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Pohakuloa Training Area

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Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) was first used during World War II as a Marine Corps artillery live-fire training area. U.S. Marines from the 2nd Marine Division and the 5th Marine Division trained at PTA and on the western side of the Big Island in preparation for the Iwo Jima and Saipan campaigns.

During World War II, few permanent structures existed; when the Marines trained at PTA, they slept in tents. After the war, PTA fell under the control of the Hawaii Territorial Guard, and in the mid-1950s, the Army took over PTA. From 1955-58, Soldiers from the 65th Engineer Company built the distinctive Quonset huts, which are still in use.

Planting trees and shrubs on PTA
Soldiers and Marines perform community service
projects, like planting Native Hawaiian trees and
shrubs. Photo by Bob McElroy, PTA Public Affairs.

PTA's 133,000 acres include an 80-acre cantonment area with a fuel yard, fire and police departments and an airfield with a 3,700-foot runway. The cantonment area also provides units with task-force headquarters, dining facilities, a troop medical clinic, a theater and the only Quonset-hut chapel in the Army.

The installation can support up to 2,300 military personnel with rations, ice, fuel and transportation.

PTA's firing ranges allow units to conduct small-arms and crew-served weapons familiarization training and qualifications, as well as artillery and mortar live fire. Through the years, PTA’s ranges and training areas have helped Army, Marine, Air Force and Navy units maintain their combat readiness and prepare for war. Most recently, 25th Infantry Division units, Kaneohe-based Marines and Hawaii Army National Guard Soldiers prepared at PTA for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In addition to being a prime training area for military forces in the Pacific region, PTA is a vanguard of environmental and cultural protection. PTA Natural and Cultural Resources staff include more than 50 professionals dedicated to preserving and protecting endangered and threatened plants and safeguarding cultural resources at PTA.

Today, PTA stands as the premier military training area in the Pacific region. Units from all U.S. military services, as well as allied militaries, train at PTA, because it offers realistic training opportunities not found elsewhere. With several new construction projects underway, PTA stands ready to support military training well into the future.

The PTA command team and staff embody the IMCOM motto: “Sustain, Support, and Defend.”


Mission

Pohakuloa Training Area provides a quality joint/combined arms facility that provides logistics, public works, airfield support, and environmental and cultural stewardship in support of the USARPAC training strategy while maintaining an enduring partnership with the local Hawaiian community. 


Vision

  • Provide and maintain an austere but safe training facility that supports realistic training.
  • Setting the standard for environmental compliance as well as natural and cultural resource stewardship.
  • As an active member of the community, develop productive relationships with state, county, and civic organizations

Lieutenant Colonel Jacob A. Peterson, Garrison Commander

Lieutenant Colonel Jacob A. Peterson is a Colorado native from the small town of Las Animas. He first enlisted in the military as an artilleryman in his local Colorado National Guard unit in 1991. A year later, Lt. Col. Peterson received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the infantry in 1996.USAG-PTA Commander

Immediately following his commission, Lt. Col. Peterson served as a platoon leader and company executive officer at Fort Carson, Colorado, in 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, where his unit deployed to Kuwait in support of intrinsic action. He then commanded two infantry companies in Korea: 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, at Camp Hovey, and 1st Battalion, 503rd, at Camp Casey.  His next assignment was at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, where he served as an observer/controller and a rotational planner. Lt. Col. Peterson then deployed to Iraq as a chief of a Battalion Military Transition Team, which partnered with the Iraqi army. Following the deployment, he returned to Fort Polk to serve as the live fire executive officer at JRTC. As a major, Lt. Col. Peterson served as a battalion S3 and executive officer with 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, at Fort Drum, NY, where he once again deployed to combat in Iraq. He then moved to Hawaii, where he was the J35 Southeast Asia counter-terrorism officer at U.S. Army Pacific Command. Lt. Col. Peterson’s most recent assignment was at the Mission Command Training Program at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Lt. Col. Peterson is a graduate of Joint and Combined Warfighting School, Joint Firepower Controllers Course, Infantry Officer’s Basic and Advanced Courses, Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle Course, Airborne Course, Air Assault Course and the Ranger Course. He earned a degree in systems engineering from West Point and a masters degree in administration from Central Michigan University. 

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Ranger Tab, Parachutists and Air Assault badges.

LTC Peterson is married to his wife, Shelley, from Carthage, NY.

Click here to download a PDF version of this biography.

Mr. Gregory R. Fleming, Deputy Garrison Commander

Mr. Gregory R. Fleming is a native of Port Clinton, Ohio. Currently, he resides in Volcano, Hawaii with his wife, Lissa Shults. Before becoming a Department of the Army civilian, Mr. Fleming joined the U.S. Army in 1979 and was commissioned as an engineer officer. He held a number of positions of increasing responsibility from platoon through Department of the Army level before retiring in 2004. Mr. Fleming currently serves as the deputy garrison commander, U.S. Army Garrison Pohakuloa, and is responsible for the overall management of the civilian workforce and the garrison's resources. Prior to this assignment, he served as the executive officer to the director, Installation Management Command, Pacific Region. USAG-PTA Deputy Commander

Mr. Fleming is an engineer with degrees and professional relevant experience in both civil and environmental engineering. His military assignments include 1st Armored Division, 1st Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division, Baltimore District Corps of Engineers, Office Chief of Staff Army, Pentagon Renovation Office, 5th Army, US Army Pacific, US Military Academy, and Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management. Mr. Fleming's previous civilian assignment was at the Installation Management Command, Pacific Region, Fort Shafter, Hawaii.

His civilian and military awards include the Commander's Award for Civilian Service, Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal and the Bronze De Fleury Medal. He has earned the Airborne Badge, Air Assault Badge and Canadian Airborne Badge. Mr. Fleming's Army education includes the Garrison Leader Course, Defense Senior Leader Development Course, Supervisor Development Course, Command and General Staff College, Combined Arms Senior Staff School, the Engineer Officer Advance and Basic Courses.

Click here to download a PDF version of this biography.

Command Sergeant Major Jonathan S. Lutgens, Senior Enlisted Leader

Command Sergeant Major Jonathan S. Lutgens is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. On March 25, 1982, he joined the U.S. Army Reserve as a military police officer; he enlisted in the regular Army, November 1990, as an infantryman. He has held all positions of responsibility from team leader to senior enlisted leader in the infantry. Command Sgt. Maj. Lutgens currently serves as the senior enlisted leader of U.S. Army Garrison Pohakuloa. Prior to this assignment, he served as the current operations Sgt. Maj. for U.S. Army North, January 2012-July 2013.USAG-PTA Command Sergeant Major

Command Sgt. Maj. Lutgens and his wife, Grace, have two sons and one daughter. His prior deployments include Bosnia/Kosovo, and numerous deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. Command Sgt. Maj. Lutgens’ military education includes all levels of the NCO Education System, culminating with the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. He is a graduate of Air Assault School, Airborne School, Mechanized Leaders Course, Combative Instructor Course, Drill Instructor and Ranger School. Command Sgt. Maj. Lutgens is currently in his final semester at Excelsior College, pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts.

His awards include the Bronze Star (two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (Silver Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Achievement Medal (10 Oak Leaf Clusters) and numerous other medals and ribbons. In addition to the Combat Infantryman Badge, he has earned the Expert Infantryman Badge, Airborne Badge, Air Assault Badge, Drill Sergeant Badge and the Ranger Tab.

Click here to download a PDF version of this biography.

Aloha … Welcome to U.S. Army Garrison-PTA, Big Island, Hawaii

U.S. Army Garrison-Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) is part of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command-Pacific Region. Our mission is to provide a quality joint/combined arm facility that offers logistical and training support as the centerpiece of the U.S. Army-Pacific (USARPAC) collective training strategy for Hawaii, while maintaining and enduring partnership with the local community.

PTA is located on the Island of Hawaii, 250 air miles from Oahu and at 6,200 feet elevation in the saddle between Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and the Hualalai Volcanic mountains. We are the largest Department of Defense installation in Hawaii consisting of more than 133 thousand acres.

The "Big Island" of Hawaii is the largest island in the Hawaiian island chain and is well known for its active volcanoes, black sand beaches and Kona coffee. It is less well known as home for more than sixty years to a major U.S. military facility that serves as the primary training and largest maneuver area in the Pacific for joint, interagency and multinational forces.

Our cost of living is one of the highest in the nation.PTA is considered a remote assignment, having very limited military resources; we have no on-post family housing, commissary, or medical facilities - uniformed service members and civilian employees alike have to utilize the local economy.

Most of our civilian and military families live in Hilo, on the windward (eastern) coast, located approximately 35 miles from PTA. Hilo is the largest city on the island and the headquarters for the county government. The remaining families live in the north or west part of the island in Waimea or Waikoloa area, approximately 40–50 miles from PTA.

There are two newspapers serving the Island of Hawaii: the Hawaii Tribune Herald and West Hawaii Today. Television news stations operating in Hawaii include KHON, KGMB and KITV.

All newcomers, both uniformed service members and civilians, will be assigned a sponsor to assist you and your family; the deputy commander and command sergeant major assign sponsors.

