The Marine Corps wants to station a MQ-9 Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron and a KC-130J Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay to enhance aerial refueling, transport, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

The draft environmental assessment for the project is available for a 30-day public review and comment period until Sept. 7.

The squadrons would bring more than 600 military personnel plus their dependents to the Kaneohe Bay base.

Historical and archaeological sites are within the project area, and the Marine Corps is consulting with the State Historic Preservation Division and with the National Park Service.

The project would include demolishing some World War II era hangars.

Marine Corps Base Hawaii Kaneohe Bay.
Marine Corps Base Hawaii Kaneohe Bay. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2018

The draft environmental assessment examined the possible impact of home basing the anticipated 21 aircraft at the Kaneohe by analyzing effects on issues such as noise, air quality, water resources, and any effects caused by the aircraft themselves and the construction of the required facilities, and determined that there would be temporary and less than significant impacts to most areas of concern.

Although in the past, over 1,500 sets of human remains have been uncovered across the Mokapu Peninsula, the draft EA says no known traditional cultural properties were identified within the project area.

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