Pohakuloa Fact Sheet

Military Pohakuloa Training Area

Fact Sheet

  1. The Military Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA), located in the center of Hawaii Island is the largest military training area outside the continental United States. PTA encompasses 133,000-acres, and is nearly 5 times the size of Kaho’olawe Island, or larger than the islands of Kaho’olawe and Lanai combined.
  2. The land at PTA is Hawaiian Kingdom government and crown lands. It’s been used as a military training area since WWII. Over 84,000-acres were simply seized through presidential executive order #11167 at no cost. Nearly 23,000 acres are leased by the Army from the State of Hawaii for 65 years at a total cost of $1.00.
  3. Po-haku-loa is translated to mean: The Land of the Night of Long Prayer. Pohakuloa is known as the sacred heavenly realm of unity between the three great mountains – Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai. To bomb Pohakuloa is considered desecration and sacrilegious to Hawaii’s native people –the Kanaka Maoli.
  4. Military documents claim that up to 14.8 million live-rounds are fired annually at Pohakuloa by all branches of the U.S. military and other countries. Weapon systems of all sorts are used at PTA, including small arms, artillery, helicopter gun ships, bombing by fighter jets, B-52, B-1 and B-2 bombers, etc.
  5. In 2007, the Army confirmed that it has used Depleted Uranium (DU) radiation weapons at PTA dating back to the 1960s. The number of DU rounds fired is not known but the Army has said it is prohibited from firing DU weapons in training at PTA since 1996. Comprehensive, independent, testing and monitoring to determine the full extent of radiation contamination at PTA is being opposed by the military.
  6. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) drone aircraft are used in training at PTA. A drone airfield has been constructed less than 1 mile on the Hilo side of Mauna Kea Park between the old and new Saddle Rd.
  7. PTA contains many important cultural and historic sites and has the highest concentration of endangered species of any U.S. Army installation in the world, native and endangered birds such as, Nene, Palila, Amakihi and many others.
  8. PTA has known health hazards – lead, radiation, and other military toxins, and is located in a dry environment adjacent to a Girl Scout Camp where continued bombing and military maneuvers, together with frequent high winds, risk spreading the contamination in small dust particles. Pohakuloa is also subject to flash flooding. Flooding risks the introduction of military toxins into the ground water and toxins being flushed all the way down into the ocean, endangering humans, plants and animals.
  9. On July 2, 2008, the Hawaii County Council, by a vote of 8-1, passed Resolution 639-08 calling for a halt to all live-fire at PTA due to the presence of Depleted Uranium radiation. The Army has ignored the Council’s call.
  10. Overall, Hawaii is the most heavily militarized group of islands in the world. The Bayonet Constitution and the Reciprocity Treaty of 1887 stationed the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor, lead to the removal of Hawaii’s Queen in 1893, and continued U.S. occupation ever since.

Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
Phone (808) 966-7622 Emai ja@malu-aina.org