Marine Corps Realignment to Cost $23.9B, GAO Says
Plans to ready Guam to accommodate 8,600 Marines and 9,000 dependents from Okinawa will cost DOD, Japan and Guam at least $23.9 billion over the next decade, according to estimates released last week by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
The estimate includes $7.5 billion in DOD military construction funding. The department’s cost could rise further, though, since it has not developed cost estimates for an air and missile defense system needed to protect the island, GAO stated. Guam’s government estimates it needs $3.2 billion to improve civilian infrastructure such as roads, power, water, sewer and hospitals.
Japan will contribute to the cost of the buildup, but the United States may be forced to pay much of the realignment’s cost, reported Stars and Stripes. Japan has agreed to pay $2.9 billion for construction on Guam and to finance $3.3 billion for installation support structure for utilities and military family housing.
Meanwhile, the chorus of lawmakers calling for the Pentagon to rethink its plans for the Pacific theater continues to grow. The Senate Appropriations Committee last week requested DOD submit detailed plans, along with a justification, for the shift before it allocates funding for military construction needed to support the realignment.