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    HomeUnited StatesU.S Air ForceAir Force Returns Land Used for Apollo Program to State of Hawaii

    Air Force Returns Land Used for Apollo Program to State of Hawaii

    Air Force Returns Land Used for Apollo Program to State of Hawaii

    More than 300 acres of land on Molokai once used by the federal government to support Apollo space missions have been returned to the state after a years-long decommissioning.

    The 363-acre parcel, owned by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and long leased to the U.S. Air , is expected to be made available to DHHL beneficiaries, most likely for ranching and possibly farming.

    Gov. Josh Green announced the transfer Friday in his office's ceremonial room at the state Capitol following a mele honoring Molokai sung by kumu hula Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu.

    Green described the deal as a relatively rare instance of the federal government relinquishing use of state land.

    “How long has it been since land was given back? It's not very darn frequent, ” he said.

    The lease for the parcel in Hoolehua dates back to the 1960s when the Federal Aviation Administration used it for telecommunications facilities supporting the then- Apollo missions. It later shifted to the Air Force in 1981 for high-frequency radio communications, according to Air Force Col. Michal Holliday, an installation and mission support commander at Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

    Holliday said the Air Force determined in 2017 that it no longer needed the facility, and since then extensive work to remove facilities and clean up the site has been carried out under at least one extension of the lease that expired at the end of…

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