Seabirds, environment concerns for Homeland Defense Radar – Hawai‘i project

  • Courtesy of the federal Missile Defense Agency

    An artist’s rendering shows an 85-foot, single-phase array radar currently in a proposal stage for the Missile Defense Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense.

LIHU‘E — Concerns for native sea birds, infrastructure and cultural resources and practices are among the voiced concerns against the proposed $1.9-billion, Homeland Defense Radar – Hawai‘i project.

Two locations are being considered, one at the U.S. Army Garrison’s Kahuku Training Area on O‘ahu and the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility near Kekaha. There is also a no-action alternative.

Across two discussions last week that were part of the public scoping for the environmental impact statement for the missile-radar system project, residents voiced frustration over the proposal.

As part of the discussion on Thursday evening, Ku‘ulei Perreira-Keawekane imparted that Native Hawaiians have been disproportionately affected by assimilation.

“As you move forward in your environmental impact statement, I hope that you consider the ways that these kinds of projects including the militarization of Hawai‘i, including any kind of infrastructure that’s built on Hawaiian land,” Perreira-Keawekane said. “I really hope that you consider the impact that has on Native Hawaiians, particularly Native Hawaiians who identify with traditional modes of acculturation.”

Perreira-Keawekane also warned of the environmental impact of construction and sustained use of the proposed radar might have.

“If one bird, if one ‘ewa, one Native Hawaiian bird, dies because of this operation, that’s a significant impact,” Perreira-Keawekane said. “Every specific bird is ancestrally relevant to Hawai‘i people.”

Wailua resident Gary Hooser, a former state senator and Kaua‘i councilmember, expressed concern for the PMRF location. PMRF is being considered for its location on federal property, and if chosen, MDA will utilize the southernmost PMRF access gate at Lighthouse Road, according to a distribution statement.

“I’m very concerned about this project, and recommending option three (the no-action alternative). I don’t believe it’s suitable for Kaua‘i,” Hooser said Thursday night.

“They’re in a floodplain, those lands adjacent to that are pumped to 24-7 to keep the water out. Sea-level rise is inevitable. There’s a number of endangered species in critical habitat. There are burials in every component in the area. And I believe that it would be culturally inappropriate and sacrilegious, quite frankly, to build this in those areas.”

Hooser went on to say the social-economic impacts of housing, infrastructure and loss of potential agricultural land need to be considered, too.

Melody Aduja, a former state senator and co-chair of the environmental caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, is in opposition to the radar for the environmental, social and cultural concerns, as well as toxic-waste disposal and electromagnetic emissions this project would impart.

This project through the Missile Defense Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense is in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy and Federal Aviation Administration.

The HDR-H is proposed as a single-phase array radar that’s about 85 feet tall on a 50-acre complex that needs about 100 additional acres for temporary construction, according to the MDA. The proposed layout includes a maintenance facility, power plant, equipment shelter, radar face, data terminal and bulk-fuel-storage area.

In its public-scoping stage, citizens are able to provide comments on the EIS, which will consider airspace and air quality, cultural resources, land use, wildlife, water, transportation and coastal zones. If the HDR-H is to go through, the FAA will determine air-traffic regulations.

The project was initiated in 2017 by the National Defense Authorization Act, which required the MDA to develop a plan to procure a discrimination radar or equivalent center. In fiscal year 2021, funding continued the efforts with a $133 million appropriation, supported by Hawai‘i delegates.

Sharla Shriver, representing the HDR-H program, explained that the priorities of the HDR-H will be to better protect the island chain and nation against all types of ballistic-missile attacks.

“It’s important to note that today’s missile-defense system protects Hawai‘i from current threats. However, emerging missile threats must be addressed,” Shriver said. This would be part of the government’s layered missile-defense system that includes ground and ship-based radars.

An additional concern the public had dealt with the manner in which the public hearings were taking place.

During Tuesday’s discussion, Lynda Williams with the Ko‘olau Waialua Alliance on O‘ahu, as well as the Global Network Against Missile Defense, raised an issue with the meeting taking place over the telephone.

“When you’re reading off URL and you’re referring to images that we can’t see because we’re only on a phone or it’s absurd, it’s insulting,” Williams said.

Dawn Chang, at the start of Thursday’s meeting, addressed this.

“I realize this telephone public town-hall meeting is not our normal style of engagement,” Chang said. “We’re used to talking story in person. While the COVID pandemic is not an excuse, it is our reality, and we are trying our best in light of the circumstances.”

MDA will give the Kaua‘i County Council a briefing at its next regular meeting on Wednesday, April 7, at 8:30 a.m. This meeting will be held virtually and can be watched at kauai.gov/webcast-meetings.

The MDA open-house comment period runs through Monday, April 12. More information can be found at hdrheis.com.

