Updates to the Military Build Up Projects

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Members of the U.S. Military, Royal Australian Air Force, and Japan Air Self-Defense Force stand in formation together to start Exercise Cope North 20 (CN20), at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 12, 2020. CN20 is an annual trilateral field training exercise conducted at Andersen AFB, and around the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Palau and Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Gracie Lee)

With over 10 years since their last update, the military provided a presentation about their ongoing build-up efforts.

PNC’s Devin Eligio has that update…

As more military-related construction projects are anticipated to both begin and complete shortly, concerns over the cultural and environmental effects of the military build-up continue to be voiced.

According to Senator Sabina Perez, she states, “So it’s really hard to hear this. To see… to hear this time and time again of the destruction of our environment, the destruction of our cultural resources, and to have it presented like it’s a good thing.”

Senator Sabina Perez’s comments follow the Marine Corps Marianas’ presentation on their projected construction projects.

As of today, a total of 14 projects have been completed, 41 are currently in construction, and 46 projects are expected to begin.

In his presentation, NAVFAC Marianas Environmental Director Al Borja shared the military’s mitigation efforts toward concerns over the controversial firing range construction — stating that all of their design developments were reviewed by Guam EPA and were sought approval for under the Safety Drinking Water Act. He adds, “The development that currently is happening is no accident.”

Borja went on to explain several more mitigation strategies and efforts, such as the relocation of live species and the careful excavation and curation of cultural artifacts and remains.

Colonel Bach rounded off the military’s presentation with the purpose of their projects, reminding those in attendance of the anticipated transfer of Marines from Okinawa to Guam. Colonel Bach states and quote, “The pace of construction, everything that’s happening here on Guam means we are on track to meet the agreement between the government of the United States and the government of Japan.”

Moreover, Senator Joanne Brown also emphasized the importance of “open dialogue” between Guam and the military to eliminate qualms toward the build-up. She adds, “I think more open dialogue and engagement and the opportunity to ask questions and hear your responses to that, I think would be more fruitful dialogue.”

For the Pacific News Center
I’m Devin Eligio

 

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Damen Michael A. Borja is PNC’s Interim Social Media Editor and a Broadcast Reporter. A young entrepreneur and a jack of all trades. Damen Michael graduated from the University of Guam with a Bachelors of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. He has dabbled in different fields of business including from sales, finance, marketing, administrative, and operations. Damen Michael has a passion for learning and always looks to educate himself on something new everyday. He began his journey in media in June of the year 2021 as a Broadcast Reporter covering predominately Education, Business, Lifestyle and more.