25th CAB aids DPW with Kawailoa Mountain Range preservation

| August 25, 2011 | 0 Comments
Soldiers from 3rd Bn., 25th Avn. Regt., “Hammerhead,” 25th CAB, 25th ID, brace themselves against rotor wash as they prepare to hook up a sling-load of fence materials to a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, in support of a preservation mission on Oahu’s Kawailoa Mountain Range, recently. (Spc. Kayla Thomas | 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

Soldiers from 3rd Bn., 25th Avn. Regt., “Hammerhead,” 25th CAB, 25th ID, brace themselves against rotor wash as they prepare to hook up a sling-load of fence materials to a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, in support of a preservation mission on Oahu’s Kawailoa Mountain Range, recently. (Spc. Kayla Thomas | 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

Sgt. Daniel Schroeder
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — An ongoing mission to preserve multiple endangered species of plants on Oahu’s Kawailoa Mountain Range got a little help from the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, recently.

The Oahu Army Natural Resource Program, Directorate of Public Works, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, continued its preservation mission and constructed a perimeter fence around a frog pond on the Kawailoa Mountain Range to restrict wildlife from eating the endangered plants.

“It is very hard to protect the plants on the mountainside,” said Vince Costello, a rare snail conservation specialist, OANRP. “Several factors — like wild pigs, goats and weeds — are taking over the natural habitat, which creates a problem for the plants to thrive. The goal is to limit the animals’ access to the endangered plants by constructing a fence around the habitat.”

The habitat that DPW is trying to preserve is located in a remote area, inaccessible by ground vehicles. To reach the location with fencing material, DPW worked with the 25th CAB to airlift the materials needed for the preservation.

“Our training and capabilities within the 25th CAB allows us to serve the communities in conservation missions like this,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason Wainwright, flight operations officer in charge, 3rd Battalion, 25th Avn. Regiment, “Hammerhead,” 25th CAB. “It is important to preserve local rare Hawaiian plants in their natural habitats.”

The capabilities of 25th CAB aircraft allow for more materials to be lifted to remote locations, while decreasing the time needed and erosion that would occur if transported by ground.

“This is the third big fence move we have performed,” said Matt Keir, rare plant program manager, OANRP. “The 25th CAB does a lot for the community; they help with conservation projects, prescribed burns and assist in fighting wildfires.”

“The U.S. Army in Hawaii is very conscience of endangered species and preservation. We are very happy to help other government agencies … take care of the Hawaiian Islands,” said Col. Frank Tate, commander, 25th CAB. “We are proud to have been a part of this mission.”

 

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