•••

Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

8 Comments
  1. jc March 28, 2021 7:03 am Reply

    Sea rise and coastal flooding are not “inevitable” . The best argument against this project is it is neither wanted or needed and it will be obsolete by completion.


  2. tunataxi March 28, 2021 8:25 am Reply

    Please keep the military on Oahu


  3. Kauaidoug March 28, 2021 9:27 am Reply

    Just looking at that drawing shows that installation does NOT belong on this island. I don’t believe this crap about future missile defense needs. Once it’s built ,2 billion dollars later, then the “others” find a new way or new missile and on and on, ENOUGH.

    I suppose you could say it will be another attraction for the tour boats heading to view the Napali coast.

    Just what we don’t need,IMO.

    NO ACTION!


  4. RG DeSoto March 28, 2021 1:22 pm Reply

    The Chinese and Russians must be laughing hysterically at the USA. With all the hand-wringing over a few birds or the climate change nonsense; with the special operations command now incorporating an “inclusion and diversity” senior officer they-Chinese & Russians-know that all they have to do is standby. They’ll watch us implode and take ourselves out of the game. Add onto that that the insane woke types are also pushing for pregnant women to be used for combat units. What a joke we’ve become.
    We see the enemy and the enemy is us.
    RG DeSoto


  5. avcwbcoach March 28, 2021 8:51 pm Reply

    1. If we accept this “defense” on Kauai, it also makes us an international target. Why not put it on Midway island, or not any of our islands, then at least humans aren’t part of the inevitable carnage when the target is struck.

    2. We are over militarized enough, we don;t need more. Especially near agricultural and cultural sites that will be polluted, destroyed or both if this happens. There is so little concern for Hawaiian rights, cultural and historical value, go ahead Military and just crap on the island / s of Hawaii Ne more.
    3. It is far beyond the reach of the mentality of the Military, but some things ARE NOT FOR SALE = they Are Sacred.


  6. Kahoolawe to Pakala March 28, 2021 10:39 pm Reply

    Every single function of every single organ in our bodies, every single action of every single part of our bodies is made to happen, is caused, controlled, organized, and coordinated by electrical impulses from the body’s brain, brain stem, and spinal cord out to every iota of the body, and to accomplish all the billions of things every nano second that the brain controls over the nerves, and it requires electrical impulses created in perfect unison by the Inborn Intelligence of the body using the nervous system for communication, our self made nervous system more complex than all the computers in the world.

    That same electrical (efferent) outgoing information from the brain, brain stem, and spinal cord is matched by (afferent) incoming electrical signals from the body back through the spinal cord to the brain stem and brain to make our body’s cells, tissues, organs, and systems do what they do to make us function as the most complex organism we know of so far in God’s Universe.

    We rely on electrical signals from brain to our parts and from our body’s parts back to the brain.

    The electrical signals of the nervous system inform the brain of everything including disease virus (Covid-19) entering and trying it infect the body.

    In response to the body being exposed to the disease virus, the brain and brain stem activate the immune system to initiate the immune system’s billions of plasma cells to develop specific bio-identical matching antibodies at 10,000 per second per each plasma cell, easily wiping out disease virus like Covid-19, making the body immune to that virus and also non-contagious in about 2 weeks time, and allows p each one us to have a healthy immune system and automatically become Herd Immune, which collectively causes that particular virus, and even its naturally mutated variants to “dwindle” away out of our environment.

    The nervous system and the immune system have been working in tandem in all vertebrates (humans are vertebrates, so are giraffes, geckos, birds, and fish; to eliminate disease virus from all vertebrate bodies, when necessary, going back in the oldest vertebrates on earth (there are still more than 40,000 active vertebrate species on earth numbering in the quadrillions) successfully performing the immune response to disease virus and bacteria for over 500 million years successfully defending the world’s creatures from disease virus, and disease bacteria, including us humans during these last 200,000 years of our known existence.

    The electrical nervous system and immune system need no help to automatically defend us from virus and bacteria, but this pair of life functions needs no interference, no overwhelming burdens brought on by, coincidentally by the 4 Qualifications to end life prematurely p, namely #1.) food that is low nutrition, high in added sugars, and added chemicals and petrochemicals, in the form of snacks, junk and fast food, the effect if which accumulates for decades in the body, resulting in #2.) the early onset of the 10 most common end-of-life diseases, #3.) these diseases medically treated by more toxic and lethal chemicals and petrochemicals in the form of the accumulating use of prescription drugs for 2, 3, and 4 decades, #4.) until the total years of eating disease causing food plus the accumulation of toxic and lethal prescription drugs and their additional disease side effects, and now you are 70 plus elderly years, and you have the 4 qualifications to prematurely die, and if you happen to have the Covid-19 virus or its many automatically mutated variants, the medical industry which makes its living selling prescription drugs and vaccines and fake vaccines like Pfizer, lays the blame for your death on a tiny virus.

