25 Jul 2009

Guam sends clear mesage to US military over lands

8:27 am on 25 July 2009

The chair of Guam's committee on the military build-up, Senator Judith Guthertz says the US leadership needs to financially support Guam's civillian community as military plans escalate.

Senator Guthertz has been meeting with the Joint Guam Program Office leadership to discuss latest plans for the pending build-up on Guam.

The US military is to transfer 8,000 marines and 9,000 of their family members from Japan over the next five years.

US President Barak Obama has asked Congress to commit 211 million US dollars in immediate funding for construction related to the build-up, while Japan has committed 6 billion US dollars to the transfer.

However Senator Guthertz is lobbying congress for some money to prepare Guam's civilian population for what will be a huge change on their island.

"Part of our problem here is trying to educate Washington about our needs. Because they really don't understand why Guam, let's say would be different to the community in California or the community in Kansas. It's very very different."

Senator Judith Guthertz.