Up to 2,700 Marines will move to Hawaii from Okinawa, Japan, according to the office of Governor Neil Abercrombie.
Since 2006, Japan and United States officials have planned to reduce the number of US forces in Okinawa by half. The initial plan included transferring 9,000 Marines from Japan to Guam and Hawaii.
The move to Hawaii
The new plan, which the Pentagon recently finalized, will move 4,700 Marines from Okinawa to Guam. Then, 2,700 of those Marines will continue their transfer and arrive in Hawaii, according to Senator Daniel Inouye.
Governor Abercrombie released the following statement in lieu of the event:
“As the Pentagon finalizes its plans, I believe the number of marines moving to our State will increase and we are well prepared to receive them. While in Congress, I worked on key legislation that allowed for ample military housing. In my role as Governor I am working to ensure that there is ongoing military and state cooperation to allow for a seamless and smooth transition for our servicemen and women and their families.”
What it means for Oahu
An influx of Marines means an increase in the island’s population—Oahu will welcome approximately 5,000 new residents.
An increase in new residents also means a boost in Hawaii’s local economy. Military families contribute to Hawaii’s consumer base, with many military families residing in central Oahu.
Officials hope that the families will support local business, including family-run shops in Wahiawa, plus local restaurants and retailers in the Pearlridge area.
Business owners in Kailua and Kaneohe, where the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base is located, will likely seen a boost to business.
What to bring to Hawaii
Whether you’re a Marine on the move to Hawaii or a traveler visiting the islands, you need to know what to bring to Hawaii. Check out this packing list for Hawaii on the Discover Hawaii Tours blogs for tips on filling up your suitcase.
Photos by Official U.S. Navy Imagery on Flickr.