    When in fact you were ready to die anyway, even without the virus.
    Why are you ready to die, because you have the 4 qualifications to die. The easily avoidable, with education, 4 Qualifications that rob people of their God given right to optimal active healthy Life Longevity.

    Well how can we say that, well you have to have all 4 Qualifications, and very importantly #4, being elderly is inevitable.

    Because if you have only the first 3 Qualifications, or only
    #1, and/or #2, and/or #3, or even none of the Qualifications, you will be exposed and infected by the virus but your nervous system and immune system will in tandem wipe out the Covid-19 virus or any other disease bacteria or virus, or even the mutated virus variants.

    If your first 3 Qualifications are so heavy, advanced, and/or deadly, of course you can die earlier than 70+ years, and many do, but up to you. You can stop right now and reverse, actually abandon or avoid the activities that make up the first 3 Qualifications.

    And as a healthy immune system and functioning nervous system will do, you may or will become positive with the virus but have no symptoms, or perhaps only mild or brief symptoms.

    Having said all that, this Defense Radar system proposed for tiny Kauai will have the capability of disturbing our electrical nervous system and disrupting not only our ability to coordinate our immune system, but also disrupt any other, even multiple organ systems at one time. Body failures, even causing death.

    And if this Radar System disturbance only causes symptoms of body failure, the medical industry will have plenty of chemical and carcinogenic petrochemicals for you to be poisoned with, causing common disease side effects resulting in more prescription drugs and more disturbance to your many body systems and loss of health and loss of an active healthy life longevity.

    Back in the early days, and nights of the Vietnam War, we used to drive pau surf at sunset on the westside at the beautiful left barrels at Pakala, and drive home to the other side of Kauai in the dark.

    Aided only by our own headlights, and rarely blinded by rare oncoming lights of almost no passing cars back in those moonlit quiet nights of quiet stars.

    The dark of the night let us see the staccato explosions of the US Navy jets bombing Kahoolawe, the interesting, unknown to us, every night, was why did the car radio crackle each time a bomb exploded.

    What we could see, when we could see the ocean horizon towards Kahoolawe and the explosion of flashes of light in the sky from the bombs going off, and hear simultaneously the electrical disturbance from the bomb explosions on the radio all the way from Kahoolawe to the drive back from Kauai’s Westside.

    A flash of silent explosion, and at the speed of electromagnetic impulses, the crackle of radio waves signifying electrical disturbance from beyond the horizon, all the way into the dashboard of our ‘47 Chevy’s radio. O

    Only one radio station made its way that far that far back, was it KPOI, or was it the sounds of the Hawaiian Travelers Den, on the back road of Kekaha, was Niihau able to enjoy as we did, could Puuwai lean back to the Sweet Sound of the Pacific, sure if they could, also hear that Night Crackle.

    If Lihu’e Airport to Honolulu Airport is 100 miles, the added distance to Pakala, even to Polihale we bet, and again onto Kahoolawe from Honolulu must be at least a total of over 200 air miles, and those silent explosions of light leaking out over the dark horizon are as vivid in our memories today as if it was last night. Thank God, the war finally ended, and with it that dam crackle.

    Now we can understand now what we did not know back then.
    #1. Vietnam was dangerous.
    #2. Each crackle on the radio was electro-magnetic disturbance from the bomb’s explosions’ effects on the radio waves; and was as we can understand now, as we do not actually feel our nervous system, we were actually having electrical disturbance to our internal electrical neurological functioning of our bodies but that was then, over 50, more like 55 years ago.

    But the building on Kauai of a Radar Defense System Human Neuron Bomb, perhaps bombarding us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, disturbing the vital electrical impulses naturally making our bodies silently dysfunction, so that over time we may find ourselves in disease states no diagnosis can figure out, but will be met with more and more toxic and lethal prescription drugs, may God help us to understand this, and avoid another environmental bomb on human wellbeing, us humans wanting a life of peace and Health streaming in the freshness of thousands of miles of pure Tradewinds,

    Radar Defense Missile Systems do not stop or prevent war, they just let us know a war is going on.

    Better we deploy Peace Diplomacy, it’s cheaper, and life and nervous systems can go on naturally.

    It’s always better to follow the Natural Path.


    1. Wahiawa Boy March 29, 2021 3:42 pm Reply

      I didn’t know you could see Kahoolawe from the Westside. Isn’t it Southeast of Kauai. There may be truth in some of what you are saying but certainly not all. It’s pretty entertaining though.


  7. curious dog March 29, 2021 9:32 am Reply

    Anyone elses ears hurting?? This program needs scrapping. Where’s the Ku Kiai Mauna group & why aren’t they/us protesting this like the TMT?


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