Updated at 12:04 p.m., Thursday, July 16, 2009
Army to resume Makua Valley exercises, but restrict weapons
The Army said today it will resume live-fire exercises in Makua Valley but reduce the number of drills and restrict use of certain munitions.
The Army said an environmental impact statement had suggested 50 company-sized combined arms live-fire exercises and 200 convoy live-fire exercises.
The Army said it will conduct 32 combined arms live-fire exercises 150 convoy live-fire exercises with minimal weapons restrictions.
The Army said the exercises would be conducted without use of tracer ammunition, TOW missiles, anti-tank and 2.75-caliber rockets, shoulder-launched Javelin missiles or illumination munitions of any kind.
The elimination of these weapon systems greatly reduces the risk of range fires and environmental threats to endangered species and cultural sites, yet allows Hawaii-based units to train locally without the costly burden of additional deployments, the Army said.
“This MMR Environmental Impact Statement was a very thorough and publicly open process,” said Maj. Gen. Raymond V. Mason, commander, Army Hawaii and the deciding official.
“We’ve reached the best decision that allows our soldiers and small units to train locally and reduces their time away from families, all while ensuring the Army continues to protect the precious environment entrusted to us.”
The Makua record of decision is available online at: http:/www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil/makuaeis