On 26 April 2012, US and Japanese officials announced the 2 nations had agreed on a plan to relocate US Marines from Okinawa to Guam. The joint statement is the latest result of negotiations between the two countries dating to the 2006 Realignment Roadmap and the 2009 Guam International Agreement. Under the plan about 9,000 Marines would relocate from Okinawa, with about 5,000 moving to Guam. The agreement also involved possible development of joint training ranges in Guam and the commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands as shared-use facilities for U.S. and Japanese forces.
Guam is three hours by airplane from Tokyo and Manila, four hours from Seoul, Hong Kong, and Taipei, five hours from Saigon, Singapore, and Bali, and six hours to Bangkok, Sydney, and Auckland. Going to the other side of the International Dateline, it is seven hours by air plane to Fiji, Honolulu, and Samoa, and eight hours to Tahiti. Guam is located at 12 degrees 75 minutes north latitude, and 144 degrees 47 minutes east longitude. If you were to draw a straight line east of Manila, Philippines and another line south from Tokyo, Japan, the two lines would intersect near Guam. Guam is the southern most island in the Marianas Island chain. The closest neighbor islands are Rota, Tinian, and Saipan. Guam is across the International Dateline from the mainland United States. Guam's time zone is GMT + 10 hours or international "K" time zone.
In 1950 Congress passed the Organic Act under which Guam became an organized unincorporated territory of the United States and the Chamorros population of Guam became US citizens. The president appointed the governor, and the administration fell under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior. Guam's first popularly elected governor took office in 1971. Guam elected its first delegate to the US Congress in 1972.
Historically known for harboring American bases, Guam is a strategic stopping point for ships and aircraft. In addition to being the westernmost territory of the United States, it houses Apra Harbor, one of the largest protected deep water harbors between Hawaii and the Philippines. Given its position with respect to the Far East and its recent development, the island has become a political, economic, and military stronghold of national and international significance.
Guam is home to numerous Navy commands supporting the Pacific Fleet. On October 1, 1994, Naval Station and Naval Magazine, Guam, were consolidated into Naval Activities, Guam. Despite the name change, Naval Activities remains a pivotal point of strength and sea power for the western Pacific by playing host to several key tenant commands, as well as serving as the home of submarine tender USS FRANK CABLE. The former Naval Magazine, now known as the Ordnance Annex, is located in the south-central section of the island and occupies an area of 8,800 acres. It is designated as a wildlife refuge and provides support to units of the Pacific Fleet operating in the Western Pacific.
The complex consists of numerous Naval commands, the four of which were recommended for realignment or closure by the BRAC Commission in July 1995. Those four commands are Guam Naval Activities (NAVACTS), formerly the Naval Station (NS) and NAVMAG, the Naval Fleet and Industrial Supply Center (FISC), the Naval Ship Repair Facility (NSRF), and the Public Works Center (PWC). Typical operations at the Navy activities included various support shops, photographic and printing shops, a dry- cleaning plant, power plants and boilers, pest control operations, and chemical and medical laboratories. Wastes were stored and disposed of in landfills, incinerators, and wastewater treatment plants.
Combined, the NAVACTS, the NSRF, the FISC, and the PWC have 23 CERCLA sites and 26 RCRA sites. Of the CERCLA sites, one is in the study phase of an RI/FS, two are scheduled for the study phase in FY04, one is in a cleanup phase, and seven are in the study phase of an Interim Removal Action. Of the RCRA sites, 20 are in the study phase. The majority of the CERCLA sites in the study phase for Interim Removal Actions are in the Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis (EE/CA) stage, and the 20 RCRA Corrective Action (CA) sites are in the RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) and Corrective Measures Study (CMS) phase. Three Removal Actions have been completed: one to remove the remaining underground storage tanks (UST) and sumps at NAVACTS, the second to remove contaminated soil at NAVACTS, and the third to install a fence to restrict access to a site at the PWC. The complex converted its Technical Review Committee, formed in FY89 for all Apra Harbor Naval activities, to a Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) in FY95. The complex also completed a joint Community Relations Plan in FY92 and currently is updating that document. A local Information Repository was established in FY94.
