30 Jul 2009

Tinian mayor concerned over potential US military plans for island

7:24 pm on 30 July 2009

The mayor of Tinian in the Northern Marianas says local people are concerned about the potential for United States military installations on the island.

A US airforce Commander in Guam has confirmed that the US is eyeing Tinian as part of its military build-up in the region.

With 8,000 marines to be transferred to Guam from Japan over the next five years, Brigadier General Philip Ruhlman said that Tinian is part of a military back-up plan but that surveys of the area are still needed before it becomes a reality.

He said the military is paying close attention to regional security and if the US territory is struck by an adversary, they will be ready.

Mayor Jose Nicolas says the prospect of becoming a military base concerns him.

"You have to be worried because you're not looking into some supermarket or some big store or big restaurant, it's military things. You have to be concerned, you have to be prepared."

Jose Nicolas