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    Vice Adm. John Wade Is Face of Navy’s Red Hill Response

    Vice Adm. John Wade Is Face of Navy's Red Hill Response

    The officer the Pentagon has tasked with overseeing the defueling of the Navy's Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility has for Hawaii residents in many ways become the face of the Navy.

    Vice Adm. John Wade has a mixture of Navy, , Marine,  Force and Coast Guard service members as well as federal civilians and contractors under his command at Joint Task Force Red Hill working to remove 104 million gallons of fuel, which sits just 100 feet above a critical aquifer that most of Oahu relies on for drinking water.

    “I am honored to lead this team, ” Wade said during an interview at his office on Ford Island, shifting attention from himself to highlight his team. Most of the civilians working at Red Hill and several of the serv­ice members, he noted, have deep roots in the islands. Wade said he has sought not just their technical insight, but also their cultural knowledge as he tries to repair deeply damaged relationships.

    In November 2021, fuel from the facility leaked into the Navy's Oahu water system, which serves 93, 000 people, including families and civilians living in former military housing areas. The  Board of Water Supply shut down several wells indefinitely to prevent the spread of contamination, exacerbating a water shortage Oahu was already experiencing.

    Since taking on the position in September, Wade has been shouted down at town hall meetings and subject to intense…

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