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Moylan says Guam not ready to handle military-related population surge

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

The looming arrival of more military personnel on Guam will result in a population explosion that will add an enormous strain on the island’s utility supply and public safety system, Attorney General Douglas Moylan warned.

The first wave of the Marines is anticipated to arrive by the end of the year.

According to the revised international roadmap, 5,000 Marines plus their approximately 9,000 dependents will be transferred to Guam in batches.

Moylan said during a recent meeting with the FBI director, military officials reported that they expect a 30 percent increase in Guam's population.


The federal briefing indicated that the number of military personnel coming to Guam is estimated at 45,000, including the Marines and Army soldiers, who will join the Air Force and Navy presence on island, he added.

"I urge the elected policymakers to re-confirm with (the Department of Defense) exactly what is the expected population figure (military personnel & dependents)," Moylan said in an email to Pacific Island Times.

Man on a podium
Douglas Moylan

"Time frame is 12 - 24 months for military buildup.  As a government. we need to understand the population increase as it is occurring, without jeopardizing military secrecy," he added.

Guam is facing capacity shortages in power and water due to the Consolidated Commission on Utilities’ failure to plan adequately for the ensuing population increase, Moylan said.

The current population surge projection does not include transient tourists.

"CCU must be put on the spot what figures are they using for our tourists' population that ads on top of the increased reg. population (i.e. 80 percent occupancy rate of hotels," Moylan said.

He also warned of a significant impact on crime and law enforcement. 

"I am already in the process of getting meetings with DoD legal representatives and setting up to deal with the expected increase in behavioral problems and ways we will be deterring and averting the anticipated problems," Moylan said.  

"We will also meet with Guam police chief and other law enforcement chiefs on island to coordinate responses to incidents," he added.


In terms of utilities, Moylan said the military buildup "may threaten our government’s ability to provide (electricity) and water to our people," and access to utilities might not be accessible “at an affordable rate.”


The Guam Power Authority earlier said due to power project delays, the rolling blackouts may continue for two more years.


“I understand that the CCU’s estimates of recovery by January 2026 are based upon our existing 153,836 population, not the 198,836 total population that accounts for the upcoming military and their dependents influx in 12 to 24 months,” Moylan said in a letter to Sen. William Parkinson.

He said the current power and water generation capacity is not even adequate to meet the demand of the existing population.

"The CCU’s uncontrolled rolling blackouts endanger the people of Guam’s health, safety and welfare without continuous, reliable power," Moylan said.

"Despite the years of notices to the CCU, the incoming 45,000 increase in population due to this relocation of military personnel from Okinawa, Japan will place a severe  amperage load upon Guam’s existing power grid (30 percent increase). The CCU’s delays and failure to replace aging equipment, including unreliable boiler cooling tubes reflect their incompetence," he added.


Moylan urged Parkinson "to obtain from the CCU figures such as total megawatts and distribution upgrades addressing the increased population.

"More importantly, we strongly recommend that you consult with an independent expert in these areas," he said. "Obtaining independent estimations of the total amount of power capacity that will be required for a 215,534 population and for additional peak season tourist numbers is important to protect our people against this intolerable situation."


Moylan said his office has received complaints that GPA has prioritized providing consistent power to the military bases at the expense of the civilian population, which bears "a higher burden of unannounced rolling blackouts increasing the risk of injury to our health, safety and welfare."


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