Guam military expansion on track
By Gerardo R. Partido Variety News Staff
Thursday 11 January 2007
———

GUAM’S military build-up is on track as a retired U.S. Marine Corps
major general has been tapped to help oversee the planning for the
expansion of the military on island and the transfer of 8,000 Marines
from Okinawa to Guam. According to Congresswoman Madeleine Z.
Bordallo, Major General David F. Bice, USMC (Ret.) has been named
executive director of the Joint Guam Program Office which will help
coordinate the military’s development plans for Guam.

Bordallo met yesterday with Bice and Assistant Secretary of the Navy for
Installations and Environment B.J. Penn to discuss the continuing
planning efforts being led by the U.S. Navy for the overall military
development on Guam. ?The group met to conduct an “in-progress” review
of the development plans for Guam and to discuss an upcoming visit to
Guam by Penn, Bice and members of their staff. ?According to Bordallo,
the Navy delegation will be visiting Guam to further consult with
local and community officials, as well as to conduct detailed visits
to sites where development is expected and to meet with local military
commanders.

The military has already released a 90-page master plan
that provides more details on the relocation. According to the master
plan, most of the $10.3 billion in development projects will revolve
around the Finegayan and Naval Communications Station area, with about
3,550 homes to be built in the South Finegayan area. ?The Marine
headquarters and other facilities like the base exchanges and
commissaries will be settled in the Naval Communications Station area
where the Navy has its communications center set up. In addition,
there will be development in the wharfage area of Big Navy.

“Secretary Penn is leading a very complex development program and his
consultations will help to ensure that our community is prepared for
the challenges ahead. I was impressed with the newly appointed
director of the Joint Guam Program Office, Major General Bice, who
will be a superb manager in undertaking the planning and
implementation phases of the military development scheduled for our
island,” Bordallo said in a statement. ?“I have asked Secretary Penn
and General Bice to continue to update our leaders and to work with us
to address community concerns as we go forward,” she added.

The Joint Guam Program Office was established within the Department of the Navy
in August 2006 at the direction of Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon
England. The JGPO falls under the direct oversight of Penn, and has
responsibility for planning and executing the military development on
Guam. ?Bice retired from active service with the United States Marine
Corps on Jan. 5, 2007 and immediately assumed his leadership post with
the Joint Guam Program Office. ?He was chosen to head the program
office because of his wide experience as a Marine, having last served
as Inspector General for the Marine Corps. During his distinguished
career, he commanded at every level through Division Command in the
Marine Corps, including commanding the 3rd Marine Division in Japan.
?The 3rd Marine Division is the same division that liberated Guam 62
years ago and that will now return to Guam when Marines move from
Okinawa to Guam.

Last year, initial implementation details for the movement of Marines to Guam and associated military construction
projects took place under the leadership of the U.S. Pacific Command.
?The Department of Defense has said that the U.S. is committed to Guam
and wants to build an “enduring” presence on island, with both Japan
and the U.S. spending some $10 billion over a seven-year period to
facilitate the transfer of the Marines from Okinawa. ?All in all, over
the next 10 years, the military said Guam will see a doubling of Air
Force and Navy personnel, with Air Force personnel rising to about
4,500 and Navy personnel increasing from 4,000 to 8,000, aside from
the 17,000 Marines and their dependents who will be relocated from
Okinawa.

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