The U.S. Army Hawaii conducts training at various installations on the island of Oʻahu to meet its mission of readiness. The U.S. Government leases approximately 6,300 acres of these lands from the State of Hawaiʻi consisting of portions of Kahuku Training Area (KTA) and Makua Military Reservation (MMR), and all of Kawailoa-Poamoho Training Area (Poamoho). The 65-year leases of the State-owned lands expire in 2029.
KTA, Poamoho, and MMR are comprised of approximately 18,060 acres of U.S. Government and State-owned lands. The Army’s authority to use the State-owned lands is through leases initiated in 1964 to support mission-critical training capabilities, training facilities, operations, access, and other essential military training and logistics services.
Much of the leased lands supplement U.S. Government-owned training land by providing maneuver area and key training features that complement larger training activities that take place on U.S. Government-owned lands. The leased lands provide unique military training environments not available elsewhere on military installations in Hawaiʻi.
Other portions of the leased lands allow for access within and between U.S. Government-owned training lands, access to public rights-of-way, or buffer zones between Army and non-Army land uses.
The Army proposes to retain up to approximately 6,300 acres of State-owned lands on Oʻahu in support of continued military training. The Army would retain the State-owned land prior to expiration of the current lease to ensure training is not interrupted. Following retention of the State-owned land, Army would continue to conduct current levels and types of military training; facility, utility and infrastructure maintenance and repair activities; and natural and cultural resources stewardship and mitigation on the State-owned lands. The Army also would continue to permit and coordinate training and other activities on the State-owned lands by other military services and the public. The Proposed Action does not involve new training, construction, or resource management activities. Instead, it is a real estate action that would enable continued military use of the State-owned lands. The EIS will analyze live-fire training at MMR at a programmatic level. If the Army proposes a resumption of live-fire at MMR, it would also be subject to further separate and more detailed NEPA analysis.
Purpose and Need
The purpose of the Proposed Action is to enable the Army to continue to conduct military training on the State-owned lands of KTA, Poamoho, and MMR, on the island of Oʻahu, to meet current and future training requirements.
The Proposed Action is needed because these areas include important facilities and infrastructure for ground maneuver and aviation training, and loss of these lands would greatly impact the Army’s and other military services’ ability to train in Hawaiʻi and prepare for mission readiness.
The EIS will evaluate the potential impacts of a variety of reasonable alternatives that meet the purpose of and need for the Proposed Action. Alternatives to be analyzed in the EIS include: 1) Full Retention, 2) Modified Retention, and 3) Minimum Retention and Access. The No Action Alternative (no retention of State-owned lands after 2029) will also be analyzed. Other reasonable alternatives raised during the scoping process and capable of meeting the purpose and need of the Proposed Action will be considered for evaluation in the EIS.