Congressman Gregorio 'Kilili' Camacho Sablan says he's been working on getting a replacement for the aging military exchange facility in Saipan's Puerto Rico area since his first term in Washington.
The $2.8 million expansion project has resulted in a brand new 5,000 square foot store with more shelf space, more merchandise, a snack station, and other amenities.
Sablan said that the project was initiated by study he included in the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, which found the project to be feasible. Four thousand active and reserve service members, retirees and military families are eligible to shop at the store, which is operated by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.
The expansion was delayed for years while the Navy, which controls the land, made sure there was no unexploded ordnance on the site, which is adjacent to the former Puerto Rico dump, which likely contains such hazardous materials left over from World War II. The expansion at the Army Reserve Center was originally expected to be completed last April.