Some 1,000 military personnel stayed or will visit Guam during the duration of the Valiant Shield exercise.
The military exercise started on Sept. 14 and will last up to this week off Guam and around the Mariana Islands Range Complex.
Participants include the USS Ronald Reagan, USS America, USS New Orleans, USS Germantown, and multiple surface ships. Approximately 100 aircraft and an estimated 11,000 personnel from the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps are participating in the exercise.
Gerry Perez, vice president of the Guam Visitors Bureau, said a number of military personnel participating in Valiant Shield have made bookings with hotels on island.
“We do know that there’s going to be some hotel occupancies associated with Valiant Shield and we expect at least probably close to 1000 or so visitors for that exercise. It’s still a long way, of course, from what we’re accustomed to seeing in terms of hotel occupancy. But you know, a little bit is better than nothing at all,” Perez said during GVB’s board meeting.
He added that the military personnel are under very strict orders to remain in their hotels.
“They are tested before they get here, they go to their hotels, and then go from the hotel to the exercise site, and back, and pretty much in a controlled situation,” Perez said.
In coordination with military medical personnel and public health personnel, the military said every aspect of Valiant Shield 2020 has been analyzed to ensure the appropriate mitigation measures are taken against COVID-19.
The planning focused on protecting service members and their families; preventing the
spread of the virus to U.S. forces, local residents, allies, or partners; and ensuring warfighting readiness in order to accomplish assigned missions.
This is the eighth exercise in the Valiant Shield series that began in 2006.