East Hawaii News

Gabbard Discusses Missile Defense at Committee Hearing

March 22, 2016, 2:02 PM HST
* Updated March 22, 5:58 PM
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Representative Tulsi Gabbard. U.S. House of Representatives photo.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard. U.S. House of Representatives photo.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard called on Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the FY2017 defense budget on Tuesday.

Representative Gabbard asked the pair to focus on the current and emerging threats in the Asia Pacific, which includes the threat from North Korea, and an increased commitment of missile defense systems for Hawai’i and the country.

“North Korea’s launch of five short range missiles yesterday [Monday] serves as yet another reminder of the serious threat North Korea poses to Hawaiʻi and the mainland,” said Representative Tulsi Gabbard. “Addressing this threat must remain at the forefront as we look at how and where we are placing and investing our defense resources.

“Secretary Carter said today the Department of Defense is working to enhance our country’s defense against North Korean missiles by increasing the number of interceptors to stop those missiles and adding additional radar to detect them. I will continue to work with Secretary Carter and the DOD to ensure those systems are fielded as quickly as possible and ready to protect Hawaiʻi.”

Secretary Carter acknowledged the important role that facilities like the Pacific Missle Range Facility on Kaua’i play in allowing the U.S. to develop and test missile defenses.

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Representative Gabbard has been a strong advocate for U.S. investment in missile defense, and has favored sanctions against North Korea. In February, the Congresswoman cosponsored the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act.

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