24 Sep 2010

Disappointment on Guam over US troop build-up plans

1:30 pm on 24 September 2010

There's widespread disappointment in Guam over the US military's latest plan for the transfer to the island of more than 8,000 marines and 9,000 of their dependents.

The so-called Record of Decision appears to allay concerns that Guam lacks the ports, roads and facilities to support the move by saying the transfer will now take two years longer than expected.

But Leevin Camacho of the NGO We Are Guahan says the document doesn't allow time for social infrastructure to expand to cope with the build-up.

Like members of Guam's legislature and its US Congresswoman, Mr Camacho says he is frustrated that the military hasn't addressed deep concern over plans for a firing range on traditionally important land near Pagat.

"The Department of Defense has deferred decision because they haven't complied with another law that they're supposed to have done before their release of the Record of Decision. So people are saying this is a good thing. But it looks as though in reading the Record of Decision that they're just deferring it so that they can figure out a way to get around public involvement in discussions about the use of Paget as a firing range complex."

Leevin Camacho