Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III convened senior Division leaders these days for an update on the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. The meeting incorporated the Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall, Beneath Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Gilbert R. Cisneros Jr., Beneath Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment William A. LaPlante, INDOPACOM commander Admiral John C. Aquilino, Joint Activity Force Red Hill commander Vice Admiral John Wade, and other senior leaders.
Vice Admiral Wade briefed Secretary Austin that efforts to safely and expeditiously defuel the facility are on track to meet the milestones in DoD’s defueling strategy, which projected defueling operations to start February 2024 and be comprehensive by June 2024. The Joint Activity Force is leveraging logistics experience from the Defense Logistics Agency-Power (DLA Power) and is coordinating closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Hawaii Division of Well being (DOH).
The Division of the Navy is actively engaged with federal and state regulators to administer a closure strategy for the Red Hill facility upon conclusion of the defueling method. The Navy also will continue to monitor water top quality levels to make sure residents of Hawaii have access to secure and clean drinking water. In addition, the Defense Well being Agency (DHA), in concert with the Workplace of the Assistant Secretary for Well being Affairs, continues to present overall health care for the military households and residents impacted by the incident. In January 2023, the DHA established the Red Hill Clinic, which delivers very same-day consultations two days a week for these experiencing symptoms potentially associated to the Red Hill fuel release.
In the course of the meeting, Secretary Austin also received an update on the Maui Space Surveillance Complicated (MSCC) fuel spill at the summit of Haleakalā in Maui, Hawaii. The Division of the Air Force recognizes the cultural significance of the Haleakalā summit and is proactively implementing a strategy to mitigate the environmental effect of the leak.
Secretary Austin reaffirmed his commitment to defend human overall health and the atmosphere in Hawaii and emphasized that DoD leaders will continue to function closely with the Hawaii Division of Well being, the Environmental Protection Agency, and Hawaii state officials to make sure a timely and secure defueling and closure of the Red Hill facility.