(DailyVantage.com) – The House of Representatives Select Committee on China recently sent a letter to the United States Secretary of Navy concerning a plan to move resources from Hawaii to different storage areas across the Pacific Ocean. According to the letter, the United States Navy should focus on moving the fuel earlier than planned. The primary motivation behind the letter was for members of Congress to express doubts about the United States military and the Navy’s preparedness for a potential conflict with another nation.
The plan to move fuel is a response to a recent leak at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickman, which contaminated several bodies of water in Hawaii. The leak occurred at the Red Hill facility on the joint base, which the United States military established during the 1940s. The Pentagon said military personnel would load the remaining fuel onto various cargo ships and fuel tankers and relocate it to multiple support sites. According to a Pentagon spokesperson, the relocation process should take several years.
The primary author of the letter, Republican Representative Mike Gallagher, expressed his doubts about the Navy’s ability to relocate the fuel located at the Red Hill facility effectively. Gallagher also said that without a proper long-term solution, the entire process could end up stalling for an indeterminate amount of time. Gallagher noted that the entire operation would require increased activity from naval ships in the Pacific Ocean, adding an increased risk to Navy personnel. After Gallagher’s letter reached Secretary Carlos Del Toro, the Navy provided a public response that didn’t address the operational issues identified by the congressman.
According to a spokesperson from the United States Navy, Del Toro’s office doesn’t currently have any additional information regarding the fuel relocation. The letter from the congressional committee is the latest instance of members of Congress raising concerns about a potential conflict and the increased risk of the military operating in the Pacific Ocean. According to some military experts, continued operations in the Pacific Ocean could result in China taking action against the United States due to a territorial dispute.
Gallagher also expressed concerns about the lack of Naval ships available for the fuel relocation. To address the lack of ships for the operation, United States officials enlist commercial tankers’ help, but Gallagher claims the added ships aren’t enough to resolve the fuel relocation issue quickly.
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