PMRF eyed for missile defense system

BARKING SANDS — The U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility is being considered as a new location of a ballistic missile defense radar that would take up between 50 and 80 acres at Barking Sands.

It’s one of four proposed sites for the $1.9 billion Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii (HDR-H), a high-powered, ballistic-missile-radar system. Other sites include two locations at the U.S. Army’s Kahuku Training Area and one at Kaena Point on Oahu.

The radar would be flat-facing, 80 to 90 feet tall, about 50 feet wide, and would further fortify the U.S. missile defense system in Hawaii.

The Missile Defense Agency says they’ll be picking a site for the radar in March or April of this year, and construction is set for 2023.

Should it be chosen, PMRF’s environmental team will be helping the MDA review impacts on the installation area, though the MDA team will be taking lead on the environmental impact statement process.

“PMRF’s environmental team is providing guidance to the MDA environmental team to avoid cultural and environmental impacts to the maximum extent possible should PMRF be considered as a viable HDR-H alternative,” said PMRF commanding officer, Capt. Tim Young, in a Wednesday statement to TGI.

That means looking into how the HDR-H would affect native seabirds, endangered marine animals and other sensitive animals and habitats on Kauai. It also means looking at how the radar would impact the island culturally.

Young said he’s confident in his environmental team’s ability to guide the MDA in accurate analysis for an EIS. He points out they have an “excellent track record in stewardship at PMRF,” and won the 2019 Navy Community Service Environmental Stewardship Award in June.

“The cultural significance of the landscape and the diverse array of native Hawaiian species at PMRF are resources that the Navy is mandated to protect,” Young said. “We intend to stay the course to honor that responsibility. We take our commitment to protect and care for our natural and cultural resources very seriously.”

PMRF’s proximity to sensitive habitats, coastal areas and culturally significant places isn’t unique. All the choices currently on the list to house the HDR-H are near sites that are either historically, culturally or environmentally important.

In December 2018, MDA chose Lockheed Martin to design, manufacture and construct the HDR-H. In that announcement, MDA said the HDR-H would provide “autonomous acquisition and persistent precision tracking and discrimination to counter growing threats.”


Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or

  1. Steve January 23, 2020 4:35 am Reply

    Ok great, so we’ll be the first to know if Li’l Kim decides to use Hawaii for target practice. That’s comforting. We’ll use the extra time to find the best palm trees to hide under.

  2. harry oyama January 23, 2020 5:22 am Reply

    Its better to have the missile defense system on separate islands and not concentrated on Oahu, since there is already a robust tracking radar system on Mt Ka’ala on Oahu. Besides PMRF already has the Aegis ship radar setup that can fire the latest Navy anti missiles and since Kauai is the Northern most island can provide more lead time should North Korea decide to launch missiles to either Hawaii or the West coast of the US

  3. Debra Kekaualua January 23, 2020 7:10 am Reply

    Per Tgi USAF “settles” for Kauai, to enhance “oops” ballistic missile incoming, cover up. C-span 2018 covered that story and by “2022” The military will have completed their newest americanization warring mentality that makes Kauai “ground zero” just like the new york towers downed, due to the inside jobs that are planned created and deployed, by 500 years that These facts have come to pass, so try not to “kill the messenger me!

    1. kealoha January 23, 2020 10:51 pm Reply

      don’t forget stolen mailboxes

  4. therealhawaiian January 23, 2020 8:45 am Reply

    Please go elsewhere! Kauai needs you like it needs a heart attack.

  5. Valerie January 23, 2020 10:47 am Reply

    Kauai is on overload with radar. It needs to go elsewhere.

  6. David January 27, 2020 11:40 am Reply

    It won’t happen. It would mess up the other operations too much to have a high powered radar on full time.

  7. John Papa March 12, 2020 4:55 pm Reply

    Maybe use the Radar System to track Hollywood Ped O / Child Smuggling Operations in Hawaiian Islands ,. but that’s just me . Think Ghisliane ‘Mossad’ Maxwell / Jeff ‘Mossad’ Epstein and Bette Midler for example… seek and see shall find

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