Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Tuesday, April 23, 2024 79° Today's Paper

Kokua Line

Troops jogging with rifles do not have live ammunition

Question: I often see troops from Fort Shafter jogging mornings in front of Moanalua schools on Mahiole Street. One day, I saw two of them with full backpacks and M-16 rifles. Is it legal to carry these weapons openly on a public street?

Answer: Yes, Army officials said, because the rifles are not loaded with live ammunition.

You likely saw a road or "ruck march," which is conducted in complete uniform, including helmet, rucksack, unloaded weapon, Army combat uniform, boot, protective mask and reflective belt, according to Robert E. Williamson III, command sergeant major of U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.

This conditioning, training exercise can be a march of up to 12 miles, with a soldier carrying up to 60 pounds of gear.

It is usually performed prior to deployment, in the early morning hours before dawn, Williamson said.

Soldiers are not issued, nor permitted to carry, live ammunition during road marches, Williamson said.

The only time soldiers are issued live ammunition is at designated live-fire training sites on Schofield Barracks, officials said. Unused ammunition and expended shells are gathered following all live-fire exercises.

Question: We recently had visitors from the mainland who spent a day at Hanauma Bay. They returned with horror stories of people walking on and even stomping on the coral with their "reef shoes." Can the state Department of Land and Natural Resources address this problem?

Answer: Damage to coral is a state issue, city parks officials acknowledge.

However, the city Department of Parks and Recreation oversees the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.

"The city has undertaken the task of protecting the reef since the city owns the park land surrounding the bay," explained Craig Mayeda, administrator of the department’s Parks Maintenance and Recreational Services Division.

A part of that responsibility is requiring all Hanauma Bay visitors to view a multilanguage orientation video in the Marine Education Center before heading down to the beach. That video informs everyone to not walk on the reef.

"This being said, we’re bewildered by the description of the behavior at Hanauma Bay," he said. There was a time when trampling of the reef by "unknowing visitors was a persistent concern at Hanauma Bay," but that problem has been "greatly reduced."

"If anything we have been accused at times of being overzealous in our protection of the reef at Hanauma Bay," he said. Anyone who sees this happening is advised to report it to one of the beach’s staff members.


To Marlene Montiho. About 6:15 a.m. Saturday, April 30, I was at Nuuanu Avenue and Nimitz Highway when my car died. There were a lot of homeless people yelling and swearing at me. I am 79 years old and was scared and didn’t know what to do. Along came a young lady who asked whether I needed help. She got out of her truck, attached her cable to my car battery and started my car. Marlene was the only one to stop to help me that morning. She was on her way to work at the ProPark parking company. She didn’t want anything in return. I wish her the best in life. — Louise Yamaguchi


To Marlene Montiho. I was stuck on Alakea Street on Monday night, May 2, after my car died. Nobody stopped except for this young girl who had just gotten off work. She used her jumper cable to start my car. She was wearing a green shirt, so I asked her where she worked. She said ProPark. There are not enough people like her in the world. God bless her. — Mr. Young

Marlene says she believes that "if you do good deed, a good deed will come back to you."

Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

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