SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (KHON2) — Rising tensions in North Korea happen to coincide with military exercises on the Hawaiian Islands.

Military officials said about 4,000 U.S. soldiers and others from participating countries are involved in the large-scale training event.

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The 4,000 U.S. troops accompanied by forces from Indo-Pacific countries are training to be ready for deployment in the region by 2023.

The deputy commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division told KHON2 that the event has grown since 2021.

“We’ve got a company from Thailand, a company from the Philippines, a company from Indonesia, and then a host of joint partners as well, Air Force, Marines, Navy support. So, just a really massive exercise going on here; and it’s not just on Oahu,” said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey VanAntwerp.

Kauai’s Barking Sands Beach and Hawaii Island’s Pohakuloa Training Area saw activity from the event as well. Officials said the Islands always provide a unique meeting place for foreign partners.

“We get a good amount of opportunity out here, but not really at this scale, to do collective brigade training, to get 4,000 people in the field together, multinational joint in an immersive scenario for an extended period,” Brig. Gen. VanAntwerp said.

Drills at Schofield Barracks were ongoing on Friday, Nov. 4; and they will move to Kahuku in the evening.

“It’s always high adventure out here in the Pacific, and our goal is to be prepared for anything.”

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey VanAntwerp, 25th Infantry Division deputy commanding general

“Really this evening, what the community should expect hopefully is minimal disruption; but the reality is there’s only so many roads going up north,” Brig. Gen. VanAntwerp said. “We’ll look to avoid those periods where we know, during rush hour, in and out of work, to minimize the disruption.”

He said to expect some traffic along Kamehameha Highway, but roads will not be closed.

KHON2 asked if North Korea’s recent missile launches added to the urgency of the exercises.

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“I wouldn’t say any additional urgency. We’ve got a great mission out here in that there is a sense of urgency; there is a sense of purpose,” he said. “When you’re forward-stationed in the Pacific, like, you really are at the tip of the spear.”

Officials said the exercises are scheduled through Wednesday, Nov. 9.