On January 7, 2000 the Naval Facilities Engineering Command's Pacific Division announced the award to Raytheon Technical Services Guam of a Base Operations Support contract for various Naval Installations on the U.S. Territory of Guam. The contract has a total estimated value of $329 million over a seven and one-half year period. Raytheon Technical Services Guam began their mobilization on February 3, 2000 and commenced full contract performance of the base operations on April 9, 2000. The contract is a result of a commercial activities study, conducted in accordance with OMB Circular A-76 procedures, which compared costs between the Government and private sector providers. The tentative decision to convert base operating functions to contract was announced on November 9, 1999, after a detailed study indicated that significant savings of tax dollars could be achieved. The contractor won the cost comparison competition with the Government in-house workforce by $253 million over the seven and one-half year contract life. The contract award to Raytheon Technical Services Guam was pending based upon expiration of a mandatory administrative appeal period in accordance with OMB Circular A-76 and subject to resolution of any appeals received. One appeal was received from the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1689, Inc. The request by Local 1689 to reverse the decision to convert to contract operations was denied by the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, the Administrative Appeals Authority for this A-76 study. The study was announced to Congress in January 1997 and originally involved approximately 2,300 military and civilian positions. The following base services will be perfomed under the contract: Administrative Services; Contingency Preparedness; Engineering & MRP Management Services; Buildings and Structures Maintenance/Repair; Transportation Services; Environmental Services; Steam and Demineralized Water Services; Electrical Services; Potable Water Services; Wastewater Services; Housing Operations & Maintenance; Food Services; Family Services Center; Morale, Welfare, & Recreation Services; Supply Services; Ordnance Services and Waterfront Operations.
The island of Guam is located in the Pacific Ocean approximately 1,200 miles east of the Philippine Islands and 3,500 miles west of the Hawaiian Islands at 13o28' north latitude and 144o45' east longitude. Guam is part of an underwater mountain range running southward from Japan. Situated in the Western Pacific, across the international date line, it is the largest of more than 2,000 islands scattered between Hawaii and the Philippines. Guam is the southernmost and largest island in the Mariana Archipelago with a total land area of approximately 212 square miles. The island is 30 miles long and has a width varying from approximately 8.5 miles in the north, to 4 miles at its center, to 11.5 miles in the south. The island is surrounded by active reefs and 12 small uninhabited limestone islands.
With about 140,000 residents and more than 7,000 military personnel and their family members, Guam is the most populated island in the geographical area known as Micronesia. Guam is only three jet-hours away from the Asian capitals of Tokyo, Taipei and Manila, and it welcomed more than one million tourists last year. The island is Japan's Miami Beach.
Guam is a cosmopolitan tropical island. The indigenous people of Guam are "Chamorros" with the balance of the population a mixture of "stateside" Americans, Chineses, Filipinos, Japanese, Koreans, Micronesians and others. Though English is dominant, Guam today is a melting pot where you'll hear the languages of Chamorro, Japanese, Tagalog, Korean, and others. The people of Guam have a reputation of being friendly, open, and warm. It is year-round summer on Guam, with average temperatures of 79 to 82 degrees. The northeast trade winds make the weather ideal for waterskiing or wind surfing. Guam and the surrounding Marianas islands are renowned as locations for diving and snorkeling.
In 1898, Spanish rule on Guam came to an abrupt halt when Capt. Henry Glass captured the island at the start of the Spanish-American War. On December 10, 1898, Guam was ceded to the United States from Spain by the Treaty of Paris, to be administered under the Department of the Navy. The following February, the United States officially took possession of Guam. US Naval Station, Guam, was established August of that year with the entire island designated as Naval Station. The Commanding Officer, Captain Leary was designated as Governor of Guam.
