In the Military
For and about Hawaii's servicemen and women

By Gregg K. Kakesako

Sunday, July 7, 2002

See also: For Your Benefit

Measure would require
review of chemical tests
on Navy ships

Three congressional Democrats want to know how tests that took place under Project SHAD, for shipboard hazard and defense, a program in which the Navy sprayed chemical and biological agents on ships stationed in the Pacific and off the coast of Canada during the 1960s and 1970s, affected the ship's crews.

The legislation, called the Veterans' Right to Know Act of 2002, would call for public disclosure by the Department of Defense on the testing and an update from the Defense Department on Project SHAD. The major sponsors are Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.), Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)

The bill also would require a report on SHAD from the General Accounting Office within six months of enactment and a report from the secretary of defense to Congress within nine months, identifying all the tests.

In addition, it would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to locate and evaluate potentially affected veterans and provide medical care and benefits and mandate a study by the Institute of Medicine on the effects of chemical and biological testing on veterans.

The Senate's version of the Department of Defense budget authorization bill calls on the DOD to release pertinent documents related to the project SHAD testing. So far, the Pentagon has released documents related to six of the 113 tests.

One project, entitled Autumn Gold, was conducted in May 1963 about 60 miles west-southwest of Oahu, according to documents recently released by the Defense Department. The tests involved military personnel who were exposed to chemical agents meant to simulate the effects of deadlier germs such as anthrax.

Local VA officials say they have no records of any veterans living in Hawaii who may have taken part in these tests.

Vice Adm. John B. Nathman, Pacific Fleet air commander, who presided over the three-admiral USS Greeneville court of inquiry in March 2001, has been nominated as deputy chief of naval operations for warfare requirements and programs at the Pentagon. The Pearl Harbor-based nuclear attack submarine Greeneville collided with the Japanese fisheries training vessel Ehime Maru near Diamond Head in February 2001, killing nine people.

Rear Adm. Michael D. Malone, a veteran attack pilot who is commander of the Naval Air Forces Atlantic, has been picked to replace him. Nathman would replace Vice Adm. Dennis McGinn, a former 3rd Fleet commander who has held the post for two years.

L. Stewart Diamond, chief of the U.S. Army Pacific command information section, notes that other local residents have been inducted into the Army's Field Artillery Officer Candidate School's Hall of Fame. Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Raymond E. Gandy Jr. received that distinction on May 26, 1995. Gandy is the former commander of the 9th Regional Support Command.

And Star-Bulletin reader Stuart Ball believes Drum Road, which he says was also known as Wahiawa-Pupukea Trail and Paalaa Uka Pupukea Road, was built in 1936-37 by the Army's 3rd Engineers and named after Gen. Hugh A. Drum, who commanded the U.S. Army Hawaiian Department in 1935-37.

Moving up

Pearl Harbor

>> Capt. Stephen Barker assumed command of the Public Works Center, relieving Capt. Jennifer Mustain.

>> Rear Adm. (selectee) Jonathan W. Greenert is being assigned as deputy and chief of staff for the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Greenert is director of operations in the budget office under the assistant secretary of the Navy for financial management.


>> Col. Raymond Torres assumed command of the 15th Operations Group, relieving Col. Michael Fleck.

Gregg K. Kakesako can be reached by phone at 294-4075
or by e-mail at

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