Archive for the ‘Pohakuloa’ Category

Testimonies submitted by Jim Albertini for NO lease extension at Pohakuloa Training Area EIS

Saturday, October 24th, 2020

Two written testimonies submitted by Jim Albertini for NO lease extension at Pohakuloa Training Area EIS

Map of 23,000 acres leased by the military from the State of Hawaii at the Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii Island

Oct. 14, 2020  Thank you for your comments on the Pōhakuloa Training Area EIS. Your comments have been received.

Name: Jim Albertini
Address: P.O. Box 489
City: Kurtistown
Province: Hawaii
Postal Code: 96760-0489

Pōhakuloa Training Area EIS


These are additional comments to ones I have submitted earlier. (Sept. 23, 2020 attached below)
1. The Army, Specifically Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) has often boasted about its stewardship of the land. This is bogus. There can be no greater desecration of the land than to BOMB it and contaminate it with a wide range of long-lasting military toxins. The scoping EIS document needs to list in detail ALL the various weapons ever used at Pohakuloa, including all the nuclear, chemical, and biological agents. I specifically call for all of the above not simply used on the “leased” lands but all the lands at PTA which are connected. The contamination from one area can be spread by wind, rain, fire, etc. Pohakuloa has be turned into a military toxic waste dump. The lease lands at PTA are downwind of DU spotting round firing and impact ranges. The military needs to “Malama Aina” –take care of the land, not desecrate the land.
2. Why hasn’t the military complied with Hawaii County council resolution 639-08 passed in July 2008 by a vote of 8-1 that called for a wide range of actions including stopping all live fire at PTA until a comprehensive , independent assessment of the Depleted Uranium (DU) present at PTA and the clean up of the DU. The numerous other actions called for in this resolution should also be addressed in the EIs Scoping document.
3.The importance of the Hawaiian cultural significance of the land at PTA and the surrounding area needs to be fully researched. To my knowledge only about 1/3 of PTA’s 133,000 acres have been researched for cultural sites. I have been told Pohakuloa means “the land of the night of long prayer.” Nearby is King Umi’s temple and Pu’u Kole.
4. Have the frequent brush fires at PTA spread DU oxide particles and other contaminants including PFAS used in fire fighting foam?
5. The military has a record of walking away from cleaning up its mess. Our Malu Aina organization has documented 57 present or former sites on Hawaii Island totaling hundreds of thousands of acres of land just on Hawaii Island in need of military clean up. The same story over and over — no funds available. Plenty of money to make mess after mess but too little funds available to clean up after yourself. See attached uploaded file.
6. The cumulative impacts of all the toxins used at PTA needs to be addressed. And how these toxins in air, ground, and water can be spread around all of PTA and off site.
7. Citizens have a right to see a comprehensive view of all the types of specific training done at PTA not just generalizations. All the weapon systems involved, number and content of rounds, etc.
8. And what is all this military training really for? We are told to “defend freedom and democracy” but the reality of US military operations over the last 50 years has been wars of aggression and the attempted overthrow of more than 50 countries for political and economic interests. Please explain how training for nuclear war at PTA is in the interest of “freedom and democracy.” There will be no winners in a nuclear war. No freedom and democracy either.

military sites in Hawaii island.JPG


Jim Albertini Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 Email Visit us on the web at
Sept. 23, 2020 comments by Jim Albertini submitted for the EIS on lease extension at PTA
Location of Pōhakuloa Training Area, Island of Hawai‘i

Public Comment Form

Please review your information and press ‘submit comment’ button.

Contact Information  Sept. 23, 2020 submitted

First Name: Jim

Last Name: Albertini

Address: P.O. Box 489

City: Kurtistown

Country: United States

State: Hawaii

ZIP: 96760-0489

Pōhakuloa Training Area EIS

1. How many live rounds are fired annually at PTA? List all the various kind of rounds fired. List other type of rounds used at PTA besides live rounds. What kind of rounds do the B-2 bombers drop? Is that training for nuclear war? As I recall the last figures released during the Stryker EIS stated 14.8 million live rounds were fired annually at PTA.

2. Besides DU from Davy Crockett spotting rounds fired at PTA, list all other DU rounds used at PTA. In addition, I have received reports that at least 6 Davy Crockett type nuclear weapons were exploded at PTA. Testing needs to be done for Cesium 137, etc. in the soil to confirm or deny such possible exploding of nuclear weapons at PTA.

3. A water well was drilled in the main PTA base area in 2013 by Dr. Don Thomas. Water was hit at a shallow depth of only 700 feet. Yet PTA is not using that water source and PTA continues to spend $1-2 million /year to haul water. What contaminants are in that water well at PTA? List all test data, especially if perchlorate is present. Perchlorate from munitions and rockets have been found in ground water around a number of military bases in the US where rockets and munitions are used.

4. Testing for DU oxide particles not simply DU metal needs to be done at PTA and at Mauna Kea Park (Gil Kahele Park) across Saddle Rd. from PTA. DU oxide particles can be carried long distances in the wind and can cause cancer and other health problems when inhaled. The internal hazards of DU oxide need to be addressed not simply the external hazard of DU metal.

5. What is the cultural significance of the Pohakuloa general area. Has the area been referred to as “the land of the night of long prayer?”

6. Is the 84,000 acres of land, including the 51,000 acres of the PTA impact area really “owned” by the Federal government or simply seized by Presidential executive order in 1964 by President L. B. Johnson? What compensation was paid for that 84,000 acres of seized lands? My understanding it is ZERO.

Army-leased Land at PTA

Jim Albertini Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 Email Visit us on the web at

Say NO to Army PTA Lease Extension!



      The Army is beginning the process of studying the impacts of continuing to use state leased lands at Pohakuloa beyond 2029. All comments should be submitted by the deadline of Oct. 14, 2020. Comments can be emailed to: or submitted on line or mailed by US mail.  Here is the Army homepage for the EIS. There will also be an EIS Scoping Virtual Open House on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 from 4-9 p.m. During the EIS Scoping Virtual Open House, video presentations can be viewed online at and oral and written comments will be accepted. More information can be found at:

      Here are a few issues you might want to comment on: Unexploded ordinance (UXO) clean up, Depleted Uranium and other toxic contamination of air, land and ground water, invasive species, cultural sites and the cultural significance of Pohakuloa itself. The military controls nearly 133,000-acres at Pohakuloa. 23,000 acres of this is leased from the state for $1 total for 65 years –1964- 2029. These so called “ceded lands” are crown and government lands of the Hawaiian Kingdom before the U.S. overthrow in 1893. These lands are in the ahupua’a of Humu’ula (crown), Kaohe and Pu’uanahulu (government lands). Besides the 23,000 acres of leased lands at PTA, 758 acres were obtained by an executive order of Governor Samuel Wilder King in 1956 and 84,000 acres by a Presidential Executive Order of President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. These lands by executive order were turned over to the US military without any compensation.More recently, in the early 2000s, an additional 23,000 acres of land near Waiki’i Ranch was purchased by the military from Parker Ranch.

      Today, we need a broad based citizen movement to Stop the Bombing of Pohakuloa, like the movement that stopped the bombing of Kaho’olawe. All the lands at Pohakuloa should be cleaned up by the US military and returned to the Hawaiian people. An important step in this process of de-militarizing Pohakuloa and Hawaii is to stop the PTA lease extension. Please speak up and get your ohana and friends involved. Your voice is important. We are stronger when we stand together for aloha aina.

The Military Needs to Malama Aina – clean up it’s mess!

1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties.
4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hawaiian, etc.
5. Seek peace through peaceful means and work for justice in Hawai`i and around the world.

Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action

P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown), Hawaii 96760 Phone (808) 966-7622 Email

For more information and to receive our posts go to

Sept. 18, 2020 Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet – week 990 – Fridays 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office


Military powder keg in Hawaii waiting to explode!

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020

‘It affects everything’: Hawaii residents demand transparency over Pearl Harbor munitions storage

in Hawaii

Photos from Oct. 16, 2020 Hilo Peace Vigil

Friday, October 16th, 2020

Photos from Oct. 16, 2020 Hilo Peace Vigil.  Mahalo to all!


Please Join the Friday Hilo Peace Vigil

Friday, October 16th, 2020
Please Join the Hilo Friday Peace Vigil
If can, please join the Friday Hilo Peace Vigil 3:30-5PM at the downtown Hilo Post office. Come for 5min. or the full vigil. Bring a chair to sit in the shade. Please wear a mask and social distance.  All participation appreciated. I could use help with set up at 3PM. Please join Hawaiian kupuna, 87 year old Malie Sellers, 87 year old Margaret Furukawa, and other seniors –Ron Fujiyoshi, Danny, Li, Tomas Belsky, Steve Paulmier, etc. We need youth and other seniors too.  See this weeks leaflet here
Jim Albertini

Ann Wright’s Op Ed on Terminating Army Lease at Pohakuloa

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020


Column: State should terminate Army’s lease on land at Pohakuloa

                                A mortarman with the 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, loaded a round during a fire support coordination exercise on Nov. 19, 2019, at Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii island.


    A mortarman with the 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, loaded a round during a fire support coordination exercise on Nov. 19, 2019, at Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii island.

  • Ann Wright

    Ann Wright

1 / 2

As a concerned Hawaii citizen, I call on the governor of the state of Hawaii and on the chairperson and board of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to terminate the lease of 23,000 acres of Hawaii public trust land at Pohakuloa Training Area to the U.S. Army.

This land was leased for $1 to the Army in 1964 for a term of 65-years. In violation of the terms of the lease, the Army has damaged native ecosystems, left unexploded ordnance, depleted uranium and other contaminants, and harmed Native Hawaiian cultural sites.

Although the lease expires in 2029, the U.S. military is seeking to renew the lease as quickly as possible.

The U.S. military wants to extend the lease on the 23,000 acres of state of Hawaii property at Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) as it provides access to the 110,000 acres of adjacent U.S. federal government-owned land at the largest U.S. military firing range. The Army calls the 132,000-acre range on Hawaii island the “Pacific’s premier training area.”

PTA, with a 51,000-acre “impact area,” is used heavily by Hawaii-based and visiting international military forces. It is the largest live-fire range in Hawaii and supports full-scale combined arms field training from the squad to brigade (approximately 3,500 soldiers) level.


Hawaiian cultural practitioners Clarence Ku Ching and Mary Maxine Kahaulelio filed suit against the state DLNR in 2014, claiming the state breached its trust duties by failing to enforce the lease.

Four years later, state Circuit Judge Gary Chang ruled in 2018 in Ching and Kahaulelio’s lawsuit that the DLNR failed to care for the Big Island property, lacking inspections over the first nearly 50 years of the lease. The judge said that the state has a duty to “malama ‘aina,” called two DLNR inspection reports “grossly inadequate,” and ordered the state to develop and potentially execute a plan to obtain adequate funding for a compre­hensive cleanup of the land.

After Judge Chang’s order, DLNR said that as the landlord of the property, it would work with the Army to develop a formal inspection, monitoring and reporting process, which has been virtually nonexistent. However, the Hawaii Supreme Court later overturned part of the order.

The Army set a 40-day public “scoping” period for the environment impact statement (EIS) that ends Oct. 14, this Wednesday. If you think it is time for the state of Hawaii to get its 23,000 acres back from the federal government, submit written comments via the EIS website at


Honolulu resident Ann Wright is a retired U.S. Army colonel.