Asia-Pacific think tankBy Gregg K. Kakesako
building base at DeRussy
The Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies is a step closer to building a network in the Pacific Basin.
Since 1995, the center has been renting three floors of the high-rise Waikiki Trade Center while awaiting funding to renovate the two-story Army Reserve Center at Fort DeRussy.
This week Sen. Daniel K. Inouye announced that Ocean House Builders has been awarded a $8.2 million contract to complete the renovation.
Jimmie Lackey, the center's executive director, said that when completed, the renovation will nearly double the center's floor space to 52,000 square feet.
Part of the renovation includes converting a military warehouse and storage area into a 176-seat auditorium and eight seminar rooms.
Lackey said the construction, expected to be completed by May 2000, will expand the center's computer and library facilities as well as its English language lab.
All of the rooms in the Fort DeRussy center will be connected by fiber-optic cables and linked into a videoconferencing system, Lackey said.
Retired Marine Lt. Gen. H.C. "Hank" Stackpole, former commanding general of Marine Forces Pacific, is president of the center, whose purpose is to draw together young government officials, diplomats and military leaders from the Pacific region early in their career to discuss in an academic setting the effects of the economy, politics, military and other forces.
The center is patterned after the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies established in Germany six years ago. It focuses on demilitarization and human rights in Europe and the former Soviet bloc.
The European center -- which operates out a former U.S. Army base in Garmisch in southern Germany -- involves 22 Central and Eastern European countries and holds classes simultaneously in three languages: English, German and Russian.
The military hopes to start similar regional study centers in Latin America, Middle East and Africa.
Adm. Charles R. Larson, who served as Pacific Forces commander from 1991 to 1994, conceived of the need for an Asia-Pacific think tank, but it did not receive congressional support until Inouye attended the opening of the Marshall Center in 1993.
Inouye and Sen. Ted Stevens, now chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, were impressed by the ties it built among rising military officers and diplomats from the United States, Germany and the former Soviet bloc.