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  • Pacific Island Times Staff

U.S. Navy says it's on track to use 654 less acres of Guam land under buildup

Assistant Undersecretary of the Navy Robert Work

Assistant Undersecretary of the Navy Robert Work

The U.S. Congress has been informed about the status of the Navy's progress in meeting the “Net Negative” commitment to the people of Guam.

“Net Negative,” or promising to use less rather than more Guam land for the military buildup, is one of four commitments, or “pillars”, that were outlined in a letter to Governor of Guam Eddie Calvo from the Under Secretary of the Navy Robert Work in February 2011. It refers to the commitment by the Department of Defense to limit further growth and better use the land DoD now controls in order to return underutilized land to the government of Guam.

Original buildup plans sparked controversy by calling for an expansion of existing military land holdings.

“The Department of Navy is committed to having a smaller footprint on Guam after the Marine Corps relocation than it had prior to the relocation,” Commander, Joint Region Marianas Rear Admiral Shoshana Chatfield said. “To date, we are on pace to be “Net Negative” by 654 acres as compared to the DoN’s January 2011 footprint.” While the initial report provides parcels identified to date, this will be a continuous process that will balance DoD’s national defense mission requirements and with DoD’s “Net Negative” commitment.

“We will continue to conduct a serious and thorough review of DoD properties that properly balances the concerns of the government and people of Guam with our national and regional security and defense missions,” Chatfield said. “We have established an internal working group that will continue our efforts in this regard.”

Other pillars in the military buildup include, One Guam, Green Guam and ease of access to the Chamorro cultural and historical site at Pagat Village and Pagat Cave. The Navy has been working closely with the government of Guam, island utility agencies and the people of Guam, to continue to make good on its commitment to each of these pillars.

“Consistent with our One Guam promise, we are extremely pleased with the excellent partnerships and progress that is being made with both the Guam Power Authority and the Guam Waterworks Authority to improve quality of life for everyone who calls Guam their home,” Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas Commanding Officer Captain Stephanie Jones said.

In April 2016, a license agreement and a memorandum of understanding were signed which enables GWA to operate and maintain consumer water from the Tumon Maui Well. This agreement specifies that GWA will operate and maintain the Navy water facilities and provides sustainable, reliable and secure potable water for northern Guam residents.

In May 2017, the Navy and GPA signed an agreement to harness solar energy to produce 38 megawatts of renewable power that can be added to the island wide power system for the benefit of the island community.

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