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    Defueling Red Hill Won’t Hurt Readiness, Pentagon Says

    Defueling Red Hill Won't Hurt Readiness, Pentagon Says

    The Pentagon has officially told Congress that operations in the Pacific will not be adversely affected by the closure of the Navy's underground Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.

    During a news briefing on Tuesday, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said that the notification “reflects the department's ongoing commitment to defuel and ultimately close the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, while upholding our responsibility to ensure the readiness of our armed forces.”

    The report was required by Section 331 (c ) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023. The provision states that the secretary of defense must first certify to the congressional defense committees that defueling the facility won't adversely affect the military's ability to fuel its Pacific operation before the military can begin draining the 104 millions of fuel in the tanks—which sit just 100 feet above a critical aquifer that most of  relies on for drinking water.

    The Pentagon currently considers the Pacific its top-priority theater of operations as tensions simmer with . Much of the focus has been on the South China Sea, a critical waterway that more than a third of all international trade moves through.

    China claims nearly the entire sea as its exclusive territory, over the objections of neighboring countries, and has built bases on disputed reefs and islands to assert those claims….

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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