POSTED: 8 JANUARY 2008 - 8:00am HST

Superferry: Military Use, More Low Numbers

image above: the first use of the HSF to transport military equipment on 1/7/08.
Photo by Brad Parsons. More images

by Brad Parsons on 7 January 2008

Vessel came in at 9:55am, was offloading by 10:07am. Offloading 140-150 people, 58-60 vehicles including 15-20 military vehicles (variation was due to 4 vehicles loaded on top of other vehicles, counting all was less than 20), and 1 moped.
Three of the military vehicles were painted desert tan likely indicating recent service in an *ACTIVE* theater of war. NG were all wearing desert camis, leftovers. Onloading 47-50 vehicles including 3 large commercial vehicles (one with a container and another one was a large satellite comm truck), and 2 motorcycles. Even with the inflated military use today, numbers neither coming nor going were enough just to cover fuel expense.



POSTED: 8 JANUARY 2008 - 7:30am HST

Superferry reaches to military for PR

by Juan Wilosn on 8 January 2008

The HSF Corporation. reeling from bad public relations and low ridership to Maui has arranged to "help" Maui by shipping National Guard personnel and equipment from Oahu to Maui.

This moves is the first use of the Superferry by the military, but it won't be the last. Obviously, the idea was to get some positive news stories out of an effort to do the public some good with the Superferry.

But, like the recent "doubling" up of scheduled trips to Maui, this was done without consultation with the Maui Mayor or community. Mayor Charmaine Tavares said,

"I am very disappointed that Hawaii Superferry has made this decision without consulting county officials and members of our community".

See TGI article below:


National Guard uses Superferry
by Associated Press on 8 January 2008

in The Garden Island News
The Hawai'i National Guard shipped 24 pieces of heavy equipment, including bulldozers and five- ton dump trucks, from 0'ahu to Maui yesterday aboard the
Hawaii Superferry.

Twenty members of the 29th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, Company A, also made the trip to join 29 Guard members on the Valley Island in an operation to clear away debris left by recent stormy weather.

The first use of the ferry to transport heavy machinery for the military underscores the value of the vessel, Superferry officials said.

"AU along, we've planned that this ship can be a real asset to civil defense at a
time of disaster," said Terry O'Halloran, Superferry's director of business and develop ment.

First Lt. Brian Ouimet said it would have cost more and taken more time to schedule if aircraft had been used to move the equipment. Using the Superferry "is expedient and cost-effective," he said.

Sgt. 1st Class Ian Ross stressed the speed factor. "When you need to get spe-
cific equipment to the islands, this (Superferry) is the fastest way to do it," he said. "It's a way to put men and equipment the same day within hours on the job. It's a great tool."

The equipment, which also included bobcat miniloaders, was loaded aboard the 350-foot "Alakai" on Sunday for yesterday morning's trip.

The Guard will use the equipment to remove logs and other debris from stream banks and to reconstruct stream paths to reduce future blockage.

The movement of the Guard equipment came in the wake of Friday's announcement by Superferry officials that the company will start a second
voyage between Honolulu and Maui, starting Jan. 16.

The news drew a critical response from Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares.

"I am very disappointed that Hawaii Superferry has made this decision without consulting county officials and members of our community," she said.


Moreover, another question must be raised - Is some of the equipment to be used in the Maui cleanup recycled Hummers from Iraq? If so what certificaion do they have of being free of Depleted Uraniun contamination? This may not sound like a real problem, but decontamination of battlefield equipment is a real issue to some.

Below is a small portion of a statement written by Dr. Doug Rokke, Major US Army Retired who served as the U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Project Director after the 1991 Gulf War.

I was assigned to the 3rd U.S. Army Depleted Uranium assessment team as the health physicist and medic by order of Headquarters Department of the Army in Washington, D.C. What we found can be explained in three words: "OH MY GOD".

According to official documents each uranium penetrator rod could loose up to 70% of it's mass on impact creating fixed and loose contamination with the remaining rod passing through the equipment or structure to lie on the terrain. On-site impact investigations showed that the mass loss is about 40% which forms fixed and loose contamination leaving about 60% of the initial mass of the penetrator in the solid pencil form.

We found that standard radiacs will not detect this contamination. Equipment contamination included uranium fragments, uranium oxides, other hazardous materials, unstable unexploded ordnance, and byproducts of exploded ordnance. U.S. Army Materiel Command documents sent to us stated the uranium oxide was 57% insoluble and 43 % soluble and at least 50% could be inhaled. In most cases except for penetrator fragments, contamination was inside destroyed equipment or structures, on the destroyed equipment, or within 25 meters of the equipment. During the 1994 and 1995 Nevada tests we found DU contamination out to 400 meters from a single incident.

After we returned to the United States we wrote the Theater Clean up plan which reportedly was passed through U.S. Department of Defense to the U.S. Department of State and consequently to the Emirate of Kuwaiti. Today, it is obvious that none of this information regarding clean up of extensive DU contamination ever was given to the Iraqi's. Consequently, although there still are substantial radiation contamination hazards existing within Iraq these hazards have been ignored by the United States and Great Britain for political and economic reasons at the same time additional use of uranium weapons has occurred resulting in additional confirmed contamination.

- Dr Doug Rokke February 2007


Here is a quote from an I wrote in an Island Breath article from 1 November 2006

The military denies that it has used DU munitions in Hawaii, but DU weapons debris has been discovered at Schofield Barracks and documented by the Associated Press. Will these weapons ever be fired on our islands in the future?

Even if they are not, we will have a significant problem with vehicles contaminated with uranium 238 when they return from Iraq (or other theaters of war). No one has demonstrated any clean-up effort that is sufficient to eliminate the risk to military personnel or the public by exposure in a DU contaminated environment.

see also:
Island Breath: HSF EIS Smoking Gun
Island Breath: Maui to get two trips
Island Breath: Maui Demomstrations
Island Breath: Maui Service Begins
Island Breath: Maui Service Postponed
Island Breath: Maui Planning Demo
Island Breath: Ti Party a big success
Island Breath: Ti Party to be held
Island Breath: Banana Republic
Island Breath: One more HSF Hurdle
Island Breath: Legislature OKs Superferry
Island Breath: Special Session on HSF
Island Breath: Conditions for Special Session
Island Breath: News of September 25-26 9/25/07