The idea for the "Kunia Tunnel" came after the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Fear of a repeat-attack prompted the Army and Navy to plan a less vulnerable, under-ground complex, designed as an aircraft assembly and repair plant. The storage facility envisioned within the "tunnel" was said to be capable of handling B-17 heavy bombers. Called "The Hole" by locals, this huge complex was built in the pineapple fields south of Wheeler Field and Schofield Barracks. Construction on the 23 million dollar under-ground tunnel complex began in 1942, and was completed in late 1944. The facility is not a true tunnel, but a free-standing three-story structure that was later covered with earth. The facility was constructed as an open bay area, without interior cement blocks. The outer walls are composed of reinforced concrete and dirt. It is approximately 250,000 square feet in overall size, with 30,000 square feet used for power generation and air conditioning. The remaining 220,000 square feet were available for assembly of folded winged aircraft.
Access to the structure was by means of a quarter mile-long tunnel, at the end of which were elevators for the different levels. Two elevators serviced the field station -- one capable of accommodating four 2 1/2-ton trucks or "an average size four-room cottage," For passenger service, another elevator was provided with a carrying capacity of 20 persons. It even had a cafeteria that could turn out 6,000 meals a day. Huge air conditioning and ventilating systems ensured a constant flow of fresh air drawn from the open countryside. Some idea of the size of the building may be gained from the fact that it took almost 5,000 forty-inch fluorescent tubes to light the facility. There is no historical evidence to suggest the field station was ever used for aircraft assembly. During the last stages of the World War II, the 30th Base Engineering Battalion used the tunnel for topographic work involving Japanese held islands. At the end of WWII, the tunnel facility was turned over to the Air Force.
The tunnel facility was kept in a reserve status until 1953, at which time the Navy assumed control and used it for ammunition and torpedo storage. According to an article published in the Honolulu Star Bulletin, the Navy announced on June 28, 1953, it would convert the bunker into a secret facility. A local construction team was awarded the contract for $1.7 million to revamp the facilities. When the initial renovations were completed in the early 1960s, the Commander in Chief, Pacific Forces, used the complex as a command center. In 1966, the facility was hardened against chemical, biological and radiological attacks. In 1976, the Fleet operations center was moved to another location and the tunnel was turned over to the General Services Agency for disposition.
In January 1980, Congress approved project funding to begin the activation of Field Station Kunia under U.S. Army control. Operations began later that year. The soldiers who worked in and supported the field station were housed in a barracks on Wheeler Army Air Field, pending approval of funds and construction of billets on Schofield Barracks. Construction of the modern air-conditioned barracks and dining facility was completed in 1986. By April, it was occupied by the soldiers and administrative offices of the two battalions. In order to reflect the change to a more joint mission, Field Station Kunia was redesignated the Kunia Regional Security Operations Center (KRSOC) in August, 1993.
The Kunia Regional Security Operations Center (KRSOC) is a Joint tenant unit that performs a real-world strategic intelligence mission primarily in support of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Pacific Command. The KRSOC is an element of the U.S. Cryptologic System. The KRSOC is manned by personnel from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Marine Corps, along with Department of Defense civilians. The installation lies approximately 15 miles west of the city of Honolulu and ten miles south of the world famous North Shore of Oahu. There are only three such units worldwide, GRSOC at Ft. Gordon,GA (Army), MRSOC at Medina, San Antonio, TX (Air Force), and KRSOC at Kunia, HI (Navy).
The field station changed hands once again in October 1995, when possession of the tunnel was again handed over to the Navy. Although it is still referred to as the KRSOC, it was in the hands of the Naval Security Group Activity, Kunia. Direct cryptologic support provided by regional assets continues to be key to intelligence production in the Pacific. While required renovations have continued throughout the last 20 years, the KRSOC is an aging facility, built in 1945 and renovated for cryptologic operations in 1979.
Naval Security Group Activity Kunia was officially commissioned Nov. 14, 1980, at Wheeler Air Force Base, to serve as an integral member of the worldwide U.S. communications network, and to provide radio relay and secure communications for the defense of the U.S. and its allies. NSGA Kunia provided cryptologic personnel, information, communications, and engineering installation services to support Pacific Theater and National warfare requirements. NSGA Kunia provided host support services to the Kunia Regional Security Operations Center. U.S. Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA) Kunia and the U.S. Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA) Pearl Harbor merged commands in a ceremony Sept. 30, 2004 at the USS Nevada Memorial, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. NSGA Pearl Harbor was officially disestablished, and the U.S. Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA) Hawaii was commissioned.
On Sept. 30, 2005, NSGA Hawaii was administratively closed and was re-established on Oct. 1, 2005 as the Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Hawaii, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
On Aug. 30, 2007, the National Security Agency, Central Security Service (NSACSS) located in Kunia, Hawaii, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Hawaii Regional Security Operations Center (HRSOC) at the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific (NCTAMS PAC), located in Wahiawa, Hawaii. The HRSOC state-of-the-art facility will be approximately 250,000 square feet, constructed on 70 acres, and replaces the Kunia Regional Security Operations Center (KRSOC). The HRSOC Operations Center includes a command center, operations briefing center, data analysis section, mission planning areas, administrative offices and video teleconferencing centers. Support buildings will include a base entry control facility, a visitor's control center, and a warehouse facility. The facility is the largest contract in the history of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFACENGCOM).