Chatfield: troop buildup is on, relocation to start by mid-2020s

Soshana Chatfield

The relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam will begin “by the end of the first half of the 2020s,” Joint Region Marianas Commander Rear Admiral Soshana Chatfield said, debunking speculations that the United States may be rethinking the $8.6 billion military buildup on island.

“Joint Region Marianas, together with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Marine Corps Force Pacific and Marine Corps Activity can assure you there has been no change in the scope or plan for the relocation of Marines to Guam,” Soshana stated in a letter to Speaker Tina Muna Barnes.

"The Marine Corps has a long history of working together with the people of Guam and we want to sustain this enduring mutually supportive relationship as we establish a more robust Marine Corps presence for the security of Guam."

Soshana gave the assurance in response to Muna Barnes’ inquiry, prompted by U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller’s remarks before a congressional committee that the troop relocation plan, “as it’s currently designed,” needed a review.