In 2015, Rear Admiral Rick Williams, spoke about the impact the US Navy had on the Hawaiian economy. The former commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, Rear Admiral Rick Williams has earned five Legion of Merit medals during his career in the United States Navy and his experience has given him insight on the military’s impact on Hawaii’s economic health.
In Hawaii, the impact of military expenditures reportedly contributed $14.7 billion to Hawaii’s economy, according to a Chamber of Commerce Hawaii report. This influx of spending has created more than 102,000 jobs for residents, and total dollars earned by these residents hovers at approximately $8.7 billion.
On the islands, the military contracts around $2.3 billion of services each year (nearly a third of the $8.8 billion it spends annually within the islands), making it a targeted source of fiscal opportunity for Hawaii’s small businesses. The Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard is Hawaii’s largest industrial plant, employing more than 4,500 individuals each year.