HONOLULU (KHON2) — The United States military is tracking a Russian vessel near Hawaii’s waters, according to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.
In a statement, a U.S. Indo-Pacific Command spokeswoman told KHON2:
“U.S. Indo-Pacific Command routinely monitors air and maritime traffic in the Western Pacific to ensure security and stability of the region alongside our Allies and partners. As part of our normal daily operations, we closely track all vessels in the Indo-Pacific area of operations through maritime patrol aircraft, surface ships, and joint capabilities…I can tell you we are monitoring a Russian surface vessel operating in international waters in the vicinity of Hawaii.”
One retired Marine Lt. Colonel said it’s not exactly uncommon to see, but it does have the military’s attention due to the war in Ukraine.
“I have no doubt that Indo-PACOM is watching this closely, as are a number of other intelligence organizations trying to figure out exactly what it is,” retired Lt. Colonel Hal Kempfer said. “They’re not just watching the ship they’re watching everything might be connected to and getting some real detail on what it’s doing, why it might be there, who they’re reporting to. All these things go into a fusion process, an analytical process if you will that tells us is this a threat or is it not a threat.”
Kempfer added that during the Cold War, Soviet intelligence ships would be found loitering near Hawaii and that Russia is using similar tactics to the Cold War-era Soviets in general.
“The tactics, techniques, and procedures that we saw the Soviets doing back in the Cold War seem to be resurfacing again under the Russian banner,” Kempfer said. “This looks like one of those issues that I would point to Russian intelligence ships potentially off the shore of Hawaii.”