Let’s start with some background. The federal government is running a $50 billion program to create a new type of military base, dubbed “Maritime Prepositioning Station” (MPS), where soldiers will be housed permanently. The program is supposed to be completed by 2018, and the base has never been used before, but the current location of the project was a problem. When the site was initially located, it fell within an internationally-protected marine park off the coast of Hawaii. The marine park was put aside in 1992 for a new military air station on Maui, but never worked as planned. The MPS, on the other hand, is slated to be a permanent U.S. federal facility, and the site is located on the shore of the island that was once a federal military airbase.
When the base finally goes up, an environmental impact study will be required to determine it’s impact on the adjacent marine park. But first, it’s going to take a few weeks to find out if it will work.
How do we know something will work?
At present the most reliable estimate of how long it will take to open is around 6-10 months. So, with the MPS in place, we know that it’s going to take a while before they get troops to Hawaii, and we know it’s going to cost several billion dollars, but we don’t know everything about how long of a job they’re going to have to do. This new location is very far away from Hawaii’s coastline, for obvious reasons. But what we do know is that the U.S. military is going to need access to the ocean for many different reasons, with no way to build the base to the exact specifications they want to. When they go up to Hawaii, they need a base that can handle their many different missions on it.
The location of the location of the new site, however, is very uncertain. It could well be located on the west coast of the island that’s now Hawaii’s national marine park. If that’s the case, that means that the new base will be at least a couple hundred miles north of the nearest land. In other words, it’s going to be a very difficult place to create this new base. But if we’re to believe the Marine Corps, a base that’s a few hundred miles from the coast is as close as it’s going to get anyway. So far though, all we know is that the project is on the west
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