Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on the Appointment of Rear Adm. John Wade as the Commander of the Joint Task Force of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility
News Release from DoD, SEPT. 19, 2022
Today I am pleased to announce U.S. Navy Rear Adm. John Wade as the Commander of the Joint Task Force – Red Hill.
Upon taking command, RADM Wade’s sole responsibility is to ensure the Department's safe and expeditious defueling of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.
The Department of Defense and the United States Navy remain focused on the health and safety of our military families and the people of Hawaii, and I have confidence that RADM Wade will continue to do everything to protect the population, the environment, and the security of the nation.
RADM Wade will work closely with the Hawaii Department of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency and the community to defuel the Red Hill facility, while making environmentally-protective decisions.
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Schatz Statement On New Commander Of Red Hill Joint Task Force
Schatz: Red Hill Water Contamination Is An Emergency, DoD Must Move Faster To Defuel, Shut Down Red Hill
News Release from Office of Sen Brian Schatz, Sept 19, 2022
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, today released the following statement after the Department of Defense announced it had named Rear Admiral John Wade to serve as commander of Joint Task Force Red Hill.
“Shutting down Red Hill cannot be delayed. With a commander now in place, the Joint Task Force can become fully operational and begin to work on-site with state, local, and community leaders to safely and quickly defuel Red Hill.
“The Department of Defense is perfectly capable of meeting a tight timeframe in an emergency situation. And this is an emergency. Our water was poisoned. Of course they need to assess, prepare, and drain the tanks in a way that is safe and doesn’t cause more contamination, but anything resembling a delay, intentional or not, is totally unacceptable. As a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I will use every tool, every power, and every resource at my disposal to drain the tanks as soon as possible.”
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Hirono Statement on Appointment of Commander of Joint Task Force Red Hill
News Release from Office of Sen Mazie Hirono, Sept 19, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on the appointment of Rear Admiral John Wade to serve as Commander of the Joint Task Force responsible for the safe defueling and closure of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility on Oahu:
“In his role with U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Rear Admiral Wade has been responsible for coordinating the successful execution of all U.S. military activities in the Pacific region. I hope that experience, along with his several years living on Oahu, will help him succeed as Commander of the Joint Task Force responsible for the safe and timely defueling and closure of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. I look forward to meeting with Rear Admiral Wade soon to discuss the critical work ahead and the importance of collaboration, transparency and garnering the trust of the community throughout this process.
“Now that a JTF commander has been named, I am hopeful that the work necessary to prepare for Red Hill’s defueling can begin in a timely manner. I’ll continue working with my colleagues in Congress, military leadership, and our partners in Hawaii to help ensure the success of this critical task, while ensuring the protection and health and safety of the people of Hawaii.”
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CB: Sens. Hirono and Schatz express hope that the appointment will expedite defueling of the facility.
SA: Rear Admiral John Wade to lead Red Hill defueling