To request for welcome packet, contact USAG-PTA’s administrative office at 808-969-2400/2401/2402 or email: celso.tadeo@us.army.mil.

Your Military in Hawaii, a joint-services publication, provides information on all installations in Hawaii. View the guide online at www.yourmilitaryinhawaii.com.

Temporary Lodging

Lodging is available off-post only. The only military-affiliated lodging available on island is at Kilauea Military Camp, in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

For additional information on temporary lodging and assistance, contact USAG-PTA’s administrative office at 808- 969-2400/2401/2402.

Household Goods

It is important to make sure your PCS orders reflect the zip code 96720 to ensure delivery to the Big Island.

The Joint Personal Property Shipping Office, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JPPSO-Hawaii) handles all processing for temporary storage and/or delivery of your personal property once it arrives on island. The JPPSO is a jointly staffed DOD activity assigned to HQ Air Force. You can call the JPPSO at 808-473-7760.

To read more about your personal property move, visit the Air Force's "Move" website at http://afmove.hq.af.mil.

Shipping Your POV

It is important to make sure your PCS orders reflect the zip code 96720 to ensure delivery to the Big Island.

The Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) handles all privately owned vehicle (POV) shipments. Incoming personnel can track the status of their POV shipment at www.whereismypov.com.

Useful Links

The Island of Hawaii is an exciting place to live and work. The terrain ranges from rocky seacoast and beaches, to mountain rain forests, to pasture and high desert; all a product of ongoing volcanic activity. In addition to the wide variety of natural beauty, the island has a unique Hawaiian culture. Many say the spirit of Hawaii thirty years ago remains unspoiled by the affect of tourism.

Hawaii residents have a long history and can teach you a great deal about Hawaiian culture and customs. The people of Hawaii are warm and friendly. Prepare yourself to truly get to know Hawaii and the aloha spirit.

Community Relations

For as long as Pōhakuloa has provided training for America’s military forces, the post has endeavored to be a good neighbor to the Big Island community.

The Pōhakuloa command team and staff continually seek opportunities to host community leaders, veteran, civic and school groups and to coordinate community service projects for Soldiers and Marines who train here.

Some of our community connections include Pōhakuloa’s Cultural Advisory Committee—a cross section of local Native Hawaiians who advise the commander on issues affecting the Native Hawaiian community.

The Pōhakuloa Community Advisory Group performs a similar function as the CAC but is composed of community business and civic leaders who provide another perspective and source of counsel to the Pōhakuloa command team.

Pōhakuloa also engages Big Island emergency services and police with mutual support.

View photos from some of our community engagements on Flickr.

Community service at West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery photo School parntership photo
Marines support the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery. 25th Infantry Division Soldiers visit Keaau Middle School.
PTA float in Veterans Day parade photo Firefighter training photo
The Pōhakuloa float in the Hilo Veterans Day Parade. Pōhakuloa firefighters host Big Island firefighters for training.

Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) is located between Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and the Hualalai Volcanic Mountains. PTA can be reached from Oahu either by direct military helicopter or military fixed wing flights to PTA's Bradshaw Army Airfield or by commercial airlines to either Hilo or Kona. From Hilo or Kona, PTA is reached by driving on Saddle Road, with the main gate at mile marker 36.


Mailing Address

USAG-Pohakuloa Training Area
Attn: IMPC-HI-PS
P.O. Box 4607
Hilo, HI 96720-0607


Phone Directory


Administrative Services 808-969-2401/2402/2403
    Fax 808-438-1643
BAE Transportation 808-969-2474/2473
BAE Troop Issue Subsistence Avtivity 808-969-2478/2479
BAE Ammunition Supply Point 808-969-2483/2482
Bradshaw Army Airfield 808-969-2462/2461
Bulk Fuel Storage 808-969-2421/2424
Culutural Resources 808-969-3340
Fire Department 808-969-2448/2447
Information Management Officer 808-969-2408
Logistics, Directorate of 808-969-2504
Natural Resources 808-969-3340
Operations
    Plans & Operations Officer 808-969-2426
    Operations Officer 808-969-2405
    U.S. Army Liaison NCO 808-969-2422
    Operations Clerk 808-969-2423
Police Department 808-969-2429/2430/2431
30th Sig. Bn./NEC Liaison 808-969-2451
Public Affairs 808-656-3160/3158
Public Works 808-969-2467/2468
Ranges
    Range Control 808-969-2455/2456
    Range Maintenance 808-969-2485/2486
Safety 808-935-1757
Supply & Services 808-969-2437/2436
USMC Liaison 808-969-2420
Weather
    Automated Message 808-969-2463
    Direct Line 808-969-2458/2464

PTA to open several areas for bow hunting this weekend

Army officials are opening several areas for bow hunting of mammals, here, Aug. 23-24, 5 a.m.-7 p.m.

