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Home arrow Working with Section 106 arrow ACHP Case Digest arrow Spring 2004 arrow Hawaii: Transformation of the 2nd Brigade, U.S. Army Garrison
CLOSED CASE:
Hawaii: Transformation of the 2nd Brigade, U.S. Army Garrison

Agency: U.S. Army

“Through the whole Pacific/Our answer will always be swift/We’re tough, we’re ready for whatever mission/We are the Twenty-fifth!”

As characterized in its song, the U.S. Army’s 25th Light Infantry Division in Hawaii continues its tradition of being swift, tough, and ready as it reorganizes its 2nd Brigade into a new fighting force: a Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

At the heart of the new brigade is the use of the Stryker vehicle. Weighing 19 tons and reaching speeds of 60 miles per hour, the Stryker is designed to help soldiers fill the gap between slower-moving heavy forces such as armored or mechanized infantry, and lighter, more deployable units such as light infantry.

The Army says Hawaii is an ideal location for a Stryker Brigade Combat Team, which will be able to deploy a brigade anywhere in the Pacific Rim within 96 hours because of its proximity to suitable airbases. Native Hawaiian organizations were concerned, however, that the brigade’s training activities would affect historic properties of traditional and religious significance.

The U.S. Army is undergoing a nationwide, multi-year transformation to use emerging technologies and changes in its mission in the post-Cold War world. As part of its transformation, the Army is converting six brigades to Stryker Brigade Combat Teams, including the 2nd Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division (Light) in Hawaii.

Army and Hawaii SHPO representatives examine a lava field where Native Hawaiians lived and that is proposed to become a Stryker training area.

 

Representatives from the Army and the Hawaii State Historic Preservation Office examine a lava field where Native Hawaiians lived. The field is in the Pohakuloa training area, which is proposed to become a Stryker training area. (staff photo)

 

 

The U.S. Army Garrison is directing the 2nd Brigade’s conversion, which involves almost 30 projects at various installation and sites on the Islands of Oahu and Hawaii.

Under the transformation project, the Army will acquire and dispose of property and will introduce the use of the Stryker combat vehicle to the new brigade. The transformation project will affect various historic properties at Pohakuloa, Kahuku, Schofield Barracks, and Wheeler Army Air Field subinstallations, including a Nike Missile base, archeological properties, and traditional cultural properties.

Specifically, the Stryker will noticeably change land-use patterns in Army training while other individual tranformation projects have the potential to affect military construction plans, troop training and range operation plans, and tenant activities. Native Hawaiian organizations were concerned that changes in the converted brigade’s training patterns and the mobility of the Stryker vehicles would affect historic properties of traditional and religious significance.

In June 2003, the ACHP met with the Army in Hawaii to visit some of the training areas with staff members from the Hawaiian State Historic Preservation Office and representatives of Native Hawaiian organizations including the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Oahu Council of Hawaiian Civic Clubs.

The Army developed a Programmatic Agreement that streamlines the Section 106 review process regarding the historic properties; provides standards that must be met by the Army in developing individual project plans; requires the Army to provide access for a Cultural Monitor to ensure that any properties of traditional religious and cultural importance are respected in the site-specific projects; and outlines routine activities that are exempt from consultation.

The agreement has been signed by the ACHP, the Army, the Hawaii State Historic Preservation Officer, and the Oahu Council of Hawaiian Civic Clubs. It was developed with Native Hawaiian organizations, which appear to favor the agreement’s execution.

The Army’s open dialogue with Native Hawaiian organizations was very positive during the agreement’s development. The agency opened closed areas that are likely to be affected by increased training activities, and allowed representatives of the organizations to express their concerns.

In addition, the Army has agreed to work with a Cultural Monitor, who will serve as a liaison between archeologists and the Native Hawaiian community when properties of traditional religious and cultural importance are discovered or inadvertently affected, and will assist in identifying and treating these sites.


Staff contact: Lee Keatinge

Updated June 1, 2004

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