The U.S. Army invited members of the media onto Pohakuloa Training Area on Thursday, to observe their studies on the impacts that the proposed High-Altitude Mountainous Environmental Training, also known as HAMET, may have on the Mauna Kea area.
Journalists were shuttled to the landing area used by the Army’s UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopters, where they were briefed on the planned activities that military officials say are vital to their training for the War in Afghanistan.
Col. Frank Tate, the 25th Infantry Division CAB Commander in the U.S. Army, explained how important it is to the Army to be able to conduct this training in Hawaii.
The data on the HAMET flights is being collected for a revised environmental assessment. The Army says the initial EA was unclear, and said they understood why the local population was up in arms over the document.
The media was supposed to accompany officials on a helicopter drop onto one of the landing zones on Mauna Kea, to see what the exercise entails and how the scientists are monitoring the impacts.
However, officials cancelled the flight because of last minute cloud cover.
Big Island Video News will have more on the details of this media briefing over the course of next week, including the army’s answer for the numerous concerns raised in the public comments for the first HAMET EA.
More video from the Army press briefing: