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Interview with Pōhakuloa Training Area Commander Lt. Col. Kevin Cronin

8:55 PM · Dec 2, 2022

We took questions from the community and brought them to Pohakuloa Training Area to get answers. Here is my attempt to consolidate the answers provided by Lt. Col. Kevin Cronin, USAG-Pohakuloa Training Area Commander on our live stream on 12.1.22. Due to the poor quality of the live stream, a transcript was necessary. Q: Any old unexploded ordinance inside or outside PTA fence? Are any mapped? Are they a concern? We do not have a concern with unexploded ordinances based on the flow of the lava right now. Of the teammates that work at PTA, more than 200 civilians and fellow members of our community is our foremost priority as well as the safety of the community. There is no danger to the cantonment area where the workforce works, but we are still monitoring it. Safety of PTA staff and the community is the foremost priority. Full answer: https://youtu.be/AQGlTwZPt6g?t=221 Q: What precautions are they actively taking today to remove explosives and flammables etc? Conduction prudent planning, the way the lava is flowing there is not a risk to those areas. If the lava were to flow we have a plan in place to remove ammunition stored in the vicinity of the cantonment. We have a plan for that but it’s not necessary at this time. Full answer: https://youtu.be/AQGlTwZPt6g?t=267 Q: Has the army been doing any reconnaissance flights over the lava flows? We have been supporting interagency flights, but there have been no military reconnaissance flight of this lava flow. Full answer: https://youtu.be/AQGlTwZPt6g?t=326 Q: Does the military plan to intervene if lava flow gets close to PTA? No. No plans of that nature. Full answer: https://youtu.be/AQGlTwZPt6g?t=347 Q: Can locals come on the property to set up the offering site for Tutu Pele and place offerings since get plenty parking and safer? For these types of requests i would ask the individuals to go to PTA’s website and there is a link to receive those requests. We do facilitate cultural access to Pohakuloa, that is the best way to facilitate. (Link to make a request: https://home.army.mil/.../PTA_PAO_FORM_1_-_REQUEST_FOR...) Full answer: https://youtu.be/AQGlTwZPt6g?t=365 Q: If/when/before lava flow crosses DKI highway will the military assist with fire breaks? We are operating in close conjunction with the County of Hawaii and State of Hawaii. We have robust agreements already in place with our partners. In the Saddle region, PTA fire, emergency and police are the first responders in the Saddle. So far this year we have received 75 incidents - car accidents, lost hikers, etc - Off PTA in Saddle region. We will continue to do so to support our County and State partners. Since the lava flow started we haven’t stopped responding, there have already been 3 motor vehicle accidents we have responded. We respond to fires regularly. We responded to the Mana road fire with military helicopters and bulldozers and if necessary we will continue to do that. Full answer:https://youtu.be/AQGlTwZPt6g?t=416 Q: How has the VOG and Pele’s Hair been at the base? We’re experiencing a little bit of Pele’s Hair. Out of an abundance of caution the teammates that are working have been directed to wear masks and eye protection and to minimize going outside. So there is a little bit of Pele’s Hair, and we’re trying to be as cautious as possible. As for SO2 monitoring we have 30 SO2 monitors and they are taken out to various areas of PTA. We have a SO2 chart we follow, and we follow Civil Defense. The majority of the reading over the last several days has been in the green, between 0 and .1 and often times zero. In some areas SO2 does pick up, that’s due to variant wind conditions. When that occurs we have teammates come back and move to an area where SO2 levels aren’t so elevated. Full answer: https://youtu.be/AQGlTwZPt6g?t=517 Q: Can you discuss the Mayor’s traffic hazard mitigation route and PTA’s involvement? It started with a concern for the community who are doing something we all completely understand. It’s incredible, it’s tough to put words to describe it (the eruption). But they have been pulling over on Saddle Road which is a very busy highway. And so working in collaboration with Mayor Mitch Roth and the State, we were able to develop a plan to provide a route and space for lava viewing off of the highway, and hopefully decrease the traffic accidents and incidents on Saddle Road. The traffic hazard mitigation route just started, and what will happen is across the street from Gilbert Kahele County Park there is an access point and community members can access, turn in at that point, and it will be a one way route through Old Saddle Road that I know many are familiar with. On that route, you can park on the right shoulder and view the lava from your car or just outside your car. They continue in a one-way direction and exit Old Saddle Road onto Saddle Road a couple miles east. This is a great example of the great relationship PTA with our community, the county, and the state and we are proud we made this happen so quickly. Just to emphasize, the entrance is across the street from Gilbert Kahele County Park, which is separate from PTA meaning that if you go to the main gate you will be directed just down the road to the actual entrance point. Full answer:https://youtu.be/AQGlTwZPt6g?t=623 Q: Can you make any comment on the loud boom sound that was heard yesterday (11.30)? No training is occurring at PTA, the last training ended Nov 18th. That sound did not come from PTA, and was not affiliated with any type of training at PTA. It could have been military exercises, like a sonic boom from a fighter jet from Oahu maneuvering overseas, but not affiliated with PTA. There won't be any training at PTA until early in the new year when the Army National Guard, comes here and train. We’re proud that PTA provides training for the Army National Guard, our state’s citizen soldiers, and fellow community members. Full answer: https://youtu.be/AQGlTwZPt6g?t=841 Q: If the State does activate the National Guard, are you working in conjunction or is that a separate operation from PTA? Yes, it’s separate but we will absolutely work in close conjunction with the Army National Guard. We will do anything we can to support. Full answer: https://youtu.be/AQGlTwZPt6g?t=910 Q: Will there be bathrooms? Yes. At the Gilbert Kahele County Park and there will be a limited number of porta-potties on the route. Full answer: https://youtu.be/AQGlTwZPt6g?t=949

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