There are clear signs that many of the construction projects needed to ready Guam to host more than 4,000 Marines are moving ahead. Work is still in the early stages at the site of the planned Marine Corps Base Guam, but military leaders are pleased the effort appears to be on track, reports Stars and Stripes. “It is clearly moving forward,” said Capt. Daniel Turner, commander of Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas. Japan is paying about $3 billion of the $8.7 billion price tag for the undertaking, which does not have a firm deadline for completion. Current plans call for the Marines to relocate from Okinawa between 2022 and 2026.
About $500 million worth of projects have been completed on the island, including a new parking apron for Marine aircraft and an aviation maintenance hangar at Andersen AFB. A utility and site improvement project has been completed at Apra Harbor. DOD also is funding off-base projects, including $50 million for the island’s commercial port, $125 million for wastewater treatment upgrades, road projects between Naval Base Guam and the northern part of the island, and $30.6 million for sewer improvements.
While the lion’s share of the effort lies ahead, officials say one of the key obstacles has been navigated — satisfactorily addressing residents’ concerns over the pace of construction and its environmental and cultural impacts.
Photo courtesy of the Navy