The United States Army Hawaii (USARHAW) conducts training at Pōhakuloa Training Area (PTA) to meet its federally mandated mission of readiness. The U.S. Government has leased approximately 23,000 acres of PTA from the state of Hawaiʻi for nearly six decades and the lease expires on August 16, 2029. The State-owned land in PTA has been the keystone of the training area, providing access between the U.S. Government-owned portions of PTA and supporting numerous training facilities and capabilities that are essential to USARHAW and other military services and local agencies.
PTA is the only training area in Hawaiʻi where USARHAW units can complete all mission essential tasks, and that can accommodate larger than company-sized units (i.e., battalion and brigade) for live-fire and maneuver exercises. This type of large-scale training better prepares soldiers to complete their mission, which ultimately prevents injuries and saves soldiers' lives when they are deployed to the battlefield.
The Army proposes to retain up to approximately 23,000 acres of State-owned land at PTA in support of continued military training. The Army would arrange for retention and continued use of the State-owned land prior to expiration of the 1964 lease to ensure training is not interrupted. Following retention of the State-owned land, the Army would continue to conduct ongoing activities (military training; facility, utility and infrastructure maintenance and repair activities; resource management actions; and associated activities such as emergency services) on the retained State-owned land. The Army also would continue to permit and coordinate ongoing activities by other PTA users (training and other activities such as public use programs) on the retained State-owned land. The Proposed Action is a real estate action (i.e., administrative action) that would enable continuation of ongoing activities on the retained State-owned land. It does not include construction, modernization, or changes in ongoing activities in the retained State-owned land.
The purpose of the Proposed Action is to enable USARHAW to continue to conduct military training on the State-owned land within PTA to meet its ongoing training requirements.
The Proposed Action is needed to preserve limited maneuver area, provide austere environment training, enable access between major parcels of U.S. Government-owned land in PTA, retain substantial infrastructure investments, allow for future facility and infrastructure modernization, and maximize use of the impact area in support of USARHAW-coordinated training.
The EIS evaluates the potential impacts of a variety of reasonable alternatives that satisfy the purpose and need of the Proposed Action and meet the screening criteria. Alternatives 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 land after lease expiration) is also analyzed. Other alternatives were considered but were not carried forward for detailed analysis because they do not fully satisfy the purpose and need of the Proposed Action and/or do not meet one or more of the screening criteria. The preferred alternative will be identified in the Final EIS.