Isle military
spending to get
$248 million boost

Hawaii stands to gain $248 million in new military construction and high-technology research and development under legislation approved this week by the U.S. House.

Hawaii's projects are contained in the $491 billion defense bill. The bill also contains a provision that lets the Pentagon continue to determine military jobs for women as long as it gives Congress 60 days' notice -- twice as much time as is currently required.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, said the appropriations measure contains $114.8 million to continue the development at Schofield Barracks and the Big Island's Pohakuloa Training Area to accommodate the 25th Division's new Stryker mobile fighting unit. The Army plans to spend $693 million on Oahu and the Big Island on 28 Stryker-related military construction projects.

Army projects in the military spending bill include:

» $41 million to upgrade Drum Road, a 23-mile unpaved road that connects Schofield to the Army's Kahuku training facilities. The entire project will cost $70 million so soldiers can avoid using Kamehameha Highway.
» $34 million to prepare a 1,500-acre part of Pohakuloa to be a live-fire range used by the crews of the 19-ton, eight-wheel combat vehicles.
» $9.3 million for a vehicle facility at Pohakuloa.
» $5.9 million to replace and upgrade Schofield Barracks' current mock enemy-occupied village where soldiers learn to enter buildings while firing live ammunition.
» $24.6 million to continue building a motor pool on newly acquired Campbell Estate land adjacent to Schofield Barracks.
» $48 million as part of the continuing barracks renewal project at Schofield.
For the Air Force, Abercrombie said the spending bill includes:
» $5.6 million for a Hickam intelligence squadron facility.
» $2.5 million for the Hawaii Air National Guard F-15 jet aircraft maintenance facility.
» $6.5 million for an Air Force Reserve training building at Hickam.

Abercrombie said he added $8.7 million in new military construction projects to take care of environmental problems at a Ford Island hangar and upgrade the electrical systems at Hickam Air Force Base. He said he added an additional $27 million for technology funding.

The $27 million includes $2.2 million for the University of Hawaii's Marine Mammal Research Program in Kaneohe to support the development of a national center to deal with problems caused by low-frequency sonar on marine mammals.

"The technology projects are strategically significant," Abercrombie said. "They will nourish our tech sector and help develop a work force that will position our economy for the 21st century."


High technology
gets funding

The U.S. House-approved $491 billion defense bill contains $27 million of technology funding for Hawaii, added by U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, including:

» $5 million for Oceanit to help the Air Force provide early detection and warning of missile and space launches.
» $6 million to 21st Century Systems to continue the Navy's submarine warfare research.
» $6 million to Novasol to continue the Navy's unmanned aerial vehicle research.
» $2 million to the Hawaii Air National Guard to support its Eagle Vision satellite tracking system.
» $3 million to Alakai Consulting and Engineering to continue research into detecting improvised explosive devices.
» $3 million to Atlantis Cyberspace for virtual training tools used by the Army, Marines and special forces troops in Hawaii.

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