Army releases Makua EIS decision
July 20, 2009
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - The Department of the Army announced its record of decision for the Makua Military Reservation (MMR) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Thursday.
The Army determined that MMR provides the best location to train company-sized units located on Oahu in combined arms live-fire exercises (CALFEX) and convoy live-fire exercises.
After fully considering all aspects of the environmental impact statement and extensive public input, the Army decided not to choose the EIS preferred alternative of conducting 50 CALFEXs and 200 convoy live-fire exercises per year with minimal weapons restrictions.
Rather, the Army decided on a greatly reduced option of 32 CALFEXs and 150 convoy live-fire exercises per year without the use of tracer ammunition, TOW missiles, anti-tank (AT-4) and 2.75-caliber rockets, Javelin missiles (shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapon), or illumination munitions of any kind.
The elimination of these weapon systems greatly reduces the risk of range fires and environmental threats to endangered species and cultural sites, yet allows Hawaii-based units to train locally without the costly burden of additional deployments to the Pohokuloa Training Area (PTA), on the Big Island of Hawaii, or the continental United States (CONUS).
This option also allows Soldiers to spend precious local time with their families between long deployments for combat.
The option includes extensive mitigation measures to protect endangered species and cultural sites, and reduces fire dangers.
"This MMR Environmental Impact Statement was a very thorough and publicly open process." said Maj. Gen. Raymond Mason, commander, U.S. Army Hawaii, and the deciding official. "We've reached the best decision that allows our Soldiers and small units to train locally and reduces their time away from families, all while ensuring the Army continues to protect the precious environment entrusted to us."
The Makua Record of Decision is available online at www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil/makuaeis.