Hawaii: Ballistic Missile Threat Alert was a Mistake

| January 13, 2018 | 87 Comments

alert

Fox news is reporting on Saturday morning citizens of Hawaii received an emergency phone alert stating “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

The alert caused panic among residents, who were told to evacuate and seek shelter. Turns out the message was sent in error during an emergency test. Over 30 minutes after the erroneous alert was sent, officials sent a correction message.

‘Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, tweeted “it was a false alarm based on human error. There is nothing more important to Hawaii than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process.”

Cdr. Dave Benham, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Command, told Fox News they have “detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii. Earlier message was sent in error. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible.”’

Schatz wrote in a separate tweet that what happened was “totally inexcusable.”
“The whole state was terrified. There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process,” the senator wrote.’

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, tweeted that she would work to find out what occurred.

“Today’s alert was a false alarm,” Hirono wrote. “At a time of heightened tensions, we need to make sure all information released to the community is accurate. We need to get to the bottom of what happened and make sure it never happens again.”

President Trump was informed of the event, which is described as “purely a state exercise.”

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said in a statement that “While I am thankful this morning’s alert was a false alarm, the public must have confidence in our emergency alert system. I am working to get to the bottom of this so we can prevent an error of this type in the future.”

Human error has been blamed for the event; let’s hope lessons were learned from this debacle. To paraphrase Ricky Ricardo, someone’s got some ‘splainin’ to do.

Category: "Teh Stoopid"

Comments (87)

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  1. Sapper3307 says:

    “My bad!”
    That Guy

  2. UpNorth says:

    I guess more than an “oops” is called for?

  3. Jonn Lilyea says:

    More tits than brains;

  4. Steve1371 says:

    I spent 20 minutes there once while they refuled the plane at night and no one got off. Only saw some lights at the air strip.

    • The Other Whitey says:

      It’s a nice place to visit but I’d hate to live there. Islanders are racist assholes, but they’re happy to take your money.

      • NHSparky says:

        You mean, haole!

      • W2 says:

        It’s such a shitty place to live. I was stationed at Wheeler AAF for two years and it was between 70 – 80 everyday, 90% sunny and a nice breeze coming in off the north shore every goddamn day. But you assholes never go there. It sucks, there are libbytards everywhere and the food is terrible. The natives hate you because you’re honkies. Seriously, don’t go. I’ll call the detailer and take one for the team and go back. You snowflakes would melt there.

        • 26Limabeans says:

          I dated a crazy bitch.. er lady back in the eighties that lived there for a few years. She hated the place so much she left her boyfriend behind.
          It was the Xanax and Risperdahl though that got in the way of a loving relationship.

        • NHSparky says:

          I wouldn’t know. I was stationed there for over 3 years but was at sea 300+ days each year, or in the drydock working 14-16 hour days.

          • W2 says:

            NH Sparky, come on man, you know that old saying – choose your rate, choose your fate. Look at it this way, you got all that sub pay and I drank all your Maitai’s so it all worked out in the end.

        • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

          I’ve heard it’s considered a Hardship Tour if your family accompanies you, the cost of living is atrocious and the public schools are quite shitty to say the least.

          • W2 says:

            My house on Schofield was awesome and the base schools were ok. Besides being the only USN guys surrounded by a bunch of mouth breathing 25th ID nuggets, it was an awesome place. I worked on Wheeler so my commute was about 10 minutes. Exchange, commissary and medical right there too. On the weekends you could head to one of the military beaches or hike the ranges on Schofield up in the mountains. If you just had to go into
            town you could hang at Hale Koa. Great pool and cheap drinks. Then there was the awesome exchange at Pearl Harbor. But seriously, it sucks there. Don’t go. Call your detailer, find out what’s available and let me know. I’ll take that set of orders for you so you can head on down to sunny Norfolk.

            • RM3(SS) says:

              LOL W2! Yeah, I was there in the 70’s, married a local and lived there for about 10 years after I got out. Except for the divorce I’d probably still be there. Like all small communities, locals are stand offish towards new people, but once they get to know you, it’s like family. Really miss that. High cost of living, but we adapted just like all expensive areas.

      • Yef says:

        I have heard this before. Is it true though?

        I mean, that they are racisss.

  5. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    SOMEBODY’S ass is in kind of a sling, ya think?

  6. Devtun says:

    Letter of counseling, then like the Jeffersons – move on up.

  7. Perry Gaskill says:

    Does Senator Schatz actually believe “the whole state was terrified” because some doofus got his own knob confused with the one for missile alerts? It sounds like the kind of thing a little girl would say.

    I’d imagine that after an initial brief shock, the general reaction would be anger. Both for the reason of being attacked, and for the need to launder a perfectly clean pair of underpants…

  8. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    “There is nothing more important to Hawaii than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process.” Sen. Schmuck/Schitz/Whatever

    Is there a special course in vapid bullshit that senators must take upon election?

  9. Reddevil says:

    Alarms can be scary.

    My first tour in Iraq was spent in a relatively safe place with the CJSOTF at Bladad, aka LSA Anaconda.

    Our camp was on the opposite side of the airfield from the loggies, and we had all sorts of cool looking black helicopters and C-130s with stuff poking out the sides. On the loggie side at any given time there was at least one C-17 and literally miles of fuel billets and ammo of various types.

    In other words, a very tempting mortar and rocket target.

