Guam – Vice Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz has sent letters to USMC Major General David Bice, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, Chairperson of the Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley, Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Cecilia Munoz urging them to halt plans for a firing range at Pågat.
The Vice Speaker also sent similar letters to Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo and Assistant Secretary of the Office of Insular Affairs Anthony Babauta, asking them to continue advocating on behalf of Guam residents who oppose DOD’s plans.
Citing the historical significance of the land, as well as the local community’s reverence of the area, Vice Speaker Cruz has asked the Department of Defense to stay within the 30,000 acre footprint that it currently controls. Analogizing the sanctity of Pågat to the people of Guam, Senator Cruz included an analysis of the opposition to the building of a casino near the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.
In his letter Cruz wrote, “Building a firing range in Pågat is akin to building a casino in Gettysburg—it is a desecration of the memory of what came before it. I find this to be an unacceptable proposal and I implore you to listen to the wishes of the local community regarding the use of Pågat and to abandon plans for its use.”