Training areas 10 and 11 will be open for bow hunting of mammals only. Hunters are allowed one pig, one goat and one sheep, per day, in keeping with state bag limits. Shooting sheep with blue collars is not permitted.

All hunters must check in and check out at one of the following hunter’s check-in stations: Kilohana, located on Saddle Road between mile markers 43 and 44; or Pu'u Huluhulu, located at the intersection of Mauna Kea Access Road and Saddle Road near mile marker 28. Check out time is no later than 7:30 p.m. each day.

Hunting passes will be provided at the check-in stations beginning Friday after 5 p.m. These passes must be signed and placed on the vehicle’s dashboard. Hunters who do not have a signed hunting pass on their dashboard will be barred from hunting for 30 days.

Hunter access to training areas 10 and 11 is through gates 1-7 on the west side of new Saddle Road.

Firearms, alcoholic beverages, all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes and/or recreational vehicles are not allowed in the training and hunting areas.

For more information, call the PTA Hunter's Hotline at (808) 969-3474 or refer to instructions on the hunting pass.

Hunting Rules

  • All hunters must have a valid state hunting permit and must sign in at the check-in stations.  Vehicle passes are given at these check-in stations and must be displayed in the vehicle. Hunters who do not have a signed hunting pass on their dashboard will be barred from hunting for 30 days.
  • Hunting is generally only allowed on weekends, 5 a.m.-7 p.m., in the designated areas.
  • Report all unusual activities to the DA police at 969-2429 as soon as possible. For all emergencies call 911.  Report all fires to the PTA Fire Department immediately at 969-2447/2448.
  • All equipment within government property and all fenced-in areas is off limits. Cooper’s Airstrip in Training Area 3 is off limits.
  • Any vandalism, theft or destruction of government property will close all hunting and recreational activities for a minimum of 30 days.
  • Parking is allowed in designated areas only. Don’t park in or block roads, grass or brush areas, or runways.
  • Close all gates upon entering and exiting hunting areas.
  • No alcoholic beverages allowed.
  • No firearms, all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes or recreational vehicles allowed.
  • No smoking or open flames allowed in any training or hunting areas.

keamuku hunting photo
Delbert Cambra bagged a few birds recently while hunting in the Keamuku Maneuver Area using a Remington 1100 .410 gauge. His Brittany, Leah, stands ready at his side.

keamuku hunting photo
Big Island hunter James Fukunaga shot this billy in the Keamuku Maneuver Area while hunting there, Nov. 17-18. This was the first weekend the Keamuku was open for bow hunting.

keamuku hunting photo
Big Island bow hunter Kai T. bagged this billy in the Keamuku Maneuver Area while hunting ther, Nov. 17-18. keamuku hunting photo
Local hunter Kenn Harada bagged this billy Feb. 9 while bow hunting in the Keamuku. keamuku hunting photo
Big Island hunter JD Parel shot this bill Nov. 24 in the Keamuku parcel.keamuku hunting photo
Hilo bow hunter Kelly Muranaka shows off this 25-inch billy he bagged in the Keamuku Maneuver Area recently.keamuku hunting photo
Jared Texeira, age 13, from Hilo shot this billy Dec. 16 in Training Area 4 at Pōhakuloa.keamuku hunting photo
Makalani Piña and her Lab, Koa, bagged this bird while hunting in the Keamuku recently.

Training Schedule

The following units will be training at Pohakuloa Training Area during the dates below. The type of training is also indicated.

2014

  • July 1-31: Marines - Aviation Gunnery, Mounted Maneuver Training, Artillery, Mortars, Small Arms
  • July 22-Aug. 9: Army - Demolition Training
  • Aug. 1-31: Army - Aviation Gunnery, Mounted Maneuver Training, Artillery, Mortars, Small Arms
  • Sep. 17-Oct. 19: Army - Aviation Gunnery, Mounted Maneuver Training, Artillery, Mortars, Small Arms
  • Oct. 21-Nov. 14: Marines - Aviation Gunnery, Mounted Maneuver Trng, Artillery, Mortars, Small Arms

2015

  • Jan. 7-18: Marines - Aviation Gunnery, Mounted Maneuver Training, Artillery, Mortars, Small Arms

News Releases

USAG-Pohakuloa media releases are courtesy of the Public Affairs Office at at 808-656-3160/3158.

2012

PTA News

Read more news at the Hawaii Army Weekly.

Photos


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