Archive for the ‘Guam’ Category

Guam Expands as U.S. Military Base in Asia

January 4, 2009

Sprawling toward the horizon in every direction, Andersen Air Force Base is surprisingly quiet, leaving the impression of a big, empty parking lot.

For now, anyway.

By ERIC TALMADGE, Associated Press Writer

In this July 20, 2008 file photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, ... 
In this July 20, 2008 file photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, F-22 Raptors join 16 F-15E Strike Eagles on the flight line of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Over the next six years, nearly 25,000 U.S. Marines, soldiers, family members and civilian Defense Department employees are to descend on the tiny Pacific island of Guam, transforming the sleepy tropical outpost into a hub of America’s military in the Pacific. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Airman 1st Class Courtney Witt, FILE)

Over the next six years, nearly 25,000 U.S. Marines, soldiers, family members and civilian Defense Department employees are to descend on the tiny Pacific island of Guam, transforming the sleepy tropical outpost into a hub of America’s military in the Pacific.

But the metamorphosis seems as fragile as it is ambitious.

Guam’s transformation will cost at least $15 billion — with Japan footing more than $6 billion of the bill — and put some of the U.S. military‘s highest-profile assets within the fences of a vastly improved network of bases.

The newcomers will find an island already peppered with strip malls, fast-food franchises and high-rise hotels serving Japanese tourists who want a closer-to-home version of Hawaii. The plans for the base are fueling a fresh construction and real estate boom which Guam hopes will accelerate its prosperity.

But Guam is smaller than some Hawaiian islands, with a population of just 155,000, and many of its officials are worried that the military influx could leave the island’s infrastructure — water, highways, and seaport — overwhelmed and underfunded.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090103/ap_on_re_as/as_guam_s_ne
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