Defense and National Security

As home to the U.S. Pacific Command, Hawai‘i has a deep and storied history with our military.  Senator Schatz is committed to strengthening Hawai‘i’s strategic military position in the Asia-Pacific region  and to making smart investments in America’s national defense so that we can continue to support our service members and their families, and ensure that America has the resources it needs to protect its national interests when they are threatened.  He is also committed to thinking anew about the role of our military in the world, beginning with moving away from a perennial war posture that erodes our moral standing abroad and adversely impacts our national security.

Supporting Our Military Community

After more than a decade of war, transitioning back to life at home can be difficult for many members of our Armed Forces.  Senator Schatz is committed to providing those who have served with the resources they require when they return home after serving our country. That is why he is working on legislation to establish a pilot program that would leverage an online assessment tool to help families and friends identify service members that may be at risk of suicide or are struggling with mental health challenges. 

To ensure a safe environment for all service members, Senator Schatz is working with his colleagues to improve the way the military addresses sexual assault in an effort to prevent these tragic crimes from occurring and to bring to justice those that perpetrate these heinous acts.  Senator Schatz has cosponsored legislation which would make sure the military justice system is impartial when investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cases.  In addition, he is working to expand legal and disability services for victims and require a comprehensive review of the military responsible for sexual assault prevention.  These reforms will bring justice to victims, keep our service members safe and guarantee the integrity of our military.

Maintaining Readiness

Senator Schatz is committed to making sure that the United States has the resources it needs to train and ready our service members, prepare the Armed Forces against emerging challenges and ensure the U.S. military remains the best in the world.

As the Obama Administration rebalances America’s foreign policy to the Asia Pacific, Hawai‘i’ will play a pivotal role in supporting U.S. interests in the region.  It is important that Hawai‘i support the development of training facilities in balance with local cultural and environmental sensitivities.  That is why Senator Schatz worked to help secure funding to construct and operate a new Infantry Platoon Battle Course that will create new jobs in Hawai‘i and give military forces the space they need to train for a range of contingencies.  He has also secured funding that will allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue its important work to dispose of unexploded ordnance at former military sites across the state, and to restore the environment for the benefit of all of the people of Hawai‘i. 

Senator Schatz is helping to bring the Coast Guard’s two new National Security Cutters to Hawai‘i, so the state has the capability it needs to safeguard its maritime interests, including protecting valuable and vulnerable fisheries and saving lives by supporting search and rescue missions.  And Brian is working to bring new funding to help improve the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard so that Hawai‘i’s naval engineers can continue to perform the important work of readying our surface and submarine forces to protect America’s interests in the Pacific.