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Public comment period for Guam missile defense tests extended



By Pacific Island Times News Staff


The Missile Defense Agency has granted Guam's request to give local residents more time to study the proposed annual flight tests of the missile defense system.

The original public comment period for the MDA's proposed Final Environmental Assessment/Overseas Environmental Assessment was set for 30 days, from June 3 to July 2.

Lt. Gen. Heath Collins, MDA's director, extended the public comment period for another 30 days. The deadline for submission of comments has been moved to Aug. 2, in response to Speaker Therese Terlaje’s June 11 request.


Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio made a similar request earlier, noting that the proposed actions identified in the documents were likely to affect Guam's environment and disrupt the lives of people living around the test sites.


Based on the MDA documents, the first flight test will be conducted later this year. Two flight tests a year will follow in the next 10 years.

“Thank you to the Missile Defense Agency, in coordination with Joint Task Force Micronesia Command and Joint Region Marianas Command, for granting an extension to the Guam flight test’s public comment period," Terlaje said.


" I further thank the joint team for offering their environmental and flight test experts to be available for local legislators and a public meeting so that we can all address important matters like landowner rights, public safety, and protection of the environment for their proposed Guam flight test," she added.

 

The military's environmental and flight test experts will brief Guam senators and hold a public meeting on July 25 at a yet-to-be-announced location.


The proposed Guam flight tests are related to the MDA's plan to build an enhanced integrated air and missile defense system touted to provide 360-degree protection for Guam.


"The deadline extension and public meeting is a win for Guam, but a win that should be taken with determination to increase public involvement in the public comment period process," Terlaje said.


"Recent public comment periods for Department of Defense projects have not seen substantial community involvement, but this extension could change that for upcoming MDA deadlines related to their proposed 360-degree Enhanced Air and Integrated Missile Defense system for Guam," she added.

 The Proposed Final EA/OEA and Proposed FONSI are available for download and review at www.mda.mil/system/guamft or you can visit the Dededo and Nieves M. Flores Memorial public libraries to view a printed copy. Comments may be submitted by email to info@GFT-EA.com or by U.S. postal mail to: ManTech International Corporation, Attention: Guam Flight Test EA Project Support, PMB 403 1270 N. Marine Corps Dr., Suite 101, Tamuning, Guam 96913-4331.”



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