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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs May 26, 2024

Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara retires as Adjutant General for State of Hawai'i on Oct. 1. He has led Hawai'i National Guard
and state Department of Defense. His military career spans some 40 years.

MAJ. GEN. KENNETH HARA WILL RETIRE AS ADJUTANT GENERAL for State of Hawaiʻi, Commander of Hawaiʻi National Guard, and Director of Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency. Gov. Josh Green announced Friday that Hara's retirement will be Oct.1, followed by retirement from the military on Nov 1, after 40 years of military service.
    The Governor appointed Deputy Adjutant General Brig. Gen. Stephen F. Logan, a commander of the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard, to take Hara's place. The appointment requires state Senate confirmation.
    Green praised Hara, saying, “Throughout his entire career, Maj. Gen. Hara led by example, providing a steady hand through some of the most challenging times in the history of our state and nation. I can say with confidence that the state of Hawaiʻi is better because of Maj. Gen. Hara’s dedicated service, commitment, and sacrifices. I wish him all the best in retirement.
   "With that said, I could not be more thrilled that he is leaving the Hawaiʻi National Guard under the exceptional leadership of Brig. Gen. Stephen Logan. He is a key component of the Hawaiʻi National Guard’s success and his appointment as Adjutant General marks another historic milestone in a storied military career.”
Brig. Gen. Stephen Logan is nominated to be the
next Adjutant General for State of Hawai'i.
    As Adjutant General, Logan will serve as Commander of the Hawaiʻi National Guard and Director of the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency. He will be responsible for daily operations and oversee approximately 5,600 Army and Air National Guard servicemembers, including approximately 2,100 full-time federal and state employees.
   State of Hawaiʻi's Department of Defense will conduct its official Change of Responsibility ceremony on Oct. 1.
   Hara said, “I am grateful and proud to have served with the extraordinary members of the state of Hawaiʻi, Department of Defense, who accomplished every assigned state and federal mission during extremely challenging times. And I have full faith and confidence in Brig. Gen. Steve Logan and know that he will successfully lead the department into the future.”
    Hara served on three combat deployments to Baghdad, Iraq; Camp Arifjan, Kuwait; and Kandahar, Afghanistan. He was appointed Adjutant General in December, 2019. He served as the state’s overall incident commander from 2020-2023 during the COVID-19 pandemic response. Hara serves as the state’s incident commander for the Maui wildfire response.
    Logan, a combat veteran who has served in Afghanistan, has been the Deputy Adjutant General since
Kilauea Military Camp Memorial Day begins at 10 a.m. with
speakers, Boy Scouts, music, hula, prayers from a chaplain and a
speech from Brig. Gen. Ray Gandy, Jr.

Dec. 2019 and Commander of the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard since Oct. 2021. He most recently served as the dual status commander of the Hawaiʻi National Guard’s Joint Task Force 50, which was activated in response to the 2023 Maui wildfire disaster.
    “I’m truly honored and humbled to be selected as the Adjutant General for the state of Hawaiʻi, and extremely proud to be a member of Governor Green’s Cabinet,” said Logan. “I also want to thank the dedicated efforts of the many great leaders who’ve held this post before me, most notably Maj. Gen. Hara for his decisive leadership through these challenging times.”
    Logan grew up on the island of Oʻahu and enlisted as an Infantry Soldier in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard during his senior year in high school. He then commissioned through the Guard’s Officer Candidate School and later attended the U.S. Army’s Initial Entry Rotary Wing Training Course and flew both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft for almost 30 years. He has served honorably in the military for more than 40 years.
    Prior to being selected as the State Army Aviation Officer, Logan was a traditional National Guard soldier holding positions in the Honolulu Police Department, retiring as a Metropolitan Police Lieutenant in 2004. Logan’s successor will be named to the position of Deputy Adjutant General in the coming months.

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THE MILITARY'S LEASE RENEWAL FOR PŌHAKULOA TRAINING AREA from State of Hawai'i is subject of an Environmental Impact Statement that went to public hearings in May. Public comments, which can be provided online and through the mail, are due June 7. 
    The U.S. Army uses the 22,750 acres in the saddle between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea along Daniel K. Inouye Hwy in cooperation with other branches of the military from the U.S. and foreign countries. They  conduct land and air live war games with munitions and other training. 
    The Army wants to extend the 65 year lease beyond 2029.The Army already removed some 250 acres of Hawaiian Home Lands from the original proposal to renew its 23,000 acre lease.
The majority of testifiers at hearings in Waimea and Hilo opposed the extension, citing cultural, environmental and anti-war concerns. Those in support stated that Pohakuloa is critical from a global view of U.S. security and training, particularly with challenges in the Pacific. They also noted firefighting and other services provided to the local community by the military and that the training area is used by local police and firefighters.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. Support this news service with advertising at kaunews.com. 7,500 copies in the mail and on stands.

Malama Kai Foundation's Reef Talk on Friday, May 30 will be live streamed on
YouTube channel@malamakai. This is a free event, but donations are always welcome.
 Contact Kater Hiney, Malama Kai Foundation, Reef Talks Coordinator, for more information
 at kateralisha@gmail.com,