Guam – The Governor’s Special Assistant on the military buildup Mark Calvo says the CSIS report seems to re-affirm most of what DOD has been planning. We Are Guahan’s Leevin Camacho says his major concern remains that the federal government take into account the quality of life on Guam.
“From what I could decipher again from scanning through the report initially it doesn’t mention that there will be less marines than what the new reset has been telling us which is five thousand or 47 hundred to five thousand,” said Calvo adding, “there’s nothing in the report that says less than the amount that we’re being told.” Instead Calvo says that the report appears to endorse DOD’s plans.
“It makes recommendations that are almost identical to Department of Defense recommendations for security in this region,” explained Calvo. He says this is a good thing because this report, which was done by an independent third party, sort of independently validates DOD’s plans for this region as the right direction to go as far as the nation’s defense is concerned.
“What the administration was worried about and we posed the question to the Department of Defense was if this third party came up with different numbers that were drastically different how would it affect the time lines, would congress use that to argue the Department of Defense plan or will it use it merely to set new numbers we didn’t know and they didn’t know. Now this report is out and it kind of endorses what the Department of Defense has been recommending it just means a quicker movement forward,” said Calvo. Instead Calvo says the report acknowledges the current number of marines that DOD has been planning on placing on Guam.
“It also makes mention to whatever is decided that for Guam infrastructure and improvements to road water waste water and power need to move on no matter what the size is of the footprint of the marines coming out here,” said Calvo. The governor’s special assistant on the buildup says the reason for this is because the bigger picture is the eventual development of a three decade plan for the security of this entire Pacific region.
We Are Guahan member Leevin Camacho says that the document points out that DOD didn’t take into account significant factors and costs associated with the proposed buildup. “So we get confirmation that DOD from day one has underestimated the costs of the projects and that’s why the senate has been very concerned about funding the projects,” said Camacho. It also appears that this report gives recommendations for beefing up other military assets on Guam outside of the marine corps.
“The other interesting thing about this report is that it talks about the Air Force and Navy and specifically they recommend basically doubling the B-52 bombers at Andersen bringing a whole new squadron and they also recommend bringing in three more nuclear subs to host them at Naval base and the last recommendation they make is to bringing in that missiles or patriot missiles to Guam a missile defense system which was initially part of the buildup but was deferred by DOD and so when we talk about the buildup and this whole region we look at Guam not as just a marine base but we also see that DOD is already increasing it’s presence up at Andersen and at Navy as well,” said Camacho. Camacho adds that he hopes that DOD and other agencies look at the affect of the buildup on Guam’s quality of life.
“We Are Guahan’s concerns has always been about the quality of life of the people living here our schools our roads our hospital and that is still a requirement moving forward the house is trying to get rid of that requirement that doe federal that the hospitals look closely at how we’re going to be affected and how to get funding so we want to hope that our congress woman is going to be looking at that and lobbying on behalf of the people of Guam to make sure that our lives are not going to be affected if these other things go forward,” said Camacho.