15 Aug 2016

CNMI tours Hawai'i to inspect live fire sites

6:37 am on 15 August 2016

The Governor of the Northern Marianas, Ralph Torres, and leaders from the island of Tinian will tour military facilities in Hawaii this week.

The island of Pagan in the Northern Marianas.

A US live fire military site is planned for the CNMI island of Pagan, as well as Tinian. Photo: Peter J. Perez

The US military plans to use the islands of Tinian and Pagan as live fire training sites, but faces stiff opposition from local authorites and residents.

Lieutenant General Anthony Crutchfield, of the US Pacific Command, invited the CNMI to tour similar facilities in Hawaii - the Pacific Command's home base.

The governor's spokesperson Ivan Blanco said the plans are unacceptable in their current form, but discussions are continuing, and the tour is a part of that.

"The military speaks of live fire training. It helps when you actually see what they have in mind, actually experience it, the sounds, the effects it causes," he said.

"They are all related items. What happens to the ammunitions after they are expelled. What happens after the explosions take place and so forth."

Recently, a federal lawsuit was filed against the military's plans for the territory and nearby Guam.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs