Military Affairs Council
Chamber Military Affairs Council members Connie Lau, President & CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. and ADM Ron "Zap" Zlatoper USN -Ret with Commander Timothy Wilke, had the opportunity to tour the USS Freedom (LCS-1). This ship is the US Navy's first littoral combat ship and the newest class of naval warships designed to patrol shallower waters. The ship was built with materials salvaged from the Twin Towers. (March 2013)
In the early 1980s, the U.S. Navy was studying a proposal to add more ships at its base in Pearl Harbor. During the study, the military noted that the state did not have a central office that provided oversight for the military’s significant presence in Hawaii and the impact defense spending had on its economy.
In light of this, the U.S. Secretary of Defense suggested to the Governor that such and office be established. This resulted in the Governor inviting The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii to act on behalf of the state in matters relating to the military.
In 1985, the Military Affairs Council was established as an unencumbered affiliate of the Chamber to serve as the official liaison for the state in matters relating to the military. Over the years, the Chamber has assumed the role of being the advocate for the military and providing oversight for the multi-billion dollar defense industry that has grown to become the second major source of revenues to the state next to tourism.
The MAC is comprised of representatives from the Chamber and state and City and County of Honolulu administrations, and retired senior military officers. It meets bi-monthly and in special session when the need arises to address urgent matters.
David Carey, President and CEO of Outrigger Enterprises, is currently the Chair of the MAC and council member Ken Bailey is the Chair of the Armed Services Committee.
The MAC meets regularly with senior military commanders, key defense officials, and Hawaii’s congressional delegation to maintain open lines of communication with the military commands, recognize and honor the military troops and their families, and highlight the importance of military presence to the Asia Pacific region and Hawaii’s economy and social fabric, and the overall well-being of the state and its residents.
The MAC engages in the following major activities:
•Hawaii Military Partnership Conference: Held annually in January to update state and county officials and business leaders on the status of military presence.
•Advocate for the military: Act on state and city legislative and administrative proposals that impact the military
•Visits With Senior Military Commanders: Conducted annually in April/May to address topics for discussion with officials in Washington, D.C. Includes visits with the Commanders of the U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pacific Air Forces, U.S. Army Pacific, Marine Forces Pacific, and 14th Coast Guard District.
•Hawaii Military Appreciation Month: Held annually in May to express appreciation for all that the military does for Hawaii. Includes a gala Opening Ceremony, Military Recognition Luncheon, Combined Military Band Concert, 25th Infantry Division’s Twilight Tattoo, USO Hawaii’s Military Family Day at the Honolulu Zoo, and other activities.
•MAC Delegation Visit to Washington, D.C.: Conducted annually in June to discuss topics involving the military in Hawaii. Visit includes discussion with defense officials and military chiefs in the Pentagon and congressional officials on Capitol Hill.
For more information on the MAC Council, contact Vice President, Military Affairs Charlie Ota at firstname.lastname@example.org or 808-545-4300 ext 320.