Guthertz Accuses JGPO of Sowing Confusion Over Pagat Firing Range Plan

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Guam – Senator Judi Guthertz  is accusing JGPO Director John Jackson of sowing  “further  confusion  about  Navy  plans  for  Pagat  range
complex.”

In a release, Guthertz states that Jackson’s recent comments at a Rotary Club meeting have  left  her “wondering  if  the  Navy  is staking out a new position on the controversial Pagat Mangilao firing range complex.”

The five target range complex would be adjacent to the ancient Chamorro village of Pagat. Guthertz accuses JGPO of making “contradictory statements in studies and by various parties about when access to the area might be denied due to hazardous live fire exercises.”

Citing published reports, Guthertz states: “Jackson said the surface danger zone for the firing range will not affect the caves or the cultural site, since the range site is 400 feet above the cultural site and does not overlap.”

The release goes onto to state:

Apparently this doesn’t mean there is no danger to the site when firing exercises are underway and Jackson said that safety precautions will be taken. And he also sought to minimize the time during which the range will be in use.

“Jackson further said that the range will be used only four months out of the year and the public will have access to the cultural village.”

In a ‘beige paper’ comment addressed to Assistant Secretary of the Navy Jacklyn Pfannenstiel, Senator Guthertz asked: “Is this a major change in the Navy’s position? If so, why reveal it during a presentation to a Rotary Club? To think of all the emotional energy spent over the Navy’s declared desire to control access to that site!”

Senator Guthertz also urged Pfannenstiel to consider an ‘inside the military fence’ location for the new Marine housing that will be built, since all Guam military land is under a single Marianas Command:  “There is a lot of open, unused land on Andersen and no need to acquire the Former FAA Housing Area.”