Seeking answers to questions sent to PTA officials 1:21 PM May 12, 2019 for May 14 and 16 meetings

Please ask the military officials below your own questions about what’s going on at the 133,000-acre base.  Mahalo.


Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) officials

Aloha Lt. Col. Borce, PTA Commanding officer, Dr. Taomia, cultural person, Mr. Flemming, Deputy Commander, and Mr. Donnelly, Public Relations officer

Below are the questions I submitted on short notice that you requested be put in writing for the May 14, and 16, 2019 meetings help in Kona and Hilo respectively.  As I recall you said you would respond in writing within 30 days to the questions that we put in writing.  To date –June 30, 2019 I have not received any written response.

Please advise if you intend to respond and if so, when?  Mahalo for your consideration.

Jim Albertini

cc: members of the media and elected officials

Jim Albertini Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Kurtistown, Hawaii 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 email

Questions for US Army Garrison Pohakuloa annual meeting with signatories and consulting parties

  1. Hawai’i Island Training Programmatic Agreement (PA) and Annual Report

5:30 – 7: 30 PM Thursday, May 16, 2019, Aupuni Conference Room. Hilo

from Jim Albertini Malu ‘Aina center for Non-violent Education & Action

  1. On the official Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) Facebook page it states: “The U.S. Army Garrison Pohakuloa Cultural Resources Program supports the Army mission by managing cultural resources at PTA so that the Army, other military services, and state and local organizations can train here in compliance with historic  preservation laws and regulations.”

The US military is spending $1.25 trillion annually on war, or $32 million per minute ( yet less than 1/3 of the 133,000-acres of PTA has been surveyed for cultural & historic sites?  Why so little?  The National Historic preservation Act has been in existence sine the 1970s.  When will PTA complete a survey of the entire base?  It certainly seems clear that managing cultural resources takes a back seat to the PTA mission of bombing the sacred ‘aina.  The insulting conclusion of the Programmatic Agreement (PA) states: “Based on currently available information No TCPs or properties of religious and cultural significance to Native Hawaiian organizations have been identified at PTA.”  I have heard the meaning of Pohakuloa described as “The Land of the Night of Long Prayer?”  Has this been investigated?

  1. Why isn’t the term “Depleted Uranium –DU” even included in the glossary of the Programmatic Agreement (PA) given the fact that it is now well known that DU has been used at PTA and might possibly impact cultural and religious sites as well as troops and workers at PTA and the general public?  It is important to note that when DU metal is hit with high explosives it turns into easily inhaled DU oxide dust which can be defined as a weapon of mass destruction.
  2. Routine training at PTA has the potential to impact cultural and historic sites.  We need to know: What is the routine training at PTA?  How many live rounds are fired annually at PTA?  The last report in 2004 was 14.8 million live-rounds fired annually.  How many live rounds have been fired in each year since 2004?  What are all weapons systems fired at PTA?    Do strategic nuclear B-2 bombers still fly from Louisiana, Missouri and Guam to bomb Pohakuloa?  How often?  How about B-52 bombers?  What are the weapons they drop?  Even if inert, what actual weapons do they replicate? Have A-10 warthog planes ever fired DU rounds at PTA?   One of the delivery systems of the A-10 is the  30mm cannon As previously stated the US spends $32 million dollars per minute on war. When will comprehensive independent testing and monitoring be done to determine the full extent of Depleted uranium radiation contamination at PTA?  When will the test results of the shallow water well drilled in 2013 be released to show the possible contaminants in the water? Things like lead, perchlorate, PFAS, etc. etc. associated with military activity at PTA?
  3. Why hasn’t PTA complied with County Council resolution 639-08 passed by a vote of 8-1 in July 2008 calling for 8 actions including a stop to all live fire and anything that creates dust at PTA until there is a complete assessment and clean up of DU present at PTA and 7 other actions related to the DU?  A copy of this resolution was presented to Commander Borce on Sept. 21, 2018 at a meeting held at PTA with Commander Borce attended by myself, Ronald Fujiyoshi and Danny Li.
  4. The County of Hawaii in August 2008  passed resolution 701-08 unanimously  naming Dr. Lorrin Pang, MD as Hawaii county’s official representative. Dr. Pang is 24 years retired Army medical Corps.  Why hasn’t PTA done any consultation with Dr. Pang?  A copy of that resolution was also given to Commander Borce on Sept. 21, 2018 and to all previous PTA commanders.
  5. On Sept. 21, 2018 in that same meeting noted above several  dozen signed Military Human Experimentation forms saying that individuals do not give their consent to being experimented upon by the military continuing to bomb with high explosives a base known to be contaminated with Depleted Uranium were presented to Commander Borce.  The Nuremberg principles affirm such rights. There has been no response on this issue.  How come?
  6. On Sept. 21, 2018 in that same meeting noted above, we asked Commander Borce for an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) which Borce’s predecessor LTC Marquez said he would do but never did: an MOU for Makahiki opening and closing ceremonies and visits to cultural and religious sites on PTA. Why hasn’t that MOU been formalized? 
  7. On Sept. 21, 2018 in the same meeting noted above we asked Commander Borce for a show of good faith by NOT having school children come to PTA for Earth day events until there is comprehensive independent testing and monitoring for DU oxide. On April 18, hundreds of school children attended “Experience PTA Day.”  Does this constitute unethical human experimentation on children?
  8. On Sept. 21, 2018 in the same meeting noted above we asked Commander Borce to participate in public community meetings to respond to concerns and questions from the community.  To date there have been no such meetings.  How come?

10, On June 30, 2018 Commander Borce came out of the PTA base to meet with RIMPAC protesters.  He said he wanted to be transparent and do things ohana style.  He promised to give RIMPAC protesters a tour of PTA similar to what the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce was given.  No such tour has ever been provided.  How come?  In addition on Dec. 17th access for 10 people to do Makahiki ceremony at the ahu near Pu’u Ka Pele was canceled by higher ups above Commander Borce at the last minute because a peaceful protest outside the main gate was planned over the limitation on those who could participate in the ceremony. What message does that convey about the right to religious practice and the right to free speech?  It says to me, if you want the military to recognize and allow religious practice, then shut up and don’t protest.

  1. A directive 4715.11 from the Deputy Secretary of Defense dated May 10, 2004 directed that no high explosives shall be used in areas where depleted uranium occurs (Section  The memorandum does provide an exception that a base commander can make a determination that if national security objectives are involved, the use of high explosives can be used in those depleted uranium contaminated areas.  Commander Borce, you are a base commander and therefore have that authority to cease high explosive use in the depleted uranium areas.  If, as you claim, you want to be a good steward of the land and of health and safety of the citizens of the Big Island, the civilian employees of PTA cantonment, the soldiers stationed and training there, and visitors to the Island, why have you not prohibited the use of high explosives in those areas?  This is a critical issue for preservation and access to sacred sites at PTA.  What is the national security objective you have determined that allows you placing civilians in harm’s way?  The same training can take place in an area or training areas on the US continent that are free from DU contamination.
  2. There is reason to believe that there is far more DU at PTA than simply the 700–2000 DU spotting rounds noted by Army officials.  Col Howard Killian testified before the Hawaii County Council that given the number of people who were trained to fire the Davy Crockett weapon system the number of spotting rounds fired at PTA could be 2000 or higher.  In addition to the Davy Crockett spotting rounds (6-ounces of DU) there is reason to believe that dummy M-390 Davy Crockett warheads were fired, each containing around 35 pounds of DU each.  Depending on the number of such dummy DU warheads fired, the total DU from Davy Crockett could be expanded into many tons not simply pounds from spotting rounds, far exceeding the NRC license SUC-1593.

  In addition there is the question of other possible DU rounds fired at PTA besides Davy Crockett that to date are unknown. That’s why comprehensive independent testing is required with community oversight to have the confidence of the community.  We want people like Dr. Lorrin Pang, MD, and retired nuclear Geologist Mike Reimer PhD. involved to represent the community oversight.  When will this be done.  Since the military spends $32 million per minute on war, can’t you afford a couple seconds worth of war spending for testing in the interest of community health and safety, including for the troops and workers at PTA?

  1. A.  Given that Army officials have confirmed that munitions containing depleted uranium have been used within PTA and given that ongoing military operations continue on contaminated lands using explosives in direct violation of section 2-4 of Army Regulation 700-48 exactly when will army leaders in Hawaii complete thorough environmental remediation in compliance with all provisions of AR 700-48 using all procedures specified in Army PAM 700-548 and Technical Bulletin 9-1300-278?
  2. Given uranium weapons have been used resulting in military and civilian exposures exactly when will Army leaders comply with US Army order known as the Somalis DU medical care order dated October 1993 and section 2-5 of AR 700-48 that mandate medical care for all known and suspected exposures?

C.  Given numerous orders have been issued by the commanding general of TRADOC and also the Secretary of Defense mandating completion of tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3 DU training by all military personnel who in your command has completed the mandated training? Please provide compete command training records from the command G3 verifying DU training completion for all military and civilian personnel .

  1. What are the exact operational / environmental requirements for preventing spreading of contamination and for cleaning up any and all depleted uranium and other low level radioactive contamination as specified in section 2-4 of army regulation 700-48 and exactly how will Hawaii based army command leaders comply with each of these requirements?

AR 700-48 Section 2–4. Handling of RCE

  1. General.

(1) During peacetime or as soon as operational risk permits, the Corps/JTF/Division Commander’s RSO will

identify, segregate, isolate, secure, and label all RCE. Procedures to minimize the spread of radioactivity will be

implemented as soon as possible.

(2) Radiologically contaminated equipment does not prevent the use of a combat vehicle or equipment for a combat


(3) RSO must consider the operational situation, mission, level of contamination, and types of contaminate when

evaluating the need to utilize contaminated equipment.

(4) After the Corps Commander certifies the equipment is decontaminated IAW established OEG or peacetime

regulations, it may be reutilized.