Naval Station controlled Guam until it surrendered to the Japanese December 10, 1941. The people of Guam experienced something that is very unique in the American framework. It was the only American territory with civilians who lived on it that has been occupied by a foreign power since the War of 1812. During World War II the Aleutian Islands of Attu and Kiska were occupied by the Japanese, but prior to that the civilians on those islands were evacuated by the military. In the case of Guam, approximately 20,000 native Guamanians, better known as Chamorus, were at that time considered US nationals. They were not aliens. They were non-US citizens, but they were considered US nationals. Of course, Guam was an American territory. They endured some 32 months of Japanese occupation. The occupation of Guam was especially brutal, for two reasons. First of all, the Japanese were occupying American territory with American nationals whose loyalty to the United States would not bend; and second, the Chamorus, the indigenous people of Guam, dared to defy the occupiers by assisting American sailors who hid and who evaded initial capture by the enemy by providing food and shelter to the escapees. In the final months of the occupation, just before the marines landed in July 1944, the brutalities increased. Thousands of Chamorus were made to perform forced labor by building defenses and runways for the enemy. Others were put to labor in rice paddies. The war in the Pacific turned for the worse for the Japanese occupiers, and in the final weeks as the pre-invasion bombardment by American planes and ships signaled the beginning of the end for them, the atrocities likewise escalated.
The island remained under Japanese rule until July 21, 1944, when US forces returned to liberate the island. This day is now annually celebrated as "Liberation Day." In 1944, Admiral Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the US Pacific Fleet, arrived and defeated the Japanese imperial forces on the island, aiding American efforts to bring the war to a close.During the battle to liberate Guam, over 80 percent of the buildings were destroyed. The city of Agana and the second largest city, Sumay, were completely annihilated.
Once the island was secured, Guam became the forward operating base for the subsequent invasions of the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Over 45 percent of the land mass was acquired for this wartime effort, and over 200,000 military personnel came to Guam to prosecute the war against Japan. The Chamorus, numbering only about 20,000, were temporarily housed in refugee camps. To their credit, the Chamoru people did not complain. In fact, they helped the military in every way they could to help defeat their former oppressors. From 1944 to 1949 was an era of military government, the officers who served as Commander, US Naval Forces Marianas (COMNAVMARIANAS) were respectively charged with such civil responsibilities as Governor of the Marshalls-Gilberts; Deputy Military Governor, Pacific Ocean Areas; and Deputy Military Governor, Bonin-Volcano Islands.
In 1950, Congress passed the Organic Act under which Guam became an organized unincorporated territory of the United States. The governor was appointed by the president, and the administration fell under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior. Guam's first popularly elected governor took office in 1971. Guam elected its first delegate to the US Congress in 1962.
From 1944 until March 29, 1952, Naval Station served as a naval operations base, providing every type of fleet service. In September 1956, the Naval Base was disestablished and the Naval Station was reassigned under the military command of Commander, US Naval Forces Marianas.
Guam's number one industry is tourism. In fact, significant to the island's history, Guam has received more than one million visitors each year since 1994. That number is expected to be higher in the years to come. Often called Hotel Row, Tumon Bay is Guam's scaled-downed version of Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. The majority of the island's hotel rooms line breathtaking Tumon Bay. Japanese tourists keep most of the hotel rooms full. Offering great diving, golfing and shopping, Guam is also becoming a popular vacation choice for many people in the greater Asian market. The island also has become the western Pacific's major education, transportation and communications center. The University of Guam and the Guam Community College attract students from the five island nations that comprise Micronesia.
From the air, Guam looks like it was pushed up out of the sea. Geologists say the island was formed millions of years ago when a pair of volcanoes sank beneath the ocean and left behind two separate chunks of land. The lava remains of the southern volcano, the younger of the two, eventually fused with the older northern crater whose limestone top had been formed during a long period underwater by an extensive coral polyp community. Guam is approximately 30 miles long, stretching from Ritidian Point in the north to the village of Merizo in the south. The widest area, between Orote and Ylig Points, is approximately 12 miles; the shortest distance across the island is about four miles.
A close scientific examination of Guam reveals four main physical divisions to the island: the northern limestone plateau, the dissected volcanic plateau in the south, the south-central basin area and the fringing reef areas of the coastal lowlands. At the southern tip of Guam, protected by a barrier head, is Cocos Island and its lagoon. Cocos has a total area of approximately 2.8 square miles. It is oblong in shape, composed mostly of drift materials, and not more than 15 feet above sea level at its highest point. The lagoon is shallow, but there are several spots that are 30 feet deep.
