1 Feb 2010

Guam Governor's request aimed at lessening impact from troop relocation on island

4:56 pm on 1 February 2010

The office of Guam's Governor Felix Camacho has defended his request to the United States military to delay plans to relocate about 9,000 troops to the island.

A spokesman for the office, Shaun Gumataotao, says the request stems from widespread concern in Guam that plans for the relocation and associated construction to happen by 2014 would cause too much strain on the island's resources.

Mr Gumataotao denies that the request is linked to the impasse between the US and Japan over the planned realignment of marines from the Japanese island of Okinawa.

Many of those marines are set to go to Guam, but Mr Gumataotao says the call for a delay is about lessening the impact on the island.

"To compress ten or twenty years of growth into a four-year timeframe would be difficult for any American community. So Governor Camacho's requesting of the extension would lessen the impacts but also you give an opportunity to ensure that the funding and all support needed to move the marines from Okinawa to Guam is done so responsibly and successfully."