(5) The equipment for release for unrestricted use must be decontaminated to comply with peacetime regulations

versus OEG.

(6) Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Units will render equipment safe prior to retrograde operations when


  1. Use and cannibalization.

(1) The operation of RCE or cannibalization is prohibited unless the commander has determined that:

(a) The operational risk is comparable to that found in combat.

(b) The equipment is required for mission completion.

(c) Under no condition shall the following items be used or cannibalized if damaged: MC-1 Soil Moisture Density

Tester (Soil and Asphalt) (NSN 6635-01-030-6896), or commercially procured TROXLER Surface Moisture-Density

Gauge AN/UDM-2 RADIAC Calibrator Set (NSN 6665-00-179-9037), AN/UDM-6 RADIAC Calibrator Set (NSN


(2) Under those circumstances in which the commander has waived prohibitive use (see para 2-4b(1)) and deter-mined

that the operational risk is comparable to combat, equipment may be decontaminated and used for a specified

mission. Once the circumstances are met, operational necessity is over, that waived contaminated equipment will be

handled IAW peacetime procedures.

  1. Handling.

(1) The unit/team/individual responsible for the equipment, whether friendly or foreign, at the time of damage or

contamination is responsible for taking all action consistent with this regulation and DA PAM 700-48.

(2) The MACOM commander may designate a radioactive waste/commodity processing facility. The ACERT,

RADCON and RAMT Teams may be deployed to assist in the processing and management supervision of RCE.

(3) Maintenance forms, warning tags, and other forms of communication will be used to ensure that personnel

involved in the reclamation are aware of the contamination status.

(4) In peacetime, RCE will be transported to the command esignated location for receipt of radioactive material

where the extent of contamination can be assessed and remediated under controlled conditions.

(5) In peacetime, the Corps/JTF/Division Commander’s RSO monitor the separation of RCE from uncontaminated

equipment. The separation must be maintained throughout the entire handling process.

(6) All equipment, to include captured or combat RCE, will be surveyed, packaged, retrograded, decontaminated and

released IAW Technical Bulletin 9-1300-278, DA PAM 700-48 and other relevant guidance.

(7) Equipment will be decontaminated to the maximum extent as far forward in theater as possible, IAW the OEG.

Under all other conditions, decontamination in-theater will be performed only in accordance with guidance from the

ACERT/RADCON/Chemical Officer/NBC Staff.

  1. d. Personal Safety. Personnel handling contaminated equipment need to follow the personal safety measures outlined

in DA PAM 700-48 and AR 40-5.

  1. Disposal.

(1) In general, environmental impact must be considered prior to equipment retrograde. Retrograde operations must

minimize the spread of contamination preventing further harm to personnel and damage to equipment.

(2) Radioactive material and waste will not be locally disposed of through burial, submersion, incineration, destruction in place, or abandonment without approval from overall MACOM commander. If local disposal is approved, the

responsible MACOM commander must document the general nature of the disposed material and the exact location of

the disposal. As soon as possible the MACOM commander must forward all corresponding documentation to the Chief,

Health Physicist, AMCSF-P, HQAMC.

(3) Demilitarization in the field is authorized only as a means to ensure that the equipment will not fall into enemy


5 AR 700–48 • 16 September 2002

  1. There was no mention in the annual report of the covert Military Special Ops planned for Mauna Kea park and impacts to cultural and religious sites, originating inside PTA  that was cancelled because of citizen protest in late Nov. and December 2018. How come?
  2. It appears Commander Borce, PAO Donnelly, Julie Taomia and the military higher ups are trying to divide the community into Signatories, consulting parties, non consulting parties, who gets access, who gets to meet, etc. etc. PTA effects us all.  We are all consulting parties.  Commander Borce and military higher ups, show you have nothing to hide.  Meet in public forums, with the media present, in the community. What are you afraid of?
  3. Who is the PTA Radiation safety officer, otherwise known as LPPO Local Radiation Protection officer?  What equipment is being used?   Provide specifics of equipment to check for DU oxide particles and specific fissionable products like cesium 137.
  4. Finally, there is the question of possible fissionable Davy Crockett nuclear weapons being exploded at PTA.  We have received confidential reports from more than one source about this.

While many of us remain doubtful that such nuclear explosions occurred at PTA in the late 1950s or early 60s, such tactical nuclear weapons had yields that ranged from 10-20 tons of TNT equivalent to a kilton (1,000 tons of TNT).  If nuclear weapons were exploded at PTA  there would still be a signature of fissionable isotopes present today, including cesium 137.  It has a half life of about 30.17 years and decays to barium-137 with emission of gamma ray energy of 664 ke.  If a fission device was fired at PTA, that isotope (and others) would be present is measurable abundance.  There is a background from atmospheric nuclear testing and Fukushima but with just two half-lives from the 1960 use of Davy Crockett training at PTA, there would be sufficient quantity remaining to detect without question.  There are field portable gamma ray detectors that can distinguish gamma ray energies and identify the isotopes.  Any comprehensive independent testing for DU should also include testing for possible fissionable isotopes.