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Pōhakuloa Training Area

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Pōhakuloa 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

Pōhakuloa 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 Loreto V. Borce JR, Garrison Commander

Lt. Col. Loreto V. Borce JR., is from Honolulu where he graduated from Chaminade University in May 2000. Borce commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery branch through the University of Hawaii ROTC program. USAG-PTA Commander Following the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, Borce was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery, 2nd Infantry Division, Republic of Korea where he served as a Company Fire Support Officer for Baker Company 1st Battalion, 506th Air Assault Infantry Regiment. After his tour in the Republic of Korea, he was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 25th Infantry Division where he served as Bravo Battery Executive Officer and Battalion Fire Direction Officer. Borce deployed with 3-7th Field Artillery Regiment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom V. During OEF-V, he was reassigned to the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade where he served as the Aviation Brigade Fire Support Officer

Upon completion of the Infantry Captains’ Career Course, Borce returned back to 3-7th Field Artillery Regiment, where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 5 serving as the Executive Advisor for the Military Transition Team #0425. After redeploying back to Hawaii, he was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment as the Battalion Effects Coordinator.

Following his time at 2-27 IN, Borce commanded two batteries in 3-7th Field Artillery Regiment (Headquarters and Headquarters Battery and Bravo Battery). He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-11 with 3-7th Field Artillery Regiment as the Bravo battery commander. Borce relinquished command of Bravo Battery and assumed command of HHB during mid-deployment. After his tour in Iraq, he was reassigned to the Department of Military Instruction (DMI) at West Point, N.Y. as a Military Science instructor. While assigned to DMI‎, Borce devoted his time to leader development by being an officer representative for the rugby and football team.  

After completing his assignment at the United States Military Academy, Borce was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y. Borce deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom XII as a Security Force Advise and Assist Team (SFAT) leader which was task organized under the 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment. After redeploying back to Fort Drum, N.Y., he was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment as the Operations Officer, then later as the Battalion Executive Officer. Borce was then assigned to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., where he served as the Field Artillery Battalion Executive Officer and Brigade Fire Support Officer Observer/Coach/Trainer (OCT). In July 2017, Borce was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division Headquarters as the Deputy Fires Support Coordinator.

Borce's schools include: Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, Infantry Captains Career Course, Command and General Staff College, Airborne School, Air Assault School, Pathfinder School, Joint Firepower Course, Joint Targeting Staff, Joint Airspace Operations Command and Control, Combatives Level I-III and Ranger School. His Awards include: Combat Action Badge, Bronze Star Medal (3OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (4OLC), Army Commendation Medal (2OLC), Army Achievement Medal (1SOLC, 2BOLC), Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (1SOLC), and THE NATO medal. Borce has a Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Chaminade University, Hawaii and a master’s degree in Public Administration (Management & Operations) from John Jay College, N.Y.

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. USAG-PTA Deputy CommanderHe 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 Pōhakuloa, 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.

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 Luis E. Ortiz-Santiago, Senior Enlisted Leader

Command Sergeant Major Luis E. Ortiz-Santiago was born and raised in Aibonito, Puerto Rico. He enlisted in the United States Army in November 1995 and attended One Station Unit Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. USAG-PTA Command Sergeant MajorHis duties and assignments as a Combat Engineer include Team and Squad Leader, Bravo Company (Rough Terrain) 27th Engineer Battalion (A), 20th Engineer Brigade.

After attending the Psychological Operations Course in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, CSM Ortiz served in a variety of assignments and duty positions within his regiment. These positions included Tactical Psychological Operations Team Chief, 9th Military Information Support Battalion (A); Tactical Psychological Operations Detachment NCOIC, 9th Military Operations Support Battalion (A); Psychological Operations Qualification Course Instructor and Course Manager, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (A); Current Operations NCOIC, 4th Military Information Support Group (A); First Sergeant of Alpha Company, 1st Military Information Support Operations (A); Operations Sergeant Major, 1st Military Information Support Battalion (A); Senior Military Information Support Operations Planner for the 8th Army in Yongsan, Korea; First Sergeant of Headquarters Support Company, 9th Military Information Support Battalion (A); and he recently served as the 10th Mountain Division (LI) Special Operations Forces Integration and Information Operations Cell Sergeant Major. Command Sergeant Major Ortiz has been deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Command Sergeant Major Ortiz-Santiago is a graduate of the Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC), Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course (BNCOC), Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course (ANCOC), Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Enlisted Academy (JSOFSEA) Class 22, Basic and Advanced Airborne School, Air Assault School, Rappel Master Course, Instructor Training Course, Military Deception (MILDEC) Course and the U.S. Army Sapper Leader Course.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (1OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (2OCL), Army Commendation Medal (2OLC), Army Achievement Medal (2OCL), National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, NATO Medal, Overseas Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal (7th), Navy Unit Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Action Badge, Air Assault Badge and the Master Parachutist Badge.

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-Pōhakuloa 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.

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.

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 shipments.

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.

Pōhakuloa 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-Pōhakuloa 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
Ammunition Supply Point 808-969-2483/2482
Bradshaw Army Airfield 808-969-2462/2461
Bulk Fuel Storage 808-969-2421/2424
Cultural 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 Officer 808-969-2411
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
Transportation 808-969-2474/2473
Troop Issue Subsistence Activity   808-969-2478/2479
USMC Liaison 808-969-2420
Weather
    Automated Message 808-969-2463
    Direct Line 808-969-2458/2464
  • Firearms, alcoholic beverages, all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes and/or recreational vehicles, smoking and/or open flames are not allowed in the training and hunting areas.
  • 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 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.

For information call Eric Hamilton, Pōhakuloa Training Area's Public Affairs Officer, at 808-969-2411.

2012

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