14 May 2011

US Senators call for changes to planned marine transferral to Guam

8:45 am on 14 May 2011

A group of US senators have called for alterations to plans to move thousands of Marines from Okinawa in Japan to Guam.

The Stars and Stripes website reports that the senators include John McCain and Carl Levin, the highest ranking members of the Senate Committee on Armed Services.

They have called for the US to scrap major aspects of a 2006 US-Japan realignment agreement to relocate troops on Okinawa.

The agreement was contingent on the transferral of almost 9000 troops to Guam.

However it's been described by the senators as "unrealistic, unworkable, and unaffordable".

They estimate that transferral would mean a total of 23,000 Americans moving to Guam around 2014 which would require considerable off-base federal spending to improve infrastructure.

Instead, the senators proposed rotating deployed units from other bases, citing Hawaii and California as potential locations.

Guam's congressional delegate, Madeleine Bordallo, has responded by saying the senators' proposal would reduce the amount of revenue that would come from permanently stationed Marines on Guam.