Navy says Marine Corps relocation is on track despite Covid-19 interruption

At least 13 projects related to the relocation of 5,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam have been completed, 16 are currently under construction, while 40 projects are pending, according to the Joint Region Marianas.

Since February, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command has awarded four more military buildup-related contracts for this year. The four contracts have a total value of $157 million.

"The Defense Policy Review Initiative plan of record is in full execution and

on track to support Department of Defense's agreements with Japan," JRM said.

According to the plan, Marines' relocation to Guam will commence by the end of the first half of the 2020s.

During the relocation, JRM said, less than 1,500 family members are expected to arrive in Guam while the arrival of the marines will be gradual and based on the pace of construction of facilities to support those forces.

JRM said although three construction projects were paused for two weeks in late 2020 during the Covid-19 upsurge on island, the work interruption did not affect the overall progress of the projects.

In November 2020, the Department of Public Health and Social Services ordered the suspension of all construction activities on Guam, including defense projects, due to Covid-19 clusters found in Core Tech International and Black Construction.