Navy will be 'better prepared' for conflict after redistribution of Red Hill fuel

By Audrey Decker / November 22, 2022 at 1:01 PM

A year after a petroleum leak from the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Facility contaminated water in Hawaii, Navy officials say defueling the facility and spreading fuel around to various locations in the Pacific will increase the service's readiness.

The Navy is not concerned about fuel shortages as the Red Hill facility is defueled, according to Rear Adm. John Wade, commander of the Red Hill Joint Task Force.

“The redistribution of the fuel from the Red Hill complex throughout the Pacific will actually make us more resilient and better prepared if there were a crisis or a conflict,” Wade told reporters yesterday.

Red Hill Bulk Fuel Facility is located near Pearl Harbor, HI, on the island of Oahu. In total, the Navy will need to remove more than 100 million gallons of fuel from the facility.

This summer, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command chief Adm. John Aquilino said the Navy will use existing facilities, potential new facilities and afloat capabilities to store fuel after the service defuels Red Hill.

“The relocation of the fuel is actively being worked right now by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the Department of Defense and the Defense Logistics Agency. They are working to redistribute that fuel and other fuel storage locations throughout the Pacific or at sea,” Wade said yesterday.

“That is work that is ongoing and it would be inappropriate for me to comment or to speculate on what is still a decision forthcoming for the secretary of defense,” he added.

Wade said that the service is working to complete the defueling ahead of its 2024 goal.