Comment: (1 May 2019)
Today is the first I have heard about this organization.
I have been engaged in an ongoing series of complaints, (false) promises of measures taken to mitigate their noise for nearly two years now without success.
The Puuloa Range Training Facility has, in the past 18-24 months or so, started using an astoundingly loud PA system, and they turn it on and test it-as a matter of standard procedure-and begin barking voice commands well before 7am. Advertised range hours are 7am-5pm.
I finally went to the neighborhood board meeting last month and asked that the issue be addressed at the next neighborhood board meeting which is next Thursday at the Campbell HS cafeteria.
Any advice on how to best make our case to MCBH to wait until 7AM to blast out the neighborhood and keep the PA system volume reasonable would be greatly appreciated.
Quieter O'ahu Response:
Thanks for your note. From the emails we've seen it appears there will be a good turnout at the next Ewa Neighborhood Board Meeting to discuss this issue, and I think the board will be moved to approach the USMC to discuss noise mitigation. Too, it's unclear whether the noise being generated is from the USMC users, or the Pu'uloa Rifle And Pistol Club (PRPC) (http://www.puuloa.com), or both. Regardless, as the host the USMC is probably the most direct route to problem resolution, and the military, generally, have in the past shown themselves to be good neighbors when and where possible. Worth a shot anyway before looking at ways to compel cessation of noise.
We would suggest that not only the hours of operation be discussed at the board meeting, but also the volume of their speaker system which, we hear, can be louder than the rifles and pistols.
Please follow-up with us with the results of the board meeting. We'll post an update to our interested subscribers on our blog.
We've added you to distribution list for occasional noise and related emails.
Aloha and mahalo for your quick reply,
I appreciate your thoughts and I can tell you as a person who served as a USN Public Affairs Officer at NAS Barbers Pt. for a while, that yes, the military can show themselves to be good neighbors and can strive to work toward harmony and accommodate issues when and where possible. As a pilot, I was accustomed to operating under strict noise abatement procedures specifically intended to minimize disturbances to civilian neighborhoods. I am also aware that execution of this concept varies greatly based on those who are in positions of leadership at the time.
MCBH has no official noise abatement procedures/policy for the Pu'uloa Range Training Facility. I've asked multiple times. I do find it interesting the Bellows training range has quiet hours from 10pm to 7am. I wonder why Kailua and Waimanalo are afforded disparate noise abatement considerations than Ewa Beach.
At this point in time, the current MCBH leadership has made a clear and unambiguous intention to continue with amplified voice commands prior to 7am at the Pu'uloa Range. After numerous calls and discussions with the current MCBH Community Relations Officer (name removed), I became skeptical that my concerns about volume and time of day of these PA transmissions were being communicated up the chain of command accurately due to the persistent loud communications prior to 7am. On Feb 6, I decided to make a call to the Range Training Manager (name removed) to verify that he was aware of the situation. I was taken aback when he would not let me speak, but rather informed me with contempt that he knew who I was and that they would continue to do their operations as they see fit, when they see fit, they would not be changing anything, and hung up on me.
It was immediately following this one-way conversation that the volume went to ludicrous levels and the PA systems checks continued as early as 5:29AM. The timing of this volume increase and earlier time of the PA system use had me wondering if this was retaliatory in response to my call to (name removed).
I am certain that these amplified voice transmissions are not being made by the Pu'uloa Rifle and Pistol Club. They only use the range on the weekends, do not use the PA system and have never fired their weapons or made any other disturbances prior to 7am to my knowledge.
The Pu'uloa Range Training Facility is used by other organizations such as HPD, USCG, USN, US Army, and the FBI, but near as I can tell, there is only one person's voice who I have ever heard, and that is the voice of the person I believe to be the USMC "Gunner" who is in charge of the USMC training evolutions when they are training. I can assure you that often the PA system is louder and always more of a nuisance than the gunfire itself.
I offer all of the above as background to the situation in Ewa Beach and Iroquois Pt. and I greatly appreciate that there are people who have taken up noise pollution reduction on Oahu as a serious threat to our well-being. Thank you for what you do for your community. I'll let you know what transpires at the meeting next week.
Quieter O'ahu Response:
Great additional information. We're posting now to our noise blog (absent identifying information) and will see if we can contact the MCBH public affairs officer for comment.
Quieter O'ahu email to MCBH PAO:
Pu'uloa Range Training Facility (PRTF) Noise Issue
9:19 AM (0 minutes ago)
I am writing from and for "A Quieter O'ahu," a State of Hawai'i 501c3 organization with a mission of informing the residents of O'ahu and Hawai'i about noise and related health and environmental concerns.
Our website, www.quieteroahu.com maintains a "Noise Blog" where members of the community submit contact forms to express their concerns about noise and related issues. These concerns are posted to our blog. A current topic of discussion is the amplified speaker noise emanating from PRTF, for its volume and times of day in operation.
In response to recent input about PRTF we replied to the submitter suggesting dialogue with the USMC who, to our knowledge, has always attempted to act as a good neighbor. In counter-reply, the submitter indicates that they have attempted to contact the Pu'uloa Range Manager and were greeted with "contempt" and as a result of their complaint, the noise level only increased, perhaps in retaliation for complaining. We understand that the Ewa Neighborhood board will address the issue of noise from PRTF on 9 May at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting.
You can find blog comments about PRTF at our website at https://www.quieteroahu.com/our-noise-blog . If you would like to respond please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post your response to our Noise Blog as-received and without editing.
Comment Received From Public Affairs Office, Marine Corps Base Hawai'i:
The following comments was received from the USMC PAO at MCBH. We are publishing "As-Received" with no additions or deletions:
KBAZ_COMMSTRAT <email@example.com>11:00 AM (5 hours ago)
Thank you for reaching out to us. We take our role as community member very seriously despite our small presence in this area. The Marine Corps has been actively training in Ewa Beach since 1915. We do as much as we can to be good neighbors while continuing to train Marines, as well as people from other agencies and military services.
In 2018, two of our ranges were down for maintenance for over 6 months. While this caused a backlog in training, it gave the community an unusual break from day to day operations. As operations resumed in 2019 there has been an adjustment period. As a result, we have worked with the range manager to lower the volume while maintaining our training and safety effectiveness.
Moving forward, we will continue our cooperative relationship by announcing future training pauses and the commencements. We thank you for your patience as we continue to ensure that our service members receive the training they need to do our nation’s work and return safely. If you have noise concerns, please feel free to reach out to us at (808) 257-8832. All calls are logged and responded to.
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