24 Sep 2010

Guam NGO disappointed with US military plan change

3:08 pm on 24 September 2010

A Guam NGO monitoring US plans for transferring 8,000 marines and 9,000 of their dependents to the island has described the military's latest statement on the build-up as a big disappointment.

The just-released Record of Decision appears to allay concerns that Guam lacks the facilities to support the move by projecting the transferral will take two years longer than expected.

But Leevin Camacho of the NGO We Are Guahan says the military has not addressed the concern over the social impact of the build-up.

"Even if the social infrastructure is not in place - the hospitals, the schools - the Department of Defense is intent on moving forward so long as the infrastructure for utilities is there. The growth is going to be gauged solely on utilities capacity and it's not going to look at all at the social impacts."

Leevin Camacho claims the military's deferral of a decision on controversial plans for a firing range near Pagat is merely a move to defuse public debate on the issue before going ahead with it anyway.