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Joint Task Force – Red Hill holds defueling operations blessing ceremony

23-001 | Oct. 14, 2023

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii — Joint Task Force-Red Hill (JTF-RH) welcomed Kahu Kordell Kekoa and Kumu Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Saturday morning, to offer a blessing for the safe defueling of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.

The blessing followed traditional Hawaiian customs and marked the launch of defueling operations set to commence Oct. 16.

"It’s been a long road getting to this point, and there’s still more work ahead, but after months of coordinated efforts by our teams and partners, we are ready to begin defueling," said Vice Adm. John Wade, JTF-RH commander. “As we begin the critical phase of relocating the fuel from Red Hill, it is our great honor to observe a Hawaiian tradition by receiving this blessing for the safe defueling of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.”

Since the standup of JTF-RH, Wade has emphasized his team’s commitment to this mission, saying it is the right thing to do for the people of Hawaii, military families, the environment, and national security.

JTF-RH is committed to working with regulators and government stakeholders to ensure Red Hill is defueled safely and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Throughout the defueling process, JTF-RH has routinely communicated with government officials, the media and the community in an effort to work collaboratively and be fully transparent.

To view the ceremony click here:

For more information about JTF-RH, visit or downloads the App by searching for “JTF–Red Hill” in the Apple App store or Google Play store.
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