Smaller Realignment Could Greatly Ease Buildup on Guam, Officials Believe
The recent decision by the U.S. and Japanese governments to scale down the realignment of Marines from Okinawa to Guam could obviate the need to construct a new base there, two Guam officials suggested.
Reducing the number of Marines moving to Guam from 8,600 to 4,700 could allow the contingent to be based at Naval Base Guam, especially since some of the troops are expected to be rotational, reported the Pacific Daily News. The Guam base could not have accommodated the Marines under the original plan, which calls for construction of a new base.
“But it’s only as solid as a thought, a second thought in anticipation of what the final numbers are. And that hasn’t been decided,” said Mark Calvo, the Guam governor’s buildup director. If the Marines end up at Naval Base Guam, the amount of off-base construction also could be cut.
The Navy has not yet officially reduced the scope of the realignment, and, as a result, the Navy’s Joint Guam Program Office would not speculate on possible changes to the original buildup plan, according to the story.