A joint group made up of members of the local and federal governments, as well as the island’s military commands, recently met to discuss the ongoing military buildup in Guam.
The Civil-Military Coordination Council is a key mitigation measure as the Department of Defense continues to prepare to relocate some 5,000 Marine Corps personnel from Okinawa, Japan, to Guam, according to the military.
According to a copy of the CMCC charter published by Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz, the council is the group the military uses to implement a strategy called “Adaptive Program Management.”
“This NPA mitigation will allow the (Department of the Navy) to revise the pace of construction and adjust the sequencing of construction activities to directly influence labor population levels and indirectly influence induced population growth before significant environmental impacts occur or infrastructure capacities are exceeded,” the charter states.
The CMCC first met in 2010, when the realignment was expected to be much faster and larger. Since then, agreements to relocate the military training sites and to complete the process have progressed with the goal of a “net negative” balance of local DOD-owned lands.
Wednesday’s meeting was convened by Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and Rear Admiral Benjamin Nicholson, commander of the Joint Marianas Region. According to a JRM statement, this was the council’s eighth meeting, and attendees included the Guam Department of Labor, Guam Department of Public Works, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Camp Blaz and the Marianas Naval Installations Engineering Systems Command.
“CMCC provided an opportunity for our[Guam government]officials to share information regarding ongoing military build-up efforts on the island. Discussions focused on environmental impacts and next steps, H -2B, workforce development initiatives and housing availability, to name a few,” said Leon Guerrero.
She noted the tough times ahead with the “peak construction year” for the buildup rapidly approaching.
“Lieutenant. Governor Tenorio and I look forward to using this time to expand our ‘whole of government’ approach that benefits everyone on Guam,” she said.
Nicholson said the council provides an “important venue” for ongoing discussions among government entities that operate on the island, particularly about construction projects or potential environmental or community impacts.
“In today’s world, very little is accomplished alone; we are most effective when we work together to achieve common goals,” said Nicholson. “Your support enables us to protect the nation by training in the region, rehearsing and refining our crisis and contingency response capabilities; and position our forces to ensure stability and security throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
Discussion topics also included new information on mitigation, missile defense initiatives, and plans to build a civilian medical campus and a new hospital on DOD land.
“The purpose of the CMCC is to foster collaboration between the DOD, the Government of Guam, and federal agencies to share information, discuss, and provide recommendations for construction activities for the U.S. Marine Corps relocation to Guam,” said JRM in its press release.