On Wednesday while testifying in front of the House Armed Services committee, the head of U.S. Pacific Command said that in order to protect against the growing threats from North Korea, he believes putting missile interceptors and improving radar capability in Hawaii is essential.
“I believe the missile interceptors that we have to defend our homeland directly in Alaska and California are critical,” U.S. Pacific Command Commander Adm. Harry Harris said during his testimony. “I have suggested that we consider putting interceptors in Hawaii that defend Hawaii directly and we look at defensive Hawaii radar that improve Hawaii’s capability.”
J.D. Gordon, a former U.S. Navy Commander and Pentagon spokesman, told American Military News that unless something is done, it’s inevitable that North Korea could strike Hawaii.
“As North Korea continues to test ballistic missiles and nuclear devices underground, unless something changes, it’s only a matter of time before it can devastate Hawaii with a strike that would make the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack seem small by comparison,” Gordon said.
In February, J.D. Gordon wrote an op-ed for American Military News on the threat of North Korea potentially launching an attack on Hawaii.
Currently the U.S. has missile interceptors in Alaska and California, but none in Hawaii. Hawaii’s current radar system, the mobile sea-based X-band radar, is built on an old oil platform. Adm. Harris said that they “only have one of those and we use it a lot.”
While being questioned by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard about the threat that Kim Jong Un poses to Hawaii, Adm. Harris said the North Korean leader is “clearly in a position to threaten Hawaii today.”
Gordon reiterated Adm. Harris’ statements that missile interceptors and improving the radar systems on Hawaii is critical.
“Hawaii is not nearly as prepared as it ought to be,” Gordon told American Military News. “We need to fix this before it’s too late. Operationalizing the Aegis Ashore test facility in Kauai with active SM-3 missile interceptors and installing the AN/TYP-2 missile defense radar are urgent steps to protect over 1.4 million Americans on the islands.”