Defense In Hawaii: Past and Present

Hawaii’s strategic location in the Asia-Pacific region has made it an appropriate home to the
U.S. military since it became a U.S. territory in 1898. The historic attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, which led the United States into World War II, was the most notable event in Hawaii’s military
history. More than 2,000 American soldiers and sailors lost their lives on what became known as
“a date which will live in infamy.”

Today, the military is the second largest economic driver for the state of Hawaii with more than
146,000 military members and their dependents across the state representing the Army, Navy,
Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and National Guard.

2017

In the first test of its kind, the U.S. Homeland Missile Defense System successfully intercepts and destroys a simulated Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) over the Pacific.

2016

U.S. Pacific Fleet hosts Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016, the 25th iteration of the world’s largest international maritime training exercise. Twenty six nations and more than 25,000 participate, the most of any RIMPAC year to date.

2015

Hawaii launches a successful “Keep Hawaii’s Heroes” campaign to prevent mass downsizing of soldier and civilian and personnel.

2014

The U.S., United Kingdom and NATO officially end combat operations in Afghanistan, though several thousand soldiers remain behind in a supporting role.

2013

Congress fails to agree to a deficit-reduction plan, which leads to across-the-board cuts in federal spending called “Sequestration”.

Read More About Sequestration

2012

U.S. and Japan conclude an agreement to withdraw about half the U.S. Marines stationed in Okinawa, with 2,700 being sent to Hawaii.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye passes away at the age of 88.

Read More About Sen. Inouye

2011

Pres. Obama announces a renewed focus on security and economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, nicknamed the “pivot to the Pacific.”

U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq.

Read More About the Pivot to the Pacific

2010

Pearl Harbor and Hickam Air Force Base officially merge as Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

2009

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye is appointed Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

2007

The Army’s Installation Management Command (IMCOM) is activated to consolidate and strengthen installation support services to soldiers and their families.

The Navy successfully conducts a test of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System at Pacific Missile Range Facility-Kauai.

Read More About IMCOM

2005

Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commissioners vote to prevent Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard from being closed or downsized.

2004

The first Hawaii-based soldiers, 25th Infantry Division, deploy to the Middle East as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Read More About Operation Iraqi Freedom

2003

The U.S. invades Iraq.

2002

The U.S. Coast Guard is transferred from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Homeland Security.

2001

One month after the September 11 attacks, the U.S. invades Afghanistan and launches Operation Enduring Freedom.

Read More About Operation Enduring Freedom

1994

The Marine Corps consolidates its properties in Hawaii under a new command, Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

1990

The U.S. Army Pacific is established.

1980

Hickam AFB is designated as a National Historic Landmark, recognizing it as a historic resource in World War II.

1973

The U.S. Army Support Command, Hawaii is established.

Hickam Air Force Base units assist with the Operation Homecoming, the return of prisoners of war from Vietnam.

Bellows is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as artifacts found there confirm that it is one of the oldest places of human habitation in the Hawaiian Islands.

1960

Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing is organized as the 154th Fighter Group.

1960s

Host units at Hickam Air Force Base support the Apollo astronauts.

1959

Hawaii becomes the 50th state of the union.

1958

Runways at Bellows Field are closed. Bellows Field becomes Bellows Air Force Station.

1957

Camp Smith becomes the headquarters for the U.S. Pacific Command.

1955

The Marine Corps selects the Aiea Naval Hospital site to serve as home for U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. The hospital is renamed Camp H. M. Smith.

1952

The Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay is commissioned.

1949

Army and Navy medical centers are consolidated at Tripler Army Medical Center.

1947

The U.S. Pacific Command is established as a unified command.

1946

The Hawaii Air National Guard is established as the 199th Fighter Squadron.

1941

Pearl Harbor is bombed, triggering the U.S.’s entrance into World War II.

1939

The 14th Coast Guard District is established in Honolulu with 230 personnel.

1934

The Army Air Corps constructs Hickam Field which is completed in 1935 adjacent to Pearl Harbor.

1921

The U.S. Army Hawaiian Department moves to Fort Shafter.

1917

Waimanalo Military Reservation (Bellows Air Force Station) is established.

1911

The U.S. Hawaiian Department replaces the U.S. Army District. It is headquartered in the Alexander Young Hotel.

1910

The U.S. Army District of Hawaii command forms as a sub-element of the Department of California.

1909

Schofield Barracks is established as an Army post.

1908

Pearl Harbor is established as a U.S. naval base.

1907

Fort Shafter, the oldest Army installation in Hawaii, is established.

1904

The first permanent garrison of Marines is established.

1898

Hawaii is annexed into the United States.

The National Guard of Hawaii is converted into the Hawaii Territorial Guard.

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