Army Stryker brigade
proposed for Hawaii

Several major projects are designed
to limit environmental impact

HILO >> While training on the Big Island, the 25th Infantry's Stryker Brigade will drive up to seven times as many miles as previous Army vehicles yet will have less impact on public roads, according to Col. David Anderson.

All the driving will be done on the Army's land at Pohakuloa Training Area or on a partially paved military road to be constructed across Parker Ranch from Kawaihae Harbor to Pohakuloa, Anderson said last week.

The military road and other projects linked to the introduction of the fast-moving, new Stryker armored vehicles are all designed to limit environmental impact, Anderson said.

His comments were in preparation for public hearings on the draft environmental impact statement on the Strykers which will be held on the Big Island Nov. 5 at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Nov. 6 at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. Both meetings start at 7 p.m.

The environmental document can be reviewed at www. htm.

The Army has proposed six Stryker brigades, but only four have been funded. The Pentagon still has not said whether the last two, in Hawaii and Pennsylvania, will be approved.

The 25th Infantry's 2nd Brigade, which would become Hawaii's Stryker brigade, is one of several units that train at Pohakuloa annually.

The transformation to a Stryker brigade will result in the maximum number of troops using Pohakuloa annually rising to 24,000 from 20,000, said 25th Infantry transformation director Ron Borne.

Eight construction projects are planned at Pohakuloa, plus creation of the new military road, and acquisition of up to 23,000 acres adjoining Pohakuloa from Parker. The cost will be $234 million. Major projects such as new firing ranges are designed to be built on top of existing ranges, limiting their impact, Borne said.

The design of the Stryker reduces fire hazards by placing the exhaust high off the ground, he said.

Archaeological areas and areas of native plants are protected and will continue to be protected, Anderson said.


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