Schofield Barracks is the largest Army post in Hawaii. It was named in honor of LTG John M. Schofield, who recognized the strategic importance of Oahu to the defense of the United States in 1872. Construction on the Barracks began in 1909, but the site was actually established in 1908 to provide a base for the Army’s mobile defense of Pearl Harbor and the rest of the island.
Schofield Barracks has been the home of the 25th Infantry division since 1941, as well as the Command Headquarters for United States Army Hawaii (USARHAW). Also known as the Tropic Lightning Division, Schofield Barracks is also home to the 8th Theater Sustainment Command.
The Tropic Regions Test Center (TRTC) was relocated to Hawaii when U.S. military installations in Panama were closed. The U.S. military chose the East Range at Schofield Barracks Hawaii as an adequate location to use for soldier system and chemical-biological defense testing.
Schofield Barracks Housing
Housing near Schofield Barracks consists of over 7000 housing units and in the 2000 census there were 2,965 households. Out of these households, 78 percent had children under the age of 18 living with them, the largest percentage were married couples living together at 91.5 percent, 4.8 percent were females with no husband present, and 2.1 percent were non-families. Two percent of all family dwellings were made up of individuals and there weren’t any individuals 65 years old or older living alone. The average population household size was 3.55 and the average family size was 3.58.
Military personnel are asked to check in at the Housing Referral Office for available housing options. The waiting list for housing can often be as long as 14 months, depending on the time of year, rank of the soldier and number of bedrooms desired. The Housing Referral Office is also able to help those who want to live off-post a few miles away by determining which BAH rates apply to each individual soldier’s situation.
There are no on-post schools available at Hawaii Schofield Barracks, but children living on the base attend school based on wherever they reside, whether on or off base. The Hawaii Department of Education can provide more specific information at their Central District Office (808-627-7478) in Maui County. The Army Community Service office, at 808-655-4777, handles all special education care needs.
For families who live more than one mile from the school, bus service is subsidized by the State and available. As well, Schofield Barracks has a Child Development Center that provides full day daycare, part-day daycare, and hourly services for children from 6 weeks to 5 years. There are five child development centers on post, with a variety of school age programs offered at each one.
Geographical and statistical information
Schofield Barracks is located on an 18,000 acre site in central Oahu, Hawaii. According to the United States Census Bureau, the post has a total land area of 2.8 square miles (7.1 km). There were 3,733 housing units with an average density of 1,358.7 per square mile (524.1/km).
The Schofield Training area consists of 4,695 acres and the Schofield Barracks Cantonment Area contains another 2,187 acres. Centrally located on Oahu, the Schofield Training area lies on the eastern slope of the Waianae Mountain range, in a large valley. Most of the site slopes but is still usable for maneuvers, and is regarded as part of the central impact area. The steeper areas are used as safety zones for the impact area. The upper part of the training area lies within a Conservation District known as the Schofield Forest Reserve; most of this district is used for growing pineapple.
The ridge of the Wainanae Range has the highest point on Oahu, Mount Kaala, which has an elevation of over 4,000 feet. The maneuver areas vary between 800 and 1,400 feet in elevation. The area is covered in thick vegetation and trees on the steeper elevations and in the impact and range areas it opens up into more open grassland. Two archaeological sites were found on the range area, but nothing worthy of preserving was found.
There are several roads, including the Kolikole Pass Road, that go from the Schofield Cantonment area to the Schofield Training area. The Kolikole Pass Road actually crosses over the ridgeline before passing through NAVMAG Lualualei. There are a number of jeep trails and dirt roads that run through the maneuver areas, ranges, and around the impact area. Designated helicopter landing zones are located throughout the area.
The Schofield Training area is mainly taken up by the 2,800 acre range and impact area. The range lies along the eastern and southern boundary of the impact area. There are numerous areas suitable for infantry maneuvers, totaling approximately 1,200 acres, to the northeast and south of the impact area. The other 3,300 acres that lie to the west of the impact area are not considered suitable for military maneuvers and training.
The southern part of the Schofield Training area is characterized by steep slopes that cut the training area into several smaller areas. This area is considered suitable for the field training of headquarters and service support units, and also contains firing points for artillery live fire. The northern area of the Barracks is fairly flat and considered suitable for the same maneuvers as the southern area. All of the firing ranges are grouped into six smaller groups that are located next to the impact area.
The Schofield Training area is not restricted by use agreement, meaning that exercises can be held seven days a week. The only bigger problem that the area faces is its size. Since the impact area is so small, the ranges are forced to be set closer together. This means that the maximum firing distance is only about 5 km, well below the maximum range of most military weapons. Due to the lack of room to maneuver properly, artillery weapons tend to be put in a few firing points over and over again. This causes the range and firing positing safety zones to overlap, and makes it so they cannot be used at the same time.