Ahead of ROD, Guthertz Makes Final Appeal To DoD to Stay Within Its Footprint

389

Guam – Senator Judi Guthertz is reiterating her opposition to the military’s plans to put a firing range next to the ancient chamorro vilage of Pagat.

The record of decision will be released early Tuesday morning.

In  a  letter this past weekend to  the  Executive  Director  of  the  Joint  Guam  Program  Office  (JGPO), Major  General David Bice, USMC (Ret.), Senator Guthertz said, “the bottom line is that there must be some place that is already owned or leased by the military that is suitable for a machine gun range.”

Read Guthertz’s letter to Bice

General  Bice  has  been  making  the rounds of Guam media and service clubs to present the case for major provisions of the buildup, including the Pagat siting of the range complex.

In a release, Guthertz points out that at one such appearance last Wednesday, Bice said the requirement for a safety zone including Pagat was only because machine gun training is one element of the range complex.

The release also states that General Bice said that Northwest Field was not suitable for a machine gun training range, but Senator Guthertz said that hardly exhausts potential sites on Guam or in the CNMI, recalling her previous proposal that the Naval Munitions Area, where Fena Lake and ammunition bunkers occupy the northern half, be used. The area already has a sniper firing range, but about half of its 8,000 acres are not utilized. “Surely, you should be able to site a machine gun range somewhere inside the 4,000 acres in the southern half of the NMA,” Senator Guthertz said.

Guthertz is quoted in the release as saying that she implores “the military to use its existing land for all the firing ranges to support the buildup and to  not  intrude  on  the  Pagat  area.  By  so  doing,  peace  and  harmony  can  exist  between  our communities and we can move forward together as one in ensuring the best interests of everyone who calls Guam home.”