Local Connection: Hawaii Military Drawdown

Local Connection: Hawaii Military Drawdown

By: Rick Blangiardi

Army Chief of State Gen. Ray Odierno, who toured Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam last week, gave us some encouraging news about the military drawdown.

He said that while he was pretty certain Hawaii would lose some soldiers, he felt strongly it wouldn't be close to the nearly 20,000 from Schofield and Fort Shafter that has been cited as part of the drawdown.

You would have expect Gen. Odierno to make a great case for keeping our bases strong here because of our proximity to the Asia Pacific and because of the increasing instability around the world, including North Korea and possibly China. But it is a fact that the post-war military is going to go from about 495,000 active-duty soldiers down to 450,000 or even fewer, depending on sequestration. That equates to a $1 billion dollar impact to the state.

So while it's heartening to hear what General Odierno had to say, we still need to step up and keep the heat on Washington that we need our troops here. Hawaii is still a prime spot in the world that helps with the defense needs of Hawaii and the United States. Let's keep it that way.

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