Retired general urges support for Army training

HONOLULU — The former head of U.S. Army Pacific says Hawaii must do more if it wants to retain soldiers as the Army considers downsizing.

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HONOLULU — The former head of U.S. Army Pacific says Hawaii must do more if it wants to retain soldiers as the Army considers downsizing.

Retired Lt. Gen. Frank Wiercinski says the state should provide more support for training, which the Pentagon considers important.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports Wiercinski is a member of Chamber of Commerce Hawaii’s Military Affairs Council.

He says soldiers and families are responsible for $1.3 billion in annual sales.

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Wiercinski says live-fire training has stopped at Makua Military Reservation on Oahu and that has made the Big Island’s Pohakuloa Training Area more important.

The Army’s worst case downsizing scenario for the state would remove 19,800 soldiers and civilian workers on Oahu. With 30,035 family members, that could mean a departure of about 5 percent of Honolulu’s population.

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