PACIFIC TOUR: HAWAII, USA

Ms. Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment visited Hawaii 20-21 July as the first of three stops to Army Installations in the Pacific Region.

During her first day in Hawaii, Ms. Hammack talked with Pacific Command and US Army Pacific leaders. She then went to Hawaii's Waianae Coast along the area referred to as “Ordnance Reef,” where she saw first-hand a Technology Demonstration from which the Army is assessing two adapted technologies: the Remotely Operated Underwater Munitions Recovery System (ROUMRS), and the Energetic Hazards Demilitarization System (EHDS). An experienced scuba diver, Ms. Hammack was able to dive to the site where the ROUMRS was operating, and view the underwater environment first-hand.

During the second day of her visit, Ms Hammack met local reporters at Radio Station, KSSK and Television KHON2, where she talked about the technology demonstration and what she observed during her dive. During the interview, Ms. Hammack described how the coral reef in the area was able to engulf the munitions and over time corrode a lot of it and in other cases, the local fish have been able to inhabit the munitions and flourish. (Listen to the interview)

During her travels around Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Air Field, Ms. Hammack received briefings on the RCI Housing program in Hawaii; the USAG-Hawaii's Natural Resource Program, one of the largest such programs in the US Army; the live-fire training area that has a been identified as containing Depleted Uranium; the Soldier Family Assistance Center, which also serves as a Warrior Transition Center, the B Quad Barracks which are more than 100 years old and still housing Soldiers, and she had lunch with 20 Soldiers and discussed energy, environment and installation and their opinions and concerns.