Bradshaw AAF is centrally located on the island of Hawaii. The field, with an elevation of 6190 feet, lies at the northern most edge of the saddle formed by the peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, and is approximately 400 feet below the saddle's crest on the western downhill side. The terrain surrounding the airfield is very hilly with numerous puu's (cinder cones and/or hills) to the southeast through west-northwest. Vegetation is sparse with a complete absence of wooded areas. There is no immediate moisture source leaving only the surrounding waters of the Pacific Ocean. Moisture arriving at the station is advected from the east and/or west. Mountains to the north and south effectively block all low level moisture from those directions.
There are no permanently assigned Aircraft at Bradshaw AAF. The Base Weather Station supports the 25th Infantry Division (Light) and its associate units at Wheeler and Schofield Barracks, the Hawaiian Army National Guard Hilo, and the 45th Support Group (68th Medical Detachment). Deployments to the Big Island are usually on a quarterly rotation.
Bradshaw Army Airfield (PHSF), and the Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) are located in the saddle (~ 6500 ft elevation) between the two largest mountains in the Hawaiian Islands (Mauna Kea 13796 ft and Mauna Loa 13333 ft). PTA is used for year round live fire exercises by all branches of the U.S. Military. The weather forecasts at PHSF and in PTA frequently include fog, low ceilings, low level wind shear, turbulence and 15 knot gust spreads which severely limit aviation operations. The strong winds in the saddle are the most significant threat to operations. Light winds in the morning may turn into 30 knots with gusts to 45 knots by 1000L.
In relation to the Tradewind / Seabreeze pattern Bradshaw AAF is unique among island airfields. It is the highest airfield in constant use in the Hawaiian Islands and is situated between the two highest peaks in the state. The runway is oriented nearly east to west and runs uphill from the west, rising 110 feet. Generally , the tradewind regime and the seabreeze regime dominate the local weather pattern , with the seabreeze prevailing by a slight margin.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|