Defense Chairman Tester Inspects Hawaii Military Facilities, Briefed on Pacific Military Readiness and Partnerships

Senator joined by Senator Schatz to tour troubled fuel storage facility before being briefed by regional military leadership

Fulfilling his ongoing responsibility to ensure America’s military can defend the United States and ensure its national security, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense Jon Tester (D-Mont.) joined Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) for a tour of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Honolulu and received operational briefings on the force posture of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command along with an update on regional security partnerships.

“It was an honor and privilege to meet with the brave women and men of our military who are responsible for defending our nation in the Pacific and around the world,” said Tester. “I’m also grateful for the invitation from Senator Schatz to tour the Red Hill facility and see it with him firsthand, and I’m going to keep working with him and the Department of Defense to make sure the Navy has the tools they need to move forward. As Defense Chairman, I’m going to keep working every day to make sure our brave servicemembers have the resources they need to do their jobs and keep us safe, and that starts by passing a full-year appropriations package that meets their needs. I hope my colleagues will continue working with me in good faith to get that done.”

Tester and Schatz toured the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility after a fuel leak in November contaminated a Navy-operated well, causing a significant number of Americans to get sick and forcing roughly 3,500 military to move from their homes. The tour included an inspection of the facility’s Tank #19 lower tunnel and well shaft.

Then Tester met with U.S. Indo-Pacific Command leadership from the Navy and Air Force at the command headquarters. He received briefings from senior military leadership on operations and force posture in the Pacific as well as updates on security partnerships in the region. He also toured the Air Operations Center at U.S. Air Force Pacific Command headquarters.

Earlier this month, Chairman Tester met with top military officials, including the Secretary of the Navy, and visited naval installations in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, where he toured naval shipyards, received updates on technologies being developed to counter global threats, and inspected America’s naval defense readiness.

Tester took the gavel of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee in January. The Subcommitee is responsible for providing more than $720 billion annually to the Department of Defense and related agencies. This is more than 95 percent of the military’s yearly budget, and includes matters ranging from pay and benefits for millions of service members and civilians to the development of advanced technologies and next-generation weapons. The Subcommittee also oversees funding for nearly all major U.S. intelligence agencies.

Photos from Tester’s visit can be found HERE.