With the growing Chinese threat in the Pacific as a possible reason, the US Air Force (USAF) and US Army (USAR) have beefed up their Emergency Deployment Readiness Response (EDRR) of Hawaiian islands. On October 17th, 2013, USAR Stryker combat vehicles were flown in to largest land of the island group far from the US mainland by C-17s, for the first time ever.
It was a joint exercise by airmen from the 15th Wing and soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division. The C-17 crews flew two of the Army’s Stryker combat vehicles to the Pohakuloa Training Area on Kona for the exercise. Exercise players included the Army’s 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division and the Air Force’s 535th Airlift Squadron and 15th Wing. The Stryker is one of the more fast armoured vehicles which is suited for both heavy terrain and city warfare.
Until this week, the Army always moved their Hawaii based Stryker vehicles via ships. Although the island of Hawaii is the largest of the group of eight larger islands, the emphasize of the US defence in the area lies on Oahu and the islands groups capital Honolulu there.