Guam to Get $2b in Military Projects

The federal government is investing massively in America's pacific territories.

Source : Unsplash

December 15, 2022

Author : Alex Bustillos

Guam is the largest and southernmost Mariana Archipelago in Oceania, as well as the largest island in Micronesia. A U.S. territory, Guam is home to strategically important American military posts, the Guam Naval Base in Santa Rita, Andersen Air Force Base in Yigo, as well as the Guam Army National Guard.

The US is bolstering its efforts to strengthen its armed forces and make significant investments on the island. The Department of Defense (DOD) has decided to relocate Marines to the Guam islands. This relocation has injected millions of dollars into the island's construction projects. 

It is only the beginning of the DOD's investment in strategic defense in the Indo-Pacific region, with over $11 billion in new military and commercial construction, maintenance, and service contracts expected over the next five years.

Guam, the Marianas, and other Micronesian islands are undergoing the most extensive US defense design, building, supply, and service programs in recent history. Simultaneously, the American Rescue Plan's commercial building and public infrastructure projects offer unprecedented opportunities for designers, builders, suppliers, and service providers.

Guam is seeing approximately $2 billion in military projects out of the $11 billion, according to Capt. Robert Stiles, the officer in command of construction at Marine Corps Marianas. He spoke about ongoing and forthcoming initiatives at Camp Blaz's main cantonment area and other military locations at the recently held Guam Industry Forum. The Society of American Military Engineers hosted it.

The presentations began with a regional overview of the military prospects for the region. It allowed the construction community to interact with military officials and openly communicate about Guam's and the region's military expansion.

The military is closing off a few projects on Andersen Air Force Base, with AAFB projects being the most advanced element of the program now being carried out.

“We have 31 projects going on worth $2.2 billion...and of that $2.2 billion, I think we have about 17 of those projects are the government of Japan funded,” Captain Stiles mentioned further.

In the northern area of the island, the Mason live-fire training range complex is on the cusp of being completed. The first four training ranges will be ready before the first Marines arrive in 2024.

Work is currently being done on a machine gun range in Andersen South. Some other projects in this area are the grenade range, combat vehicle operations force, live-fire shooting house, and a big training complex. The old buildings in this location are being reconverted, and two additional buildings are being modeled, like a mock embassy, hospital, and schoolhouse, which will allow the Marines to come and train in a very realistic environment.

This historic investment by the army will significantly help the local construction industry and supply chains. Army officials say they are focusing on the safety of construction workers and the overall safety of the projects. In the fiscal year 2022, "zero" occupational safety and health administration disasters were reported among the 5.2 million manpower hours of military construction, 42 projects, and $3.2 billion invested.

Several enterprises, notably Core Tech International Corp., a significant local partner of the military on Guam, were recognized and complimented for their safety records.

Guam has a limited number of contractors for a project of this scale. Stiles stated that military construction projects now use H-2B workers, but the local workforce must be promoted more.

Contractor News reported last year that the nearby Northern Mariana Islands, also a U.S. territory, was in need of more construction workers. The territories were sights of major battles in the Pacific during the Second World War.

Category : Federal Government International Investment in Infrastructure

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