Guam – The AOL Defense website is reporting that the Department of Defense is rebutting the website’s recently published report on a draft GAO study critical of the planed Marine move from Okinawa to Guam.
AOL Defense reports that DoD spokesperson Major Cathy Wilkinson responded to their report saying, among other things that:
* The Japanese Government has not reneged on their contribution to Guam construction. In April 2012, Tokyo reaffirmed in the 2+2 Joint Statement their commitment to contribute approximately $3.1B in FY12 dollarstowards facilities for the Marine relocation.
* Japan has already contributed $834 million.
* There are substantial construction requirements needed in Guam before Marines can be transferred there
* It is not simply a matter of available housing, but also suitable training ranges, office space, equipment storage areas and local infrastructure to name a few.
* The new construction requires environmental assessments and the Defense Department is currently working through that process.
* Of the approximately 9,000 Marines who will be relocated from Okinawa, approximately 5,000 will go to Guam. The [AOL Defense] article states approximately 1,800 Marines will move to Hawaii, however, we have not finalized plans for numbers or locations for where the other 4,000 Marines will be stationed.
AOL Defense notes that they obtained the draft GAO report “exclusively” and that the Pentagon acknowledged that they have not seen it.