    The camp was called Camp Syverson after an SF Major who, having survived the early days in Afghanistan, was killed by a rocket while waiting in line at the PX. http://www.iraqwarheroes.org/syverson.htm

    The men called the place Mortaritaville- I think a
    a lot of places had that name at one time or another. That’s what the Brits Called Basra when I was there.

    Rockets are, to say the least, very nerve racking. The alarm goes off, and you have anywhere from 1-5minutes before they hit. Bunkers help a little, Unless it’s a direct hit. That alarm will haunt you.

    Years later I was at a friends house for a cookout. He lived at the edge of a golf course, and when bad weather rolled in they sounded the alarm for the golfers to get off the course. The same alarm that I heard five or six time a day or more for months straight. I knew it couldn’t be the same thing- Or could it? I think they call it cognitive dissonance. That same old feeling came back- should I just drop here, or should I run for a duck and cover bunker? It only lasted a few seconds, but that was enough to freak out the civilians and the few Navy guys that were there.

    Alarms can be scary.

    I’ve been to Hawaii a few times TDY and on mid-tour from Korea. Those people- especially the kids- don’t deserve this.

    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

      And no alarms can be deadly. Hawaii appreciates this more than any other state, I would think.

      • Hondo says:

        Unfortunately, 2/17, in a situation like this so can false alarms.

        Since this was apparently a Hawaii STATE emergency preparedness exercise, yes – someone in Hawaii’s state government “has some ‘splainin to do.”

        • NHSparky says:

          And as I recall, their tsunami warning system and sirens were tested regularly.

          But they ANNOUNCED them in advance, and stated they were only a test.

          This? To say someone “Fornicated Fido” would be putting it mildly.

          • RM3(SS) says:

            They test the warning system the first of each month. Recently they have added a nuclear attack test. The tsunami warning is a steady tone, the attack one is a wavering tone. Quite creepy sounding.

    • Tallywhagger says:

      Mortaritaville! Haha, that’s a new one for me.

    • Sgt Fon says:

      you must have gotten to Iraq late, 1st tour the alarm was the explosion going off, by the 4th tour it was explosion, then siren. it got to the point where once we saw where the 1st impact was we would climb on the roof of the bunker and try to spot the “POO” (point of origin for you sailor types). good times.

    • SaraSnipe says:

      I got a kick out of the folks that would don their IBA to go outside to smoke their cigs during mortar & rocket events. Almost made me want to start smoking again.

  10. CWO5USMC says:

    So what happens when I check this box? It’s just a test, right?
    —Said some poor IT guy involved in the test.

  11. RM3(SS) says:

    My kids and grandkids live there. It was bedlam according to them. People driving like maniacs (even more than usual, up on sidewalks etc) people running around even though they didn’t know where to go and even some folks prying off the manhole covers and hiding in the sewer lines. “Someone pushed the wrong button” sounds like a really weak excuse.

  12. SFC D says:

    Dammit Carl! You had one job!

  13. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    send “incoming missile” alert?

    Yes No

    Are you sure?

    Yes No

    The -one- time some designer omits that annoying “are you sure?”
    pop-up . ..

  14. 26Limabeans says:

    They had a loud siren in Nam that was linked to an incoming radar set. You would hear the rounds hitting as they walked across the compound and then suddenly….the siren.
    All clear came next but what’s the point?

  15. GDContractor says:

    Clearly this is the work of Putin.

  16. Devtun says:

    The false alarm in 1979 must of left a lot of soiled skivvies. A technician mistakenly inserted into a NORAD computer a training tape that simulated a large Soviet attack on the United States. Yoikes!

    • Hondo says:

      Indeed. National Security Advisor Brzezinski had been called in the middle of the night and notified that 2,200 Soviet missiles were inbound. He was reportedly about 1 min away from calling the POTUS when he got word that no secondary confirmation was available – and should have been by then if the attack were real.

      https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/nukevault/ebb371/

      Nuclear “false alarm” incidents occurred 3 more times during the next 7 months following the Nov 1979 scare.

  17. jonp says:

    Only 2 things of note about this entire event.

    1) collective freakout and display of Trump Derangement Syndrome in the comments on different sights as apparently it’s all Trumps fault.

    2) The Director of the State Emergency Mgt. Agency manned up and took full responsibility for it. Good for him and I wish those in Government would follow his example.

  18. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    According to Big Media reports, one employee pushed the wrong button at shift change. That’s it. If that’s true, the procedures that allow one individual to push that button are screwed up and easy to correct w/o a year-long study and multi-million dollar report.

  19. Guard Bum says:

    Reminds me of the old skit where a TV news reader announces “This just in, Soviet missiles inbound, details at 11:00.”

    Ii know it isnt funny but the depictions of how some people reacted paint an entertaining picture.

  20. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Well, here’s a follow up to the false alert. Turns out the employee who issued the alert believed that Hawaii was under attack. This is contrary to the initial reports, widely circulated, that he pushed the wrong button. Turns out that the recorded message prompt for the button pusher began with “Exercise…exercise…exercise” but also included “This is not a drill.” Well, he went with door #2 and the rest, as they say, is history. What kind of system includes “This is not a drill” in its exercise prompts? Source: WaPo

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/01/30/heres-what-went-wrong-with-that-hawaii-missile-alert-the-fcc-says/?utm_term=.5396df724f64

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