ground, aviation and combat service support elements, and base support capability, according to the
original 2006 roadmap.
The move will be major, not just
for the Marine Corps, but also the
island of Guam. The infrastructure
will have to support 8,000 Marines
and their dependents, which DoD
estimates at about 9,000 more people. In President Barack Obama’s
fiscal 2012 budget request, the
DoD stressed that Guam’s facilities
would need a lot of upgrades to
handle the huge bump in population. The island’s population
stands at about 180,000, so the
Marines and their families would
add about 10 percent to that figure.
The May GAO report predicted
that the cost of the realignment
would be $7 billion more than the
original $10 billion estimate — $4.7
billion for additional construction
costs and $2.4 billion for utilities,
labor and the procurement of military equipment. It takes into
account figures provided to the
GAO by the Marine Corps, but the
DoD has not validated those figures.
Asked about what funding would be needed to support the move, Hull-Ryde said only that cost-sharing
measures between the United States and Japan would
be implemented “in accordance with the U.S.-Japan
Roadmap for Realignment Implementation.
“To date, the government of Japan has transferred to
the U.S. Treasury $834 million of its direct cash contri-
bution for the Guam realignment,” she continued, not-
ing that the figures were approximate. “For the U.S.,
$455 million in design and military construction fund-
ing has been appropriated by Congress.”
So far, the DoD has contributed $50 million for
improvements to the Port of Guam to increase its
throughput capacity and $100 million for projects to
improve off-base roads to support the increased popu-
lation and construction traffic, according to Hull-Ryde.
Japan will finance off-base utilities infrastructure to
support relocating Marines and support the needs of
the growing civilian community, she said.
The DoD will do everything it can to make the transition as soon as possible by working with local agencies to mitigate the impacts, she added, “and we will
fulfill our commitment to a net-negative footprint on
Guam at the completion of this move.” ■
A Marine assigned to 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, Okinawa, Japan, climbs a
rope ladder to an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea
Combat Squadron 25 during helocast training as part of exercise Sandfisher
with the Singapore Armed Forces at U.S. Naval Base Guam Dec. 13. As part
of an extensive relocation effort, the Marine Corps plans to move the III Marine
Expeditionary Force Command Element, 3rd Marine Division Headquarters,
3rd Marine Logistics Group Headquarters, 1st Marine Air Wing Headquarters
and 12th Marine Regiment Headquarters to Guam from Okinawa.
Hull-Ryde added that although the move will be delayed, the United States is continuing to press ahead with
the effort, referring to the June 21 Joint Statement of the
U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee, also known
as the “ 2+ 2 statement.” The statement, issued at the conclusion of the committee’s meeting in Washington, noted
that the 2014 time table was no longer realistic.
At that meeting were Secretary of State Hillary
Rodham Clinton, then-Defense Secretary Robert M.
Gates, and Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Takeaki
Matsumoto and Minister of Defense Toshimi Kitazawa.
“The 2+ 2 statement in June acknowledged that the
2014 target would not be met, which will allow us to
meet our commitment to Guam,” Hull-Ryde said. “A
longer construction timeline and generally more meas-
ured pace of construction will allow us to mitigate any
emerging impact on the island’s infrastructure.”
Specifically, the DoD plans to move five entities from
Okinawa to Guam: III Marine Expeditionary Force
Command Element, 3rd Marine Division Headquarters,
3rd Marine Logistics Group Headquarters, 1st Marine
Air Wing Headquarters and 12th Marine Regiment
Headquarters. The only remaining forces in Okinawa
would be Marine Air-Ground Task Force command,