US says Marianas bombing part of 'Pacific presence'

9:12 pm on 5 May 2015

The United States military says planned live-fire exercises on islands in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas are all part of America's presence in the Pacific, and a deterrent to aggression in the Pacific.

Pagan Island

Pagan Island Photo: Supplied

An Environmental Impact Statement released last month confirms military plans to build live-fire and training facilities on the islands of Tinian and Pagan for use by the US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines.

The plans have aroused strong feelings in the northwest Pacific territory.

The Marine Forces Pacific Executive Director, Craig Whelden, says the US President, Barack Obama, made it clear that there has been a shift to the Pacific in terms of focus strategically.

He says live-firing ranges in the Northern Marianas, together with military presence in Guam, Australia, and elsewhere in the Pacific, demonstrates this forward presence.

He says in all there are "42 unfulfilled training requirements" in the Pacific region and the military's draft environmental impact statement hopes to cure part of that deficiency.

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