was a combined U.S. and Russian exercise simulating a relief effort for a coastal area that had recently been inundated by a tsunami. Amphibious landingcraft and helicopters brought medical supplies, water desalination equipment (ROWPU-Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit), and set up a Medical Aide Site (MAS) and a Shock Surgical Triage Unit (SSTU). The amphibious units searched the area for casualties and brought them to the MAS.
The stated purpose of the military exercise "Cooperation from the Sea 95" was "to improve the interoperability with the Russian military forces in conducting disaster relief missions, and to promote cooperation and understanding between U.S. and Russian service members."
Continued use of Bellows AFS by the military is hotly contested. Sovereignty groups, Native Hawaiians and many residents of Waimanalo would like to see Bellows no longer used for military training and returned to the State of Hawai'i. On the other hand, CINCPAC would like to extend the training area and the recreational facilities at Bellows. The COOP 95 exercise gave the military the opportunity to show Bellows being used for a humanitarian training--not the typical assault training exercise. In the week commemorating the 50th anniversary of V-J Day, the military was able to capitalize on a lot of good press to plug the need to maintain training at Bellows. At the conclusion of the COOP 95 exercise Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, before a crowd of international reporters, commented on the importance of continued training at Bellows AFS.
The EA for COOP 95
Currently, the military has permission to practice along the shore but not in the area formerly used for the communication array. Allowing the use of the former communication area is the subject to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement being finalized by Belt Collins. In order to use the land for COOP 95, an Environmental Assessment (EA) was performed by HQ PACAF/CEVP. The EA was not published in the state publication OEQC Bulletin as is typically done. Our elected officials were not notified before the close of the EA comment period. The Neighborhood Board was not informed of the EA until one of its members inquired after spotting an article in the Honolulu Advertiser.
The EA for COOP 95 uses the DEIS by Belt Collins as a reference for many of its findings. It is not unusual for an EA or EIS to cite other published reports. But some of the reports in the Belt Collins DEIS are in question, and additional studies and reports have been performed since the comments on the Draft EIS.
EIS for Bellows
Belt Collins is currently putting the finishing touches on the Environmental Impact Statement and soon will circulate the first working copy for internal revue. More noise measurements have been taken including sound levels of small arms fire, and the expected impact on the future uses of the areas suggested to be returned to the State. The EIS must also respond the numerous letters and comments made by the public.
Belt Collins expects the EIS will be published in January of 1996. After a final 30 day comment period, CINCPAC will issue a Record of Decision (ROD). The ROD will spell out the alternative chosen, but also all the actions to mitigate environmental damage and the responsible agencies.