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House defense bill includes funding for Hawaii military construction

By William Cole

LAST UPDATED: 2:15 p.m. HST, Jun 14, 2013

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said a $638 billion defense bill approved by the House today includes a provision to name the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu as the “Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.”

Inouye, who died in December after 50 years in the U.S. Senate, was instrumental in creating the institution.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014, which passed the House with a vote of 315-108, provides $400 million for military construction in Hawaii, as well as prohibits any additional rounds of base realignment and closure. 

“The hard work that went into completing the 2014 NDAA reflects our commitment to the safety and security of the United States,” said Hanabusa, a member of the House Armed Services Committee who voted in favor of the bill.

“In Hawaii, this bill will help create jobs, support local businesses, improve infrastructure, and ensure our state is able to meet the demands of our military’s rebalance to Asia-Pacific,” she said.

The bill also would limit the Navy’s ability to retire early some of its Ticonderoga-class cruisers, two of which are homeported at Pearl Harbor and currently conducting ongoing missions in the Asia-Pacific.

The secretary of defense would be provided the authority to lease real estate property for military heritage sites for a term of more than five years, and for an amount that is less than the fair market value of the lease interest if it serves the public interest.

“This language will help leverage this authority for sites like the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum in Hawaii,” Hanabusa’s office said in a statement.

The Associated Press said the bill also contains some of the broadest changes to military law designed to curb and more strongly punish sexual assault. The bill, which will be married in conference to a Senate bill later this year, would strip commanders of their authority to dismiss a finding by a court martial, establish minimum sentences for sexual assault convictions, permit victims of sexual assault to apply for a permanent change of station or unit transfer, and ensure that convicted offenders leave the military.

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