U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific News

Space Force retains cultural expert with ancestral ties to Haleakalā

  • Published
  • Pacific Air Forces

The U.S. Space Force finalized a contract with CKM Cultural Resources Feb. 14 to provide a cultural advisor and monitor in support of the remediation project atop Haleakalā.

An equipment malfunction of a back-up generator, at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex, released 700 gallons of fuel into the ground at the site Jan. 29.

The advisor, Dane Uluwehiokalani Maxwell, was born in Pukalani on the slopes of Haleakalā. He is fluent in the Hawaiian language, and has previously advised on other projects including the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope and the Maui Space Surveillance Complex, both atop Haleakalā.

"I've met with Dane, and with his background, he will be a vital part of the remediation project," said Brig. Gen. Anthony Mastalir, U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific commander.

Maxwell's grandfather was an outspoken critic of the telescopes' early development atop Haleakalā, and Mastalir fully expects Dane to be as vigilant as his grandfather.

"Dane will hold us accountable for actions at the site, and ensure we are taking the culturally appropriate steps to remediate, while rebuilding trust with the local community at this sacred location."

Maxwell will guide coordination with local government and community agencies and advise leadership on cultural impacts, including identification of risks, issues and associated mitigation plans, specifically taking into consideration cultural sensitivities at the site.

The telescopes at the MSSC atop Haleakalā are used for research as well as tracking and monitoring satellites, ensuring the safety of the nation's most critical strategic assets.