In this ever-increasingly complex security environment, Hawaii continues to play a critical and strategic role toward ensuring our national security as well as stability in the Indo-Pacific region, which is the Department of Defense’s priority theater.  A clear benefit of this priority and corresponding military presence in Hawaii is the significant positive impact the military has on the local economy, jobs and business opportunities, and how it supports innovation and economic diversification.

The Military Affairs Council (MAC) was established in 1985 as a part of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, to specifically advocate on behalf of Hawaii’s military as it is the second economic driver for the state.

The Military Affairs Council (MAC) is comprised of business leaders, state and local officials, non-profit organizations, community leaders and retired U.S. flag and general officers to advocate and liaison with the military commands to:

  • Support the U.S. military’s role in support of the national security strategy and emphasize the value of Hawaii as the strategic headquarters for military operations in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Act on behalf of the State of Hawaii to preserve and protect the state’s critical role in serving as the strategic U.S. state from which to command and control military, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in Asia Pacific.
  • Identify the potential impacts to the defense industry, Hawaii’s businesses and the surrounding communities and strive to attract other public-private ventures with the military.
  • Bridge mutual understanding and provide continuity between senior military and business leadership.
  • Bridge and enhance Military and Civilian community interaction and integration.
  • Enhance and help to grow military and civilian partnerships.
  • Externally, endorse the needs of Hawaii-based military commands with key defense officials, military chiefs, Hawaii’s congressional delegation and other congressional officials on Capitol Hill.

For more information about the Chamber’s Military Affairs activities, please email our Military Affairs Department.

Signature Events

Annual MAC Washington, D.C. Trip

Opportunity to meet directly with legislative leaders and other decision makers to advocate for Hawaii’s interests

MAC Partnership Conference

Held each January, the Partnership Conference features keynote speakers and breakout sessions on relevant topics of interest

Quarterly Breakfast Events

Featuring a keynote speaker

Site Visits & Events

Exclusive opportunities to tour facilities, commands and installations, including Red Hill, Pearl Harbor Shipyard and the X-Band Radar.

Holiday Reception

Held annually each December

Military Academy Appointee Recognition Ceremony

Each May, the MAC brings together Hawaii appointees to military service academies to hear from Academy graduates

Military Appreciation Month

Each May, the MAC leads Hawaii efforts to honor our service members

Quarterly Council Meetings

Featuring a keynote speaker and updates on working priorities

Due to COVID-19, we are now conducting our events virtually.

See the following examples of MAC-sponsored events & webinars:

On June 30, U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono and Vice Admiral Jon A. Hill, director of the Missile Defense Agency spoke on the Homeland Defense Radar for Hawaii, a critical component of our nation’s layered defense strategy. Senator Hirono, a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, was instrumental in including a full funding authorization of $162 million to ensure the project continues forward. The Hawaii Congressional Delegation remains very supportive of this project, together with U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Commander Admiral Davidson who has included the HDR-Hawaii high on his list of unfunded priorities. VADM Hill also discussed the status of the project and that the Pacific Missile Range Facility would be included as an additional site possibility. 

Jay Fidell talks story with Major General (MG) Suzanne P. Vares-Lum the Mobilization Assistant to the Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM).