Though flames from the deadly wildfires that burned through Hawaii this month came within miles of the Maui High Performance Computing Center (MHPCC), that facility — notably, one of only five Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Centers in the U.S. — remains fully operational with no physical damage to report, DefenseScoop confirmed on Thursday.
Still, it will likely be a long road to recovery in the wake of this historic natural disaster, for many members of DOD’s thriving supercomputing community on the island.
Launched in 1993, MHPCC houses multiple advanced military supercomputing assets and is a component within DOD’s High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP). Broadly, those key technological resources underpin research and development in fields including space domain awareness, full-spectrum cyber operations, and digital ecosystem design. The hub provides cutting-edge capabilities for teams across the DOD that perform system design, software development, research, artificial intelligence training, test and evaluation, and acquisition engineering.
Now operated by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) as part of the Space Force’s nascent 15th Space Surveillance Squadron, the center is also currently managed under contract by the University of Hawaii.
In separate responses to inquiries from DefenseScoop this week, officials from AFRL and the university said that, so far, there is no major destruction to MHPCC facilities — and that all academic, government and contracting staff associated with MHPCC are accounted for at publication.
“Despite having no direct impact to the site and its assets, the people and supporting community are impacted indirectly, by friends and family being directly impacted. The loss of life and homes are felt throughout the community as we rally to support all those displaced; contributing our time, personal resources, and individual skills to the response and recovery of the neighborhoods,” said Scott Pierce, AFRL’s MHPCC, 15th Space Surveillance Squadron director.
More than 100 people have been confirmed dead — and hundreds more remain missing — in the early aftermath of several devastating wildfires that broke out in Maui just over a week ago.
“Though wildfires near Kihei reached within 3 miles of the datacenter, MHPCC experienced no damage to any of its facilities or assets,” Pierce told DefenseScoop.
Beyond also confirming that MHPCC is at this point operational, a spokesperson from the University of Hawaii told DefenseScoop that the Air Force has been checking in with its team — and “seeing how we can help others on Maui with needs.”