The Honolulu Star Advertiser published an article about the Board of Land and Natural Resources decision to transfer land to the State of Hawai’i Department of Defense for an Army National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Academy. The article is mostly a puff piece for the Youth ChallenNGe Academy. However, what the article reported about the military training is interesting:
The National Guard had proposed using a former boys school at Kulani for urban warfare training, building a pistol range, conducting company-size and lower-level training along roadways and in a pasture area, and developing helicopter landing zones in the pasture and near the camp, according to state documents.
However, some residents opposed what was termed the “militarization” of the land.
Hilo resident Cory Harden was among those who opposed the military training at Kulani.
“They are going to expand that natural area, the reserve, and military use is not compatible with trying to preserve these endangered animals,” Harden said.
The Guard’s Anthony said Hawaii Guard soldiers already had been using the Kulani grounds for more than a decade for urban training, but that will cease.
The land at Kulani was set aside by an executive order for the exclusive purpose of operating a prison. The admission that military training had gone on for more than ten years is evidence of violations of the executive order.
Three parties requested contested case hearings to challenge the BNLR’s decision, including DMZ-Hawai’i / Aloha ‘Aina.