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The United States Military and the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii is on our minds here at Giesler and for good reason! Hawaii has a long history with the United States military. The US first established a military presence in Hawaii in 1887, when the island was still an independent kingdom. In 1898, Hawaii was annexed by the United States and became a US territory. The 7 major Hawaiian islands are Oahu, Maui, Hawaii (Big Island), Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, and Niihau.


Throughout the 20th century, the US military played a significant role in the development and defense of Hawaii, establishing several military bases throughout the state. Today, Hawaii is home to some of the largest and most influential Military Commands and Installations in the Pacific, such as Commander Indo-Pacific Command which serves as the Combatant Commander and critical hub for US defense operations in the Asia-Pacific region.

The USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor
Photo Credit: Victor-ny

Military Bases in the Region:

The Hawaiian Islands are host to many Military Commands and Installations. Some of the more important ones include:

  • USINDOPACOM is located on Camp H.M. Smith, a U.S. Marine Corps installation approximately 4.2 miles from Honolulu International airport in town of Aiea on the island of Oahu.

  • COMPACFLT Headquarters is located on Makalapa Compound, adjacent to the main portion of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. This base is the headquarters for the US Navy's Pacific Fleet and is one of the largest naval installations in Hawaii. The base covers over 1,200 acres and is used for a variety of operations, including communications and intelligence.

  • Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam – This base includes Naval Station Pearl Harbor and Hickam Air Force Base. Naval Station Pearl Harbor is home to the US Pacific Fleet and is one of the largest naval bases in the world. The base covers more than 1,100 acres and is home to over 16,000 sailors and civilians. Hickam Air Force Base is home to the 15th Wing of the US Air Force and is the largest air base in Hawaii. With over 16,000 personnel, Hickam is a major hub for air operations in the Pacific.

  • Schofield Barracks – This Army base is home to the 25th Infantry Division and is one of the largest military installations in Hawaii. With a population of 15,000 soldiers, Schofield Barracks is also one of the largest employers in the state.

  • Marine Corps Base Hawaii – Located in Kaneohe Bay, this base is home to the 3rd Marine Regiment and is one of the largest Marine Corps installations in the world. With over 9,000 Marines and sailors, the base is a critical hub for Marine operations in the Pacific.

  • Bellows Air Force Station Base - This base is home to the Air Force's Pacific Air Forces. The base covers over 1,400 acres and is used for training and recreational purposes.

  • Fort Shafter Army Base - This base is the headquarters for the US Army Pacific and is one of the oldest Army installations in Hawaii. With a population of over 4,000 soldiers, Fort Shafter is a critical hub for Army operations in the Pacific.

  • Tripler Medical Center Army Base - This base is a major medical facility for the US Army and is one of the largest medical centers in the Pacific. With over 3,000 medical personnel, Tripler is a critical resource for US military operations in the region.

  • Fort Derussy Army Base - This base is used for a variety of military operations, including training and support for Army units in the Pacific. The base is located in the heart of Waikiki and covers over 90 acres.

  • Pohakula Training Center Army - This base is a major training center for the US Army and is used for a variety of training exercises, including jungle and urban warfare. The base covers over 4,000 acres and is located on the island of Oahu.

  • Wheeler Army Airfield Base - This base is used by the US Army and the US Air Force. It covers over 3,000 acres and is used for a variety of operations, including air support and training.

  • Station Maui Coast Guard Base - This base is home to the US Coast Guard's Pacific Area and is one of the largest Coast Guard installations in Hawaii. The base covers over 1,000 acres and is used for a variety of operations, including search and rescue and maritime security.

  • USCG ISC Honolulu Coast Guard Base - This base is the headquarters for the US Coast Guard's Pacific Area and is used for a variety of operations, including maritime security and search and rescue. The base covers over 50 acres and is located in the heart of Honolulu.

  • Wahiawa (NCTAMS PAC) Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station - This is a satellite ground station and a key communications node in the Pacific.

  • Barking Sands Missile Range Navy Base - This base is used by the US Navy and is one of the largest missile ranges in the Pacific. The base covers over 19,000 acres and is used for testing and training exercises, including missile launches and electronic warfare.

  • Kunia Field Station Navy Base - This base is used by the US Navy and is one of the largest intelligence installations in Hawaii. The base is used for a variety of operations, including signals intelligence and cyber operations.


Pros and Cons of Working on a Contract in Hawaii

Working on a military contract in Hawaii can be both rewarding and challenging. Some of the benefits of working in this industry include good pay, job security, and access to a large, supportive community. Additionally, Hawaii is a beautiful and culturally rich state, offering plenty of opportunities for exploration and adventure!


However, working on a military contract in Hawaii also comes with some challenges. The cost of living in Hawaii is high and the state is known for its challenging transportation, which can be a drawback for some workers. Additionally, the military culture and time zone difference in Hawaii can be very different from what many workers are used to, and it can take time to adjust.


Overall, working on a military contract in Hawaii can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience for those who are well-suited to the unique challenges and opportunities of the state. Whether you're a seasoned veteran or just starting out, there's never been a better time to consider working on a military contract in Hawaii.


Want to work on an exciting opportunity in Hawaii? Check out our career page at www.gieslerllc.com/careers to join our team for some upcoming IT and Base Operations contracts we are looking to fill in Wahiawa and Oahu. Aloha and Mahalo!



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