
members in Hawai'i in 2002 stood at 81,610, according to the Hawai'i
Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.

There were 21 surface ships based at Pearl Harbor in 1988, compared with
11 today.

These days, it's all about speed  getting to the battle faster  and
departing from Hawai'i cuts a week's sailing time to Asia for an
aircraft carrier. The Army's goal is to be able to deliver a Stryker
brigade of eight-wheeled vehicles anywhere in the world in 96 hours.

"We're talking about a much stronger mobile force that doesn't take days
or weeks to get to an area of contention, it can literally take hours,"
Martinez said.

Not since World War II has a carrier been based here. The Navy also is
looking at basing a carrier air wing of 70 to 80 aircraft on O'ahu and
adding escort ships to Pearl Harbor.

"That (a carrier for Hawai'i) would be just a hugely dramatic shift,"
said Patrick Garrett, a military analyst for GlobalSecurity.org, a
Virginia-based think tank.

It would be a huge shift economically, as well.


"We're very concerned about this buildup," said Kyle Kajihiro, program
director for the American Friends Service Committee, a peace and justice
organization founded by the Quakers. "Already the military controls so
much land here  we were looking forward to some of those lands being
cleaned up and returned after the end of the Cold War. But now it looks
like they're even going to take back some of those lands."

The former Barbers Point Naval Air Station  now called Kalaeloa  is
being eyed as a base for a carrier air wing. The Army, meanwhile, is
seeking 1,500 to 2,100 acres adjacent to Schofield Barracks, 71 acres in
Kahuku, and 23,000 additional acres on the Big Island for training with
Stryker vehicles.

Kajihiro reiterated the oft-stated complaint that the military needs to
clean up the land it has polluted before it uses even more.

"The military here is the largest polluter," Kajihiro said. "We've
identified over a thousand contaminated sites, and they've failed to
clean up the ones they have attempted to remediate  such as

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