Reps. Call for Congressional Inquiry into False Ballistic Missile Alarm

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U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard have requested a formal Congressional investigation into the policies, practices and procedures governing the issuance of a ballistic missile alert, following Saturday’s false ballistic missile alarm.

Reps. Gabbard and Hanabusa called for the inquiry in a letter sent to the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), with copies to the Seapower & Projection Forces, Readiness, and Strategic Forces Subcommittees, as well as a copy to Congressman Adam Schiff, the Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee. Ranking Member Schiff has indicated an interest in a Congressional inquiry into the false ballistic missile alert.

Hanabusa and Gabbard are members of HASC.


“Saturday’s false missile alert was a colossal failure, causing a false alarm that not only terrified families all across Hawaiʻi, but revealed a chain of failures that must be immediately corrected,” said Rep. Gabbard. “We must get to the bottom of what occurred, hold those responsible accountable, and take necessary steps to ensure this never happens again in Hawaiʻi or anywhere in the country. This false alarm also underlined the increasing risk of nuclear war, even unintentionally, that could be triggered by such an alarm, as we saw occur many times in the past between the U.S. and Soviet Union. This incident serves as a critical wakeup call for leaders in Washington about the global consequences such a false alarm can have. I look forward to working with our colleagues in Congress, DOD, and state officials to take the lessons learned from this incident, and strengthen the processes and systems in place to protect the safety and security of the people of Hawaiʻi and this country.”

“Without prejudging the outcome of any investigation, the question is to what extent the DOD should have greater control or oversight over military and/or national security emergency alerts issued by state emergency management agencies,” said Rep. Hanabusa. “Unfortunately, the events of January 13, 2018 were of a very serious nature with the potential for wide ranging negative implications for the Department of Defense, national security, tourism, and the fundamental confidence people must have in our in state emergency management/civil defense system. I look forward to working with the Hawai‘i congressional delegation, the House Armed Services Committee, the FCC, the DOD and state agencies as we go through this investigative process. The goal is to take this opportunity to learn from a very unfortunate and preventable incident to make sure our emergency management and civil defense processes and policies are sound, rigorous and tested, ultimately serving the best interests of Hawai‘i’s residents, U.S. citizens, visitors to Hawai‘i and U.S national security. I commit that I will do my very best to see that Hawai‘i comes out stronger and better positioned to serve the people as a result of my involvement in this process.”


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