Army Recommends Schofield as Stryker Brigade Location - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Army Recommends Schofield as Stryker Brigade Location

William Aila William Aila

By Marvin Buenconsejo

WAHIAWA (KHNL) -- The U.S. Army has tabbed Schofield Barracks in Wahiawa, as the prefered location to base a Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

The announcement comes as the Army prepares to release its highly-anticipated, final Environmental Impact Statement for the military unit.

The U.S. Army appears to be making the final turn in its quest to have a Stryker Brigade finally home-based in the islands.

In a written statement, the Army's top brass explain, when the Environmental Impact Statement is unveiled, later this month, it will recommend, Schofield Barracks serve as the Stryker's Pacific Headquarters.

''We have yet to see any documentation that proves Hawaii to be such a strategic place," said William Aila.

Aila is a member of "Na Imi Pono", one of three groups that sued the Army four years ago, looking to put the brakes on the Stryker Brigade's move to Hawaii.

Two years later, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the groups, saying the Army failed to adequately consider alternative locations -- outside Hawai'i -- for the brigade.

The court also ordered the Army to complete its EIS.

Hawaii's two U.S. senators applauded the Army's announcement.

In a statement, senior Senator Daniel Inouye said, "I am extremely please to learn that the U.S. Army once again concluded that it would be best to base a rapidly deployable Stryker Brigade in Hawaii."

For his part, Senator Daniel Akaka said, "I am confident that in this supplemental EIS, the Army has carefully considered the strengths and weaknesses of each alternative location."

The final Environmental Impact Study is expected to be unveiled on February 22nd.

''What we will be doing is going over the new EIS with a fine toothed comb, again, to ensure it meets the law, that it protects cultural sites, that it protects endangered species."

The Stryker Brigade is currently deployed to Iraq.

It's scheduled to return "state side" by the beginning of next year.

Other potential base assignments for the Stryker Brigade include Fort Carson in Colorado and Fort Richardson in Alaska.

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