PACIFIC DAILY NEWS-$309M released for first phase of Marine base construction

The plan to build a Marine base in Guam has taken another step forward with the Department of Defense’s release of $309 million for the first phase of the base construction in the Finegayan area in Dededo, near the Guam National Wildlife Refuge at Ritidian and Andersen Air Force Base.

Congress in previous defense authorization bills had authorized projects associated with building the new Marine base, but that funding was frozen because of restrictions put in place by the Senate.

Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo announced Thursday that the $309 million has been released, and said she worked with her colleagues to remove restrictions so government of Japan funds can be used to support the efforts to move almost 5,000 Marines and about 1,700 of their dependents from Okinawa to Guam.

Japan already has contributed more than $1 billion out of its estimated $3 billion share of the cost to reduce the presence of Marines in Okinawa by moving them to Guam. The total cost of building a Marine base and support facilities in Guam in connection with the relocation has been estimated at $8.7 billion.