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Government studies possible new base locations on Guam

Date Posted: 2012-05-12

With the ink barely dry on documents confirming plans to send more than 4,000 U.S. Marines to Guam, government officials are now re-examining plans for where they will be located on the tiny island.

With fewer than 5,000 Marines and only 1,300 dependents now targeted to call Guam home, military plans to build a Marine base in Dededo in northern Guam are being questioned. The site would have required nearly 700 acres of civilian land, acreage not needed with the smaller military footprint. The original plan was to ship 8,600 Marines from Okinawa to Guam, along with nearly 12,000 dependents. That buildup is what led to the Dededo site, as Guamís water and wastewater systems are already troubled and overloaded.

Under the revamped relocation plan, the total number of all U.S. forces and dependents being added to Guam in the next few years will be greatly reduced. The original government plan would have added some 79,000 GIís, civilians and family members to the Guam population, which now totals 170,000.

The realignment plan now being plotted will cost about $8 billion, of which Japan is contributing a significant amount. The original estimates were up to $23 billion.

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