Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) welcomed a bipartisan Congressional Delegation (CODEL) led by Rep. Mike Rogers, House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, to Hawaii.
She joined them on an overview brief of the United States Pacific Command (PACOM), which covers over 50 percent of the globe’s surface and includes nearly 60 percent of the world’s population, setting the scene for the CODEL’s upcoming travels through the Asia-Pacific region to examine missile defense and security cooperation.
Gabbard highlighted Hawaii’s central role in the PACOM Area of Responsibility (AOR) to the delegation and showcased the unique assets located in Hawaii that contribute to regional missile defense, including the Sea-Based X-Band Radar homeported at Pearl Harbor and the Aegis Ashore testing facility located on Kauai’s Pacific Missile Range Facility.
“It’s important for Members of Congress to come and see firsthand the national assets and capabilities that exist in Hawaii and why it’s necessary to continue to ensure the support and resources are here to complete the mission,” said Gabbard, a member of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees.
“Hawaii’s unique role in national defense and existing threats from places like North Korea must be considered high priorities. I will continue to work towards ensuring our missile defense capabilities move us closer to defending against the increasing threat from North Korea. Today’s meetings equipped these Members with the knowledge and background to effectively work with our partners across the Asia-Pacific in our shared interests for defense and security,” she said.
The CODEL activities included a breakfast meeting with U.S. Army Pacific Commanding General Vincent Brooks, followed by a tour of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and a briefing of the Sea-Based X-Band Radar.
They also met with PACOM Deputy Commander LTG Tony Crutchfield at Camp Smith for a PACOM Area of Responsibility briefing and roundtable discussion. The Honolulu portion of the overview wrapped up with a sobering visit aboard the USS Arizona Memorial.
The CODEL also travelled to Kauai where they met with Captain Bruce Hay and toured the Barking Sands Airfield, Pacific Missile Range Facility, and Aegis Ashore.
Members participating in the Asia-Pacific CODEL include: Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL, HASC Chair, Strategic Forces Subcommittee); Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN, HASC Ranking Member, Strategic Forces Subcommittee); Rep.Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU, HASC Ranking Member, Readiness Subcommittee); Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO, HASC Vice Chair, Strategic Forces Subcommittee); Rep.John Fleming (R-LA); Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS); Rep.Mo Brooks (R-AL); Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC).