Updated: May 27
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The Indo-Pacific Command has started working on the Guam military land-use plan, which will presumably guide the installation of its proposed missile defense system on island.
Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio met with Major General Mark Hashimoto and military planners to discuss military land use and the growing demands expected with the Pacific Deterrence Initiative.
“A comprehensive military land-use plan for Guam must take into account not just the highest and best use of properties, but respect for Guam's land, culture and people. It will also inform surrounding private property owners and the government of Guam in future land-use decisions outside the fence," Tenorio said.
The U.S. military owns about 49,000 acres of land on Guam, roughly a third of the island.
The Missile Defense Agency hopes to build an integrated missile defense command and control center on Guam.
In an earlier press conference, Rear Adm. Ben Nicholson, commander of the Joint Region Marianas, said the project, which is designed with 360-degree coverage, will require several locations around Guam to allow the INDOPACOM to respond more quickly. He sought to reassure the local community that the military will stay within its footprint.
“Our lands, just like the security of our people, are sacred," Tenorio said. "A comprehensive military land-use plan for Guam is very critical, given the rapidly changing security environment of our region and the need to ensure that the Department of Defense establishes clear principles and priorities for land use amid the growing demands for land by various elements of the Department of Defense."
INDOPACOM has designated JRM as the lead organization to manage the military land-use plan.
According to a press release from the governor's office, Tenorio and Hashimoto reviewed the Hawai’i Military Land Use Master Plan, which describes the Department of Defense's current and future desired land use for the next 25 years in Hawai’i’.
Tenorio agreed that a similar document concerning the present military holdings on Guam would be beneficial to the people of Guam and requested that the Indo-Pacific Command develop a similar land-use plan for Guam.