The southern volcanic half of Guam is quite irregular. A belt of mountains, running southward along the west coast, towers above the smaller plateau hills. This range includes Mount Lamlam, the island's highest peak at 1,334 feet. Guam's northern third is a wide plateau of limestone approximately eight miles across. The highest elevation here is 600 feet at Ritidian Point on the northwest tip of the island and this height slips gradually down to the southwest until it reaches approximately 200 feet above sea level at Guam's center.
The only volcanic rock in the northern sector is on Mount Santa Rosa and Mataguac Hill. Both of these were above water when the coral polyps formed the limestone roof on the sunken part of the northern volcano. Also on the northern plateau are undisturbed jungle areas that constitute one of the last major tropical limestone forests on the island. Trees such as pandanus, pugua, breadfruit and papaya are plentiful here.
A unique island, Guam combines old and new to make a colorful montage of people, land and heritage. Countries from around the world have left a little something behind on this island: language, foods, songs, religions and much more. The indigenous people of Guam are "Chamorros," with the balance of the population a mixture of mainland Americans, Chinese, Filipinos, Japanese, Koreans, Micronesians and others. Chamorros are U.S. citizens who proudly retain many of the old island and Spanish traditions, which reflect three centuries of Spanish rule. The predominant language here is English, and currency, postal services and most banking services are U.S.-based.
Guam's tropical climate features warm temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. There is a marked seasonal variation in rainfall, with July through December the rainy season, although some rain occurs during the dry season. The dry season is exceptionally pleasant. The steady easterly trade winds are cool and refreshing. March is the driest month, with an average of less than 2.5 inches of rain. The average humidity varies from an early morning high of 86 percent to an afternoon low of 72 percent. The atmosphere's high moisture content during the wet season, combined with the warm temperatures, contributes to the rapid deterioration of man-made materials through rust, rot and mildew.
At 13.6 degrees North and 145 degrees East, Guam's position is smack in the middle of the warm tropical waters of the Western Pacific Ocean. In comparison to other tropical locations, Guam is about 730 miles farther south than Miami and 660 miles farther south than Key West, Florida. The warm ocean waters and the abundant tropical sunshine cause Guam's climate to be warm and moist all year round. Although there may be occasions where temperatures reach the lower 90s or even the upper 60s, for the most part, daytime highs run in the lower to middle 80s and nighttime lows in the lower to middle 70s.
Of course, a very important daily tool every person should have on Guam is the "umbrella." It rains and rains during the "wet" season, which usually runs from July through December (see figure 1). In comparison to some stateside locations, the "dry" season is also relatively wet, and it usually runs from January through June. Although it can still rain sometimes, the trade winds bring cooler, drier air to the island during the dry season, bringing comfortable conditions, particularly during the early morning hours. Each year, Guam averages 86 inches of rain, almost 30% higher than Miami, Florida does. During 1997, parts of the island received close to 150 inches of rain - 12 ½ feet of water. However, much of the heavy rain occurs during the late night and early morning hours, so the sun is still visible in the afternoon, even during the rainy season.
Typhoons, the most intense tropical cyclones observed anywhere, form over the open ocean of the Western Pacific. Most of these tropical cyclones are in their formative stages while near Guam. Although these systems often influence Guam's weather, they rarely strike the island. The most intense typhoon to pass directly over Guam recently was Supertyphoon Paka, which struck Guam Dec. 16, 1997. Paka caused millions of dollars in damage to homes, utilities and businesses. The Air Force measured wind gusts at more than 180 miles per hour - the strongest ever recorded worldwide. Because Guam is in the middle of tropical ocean waters, it is no stranger to tropical depressions, tropical storms and typhoons. A tropical depression is a tropical low-pressure system with sustained winds usually greater than 29 MPH, but less than 39 MPH. A tropical storm is the same thing, except with sustained winds between 39 and 74 MPH. Typhoons have sustained winds of 74 MPH or more. Especially intense typhoons, with sustained wind speeds near 150 MPH or more, are "Supertyphoons." Each year, the Northwestern Pacific can expect about 30 such storms. Although 1998 and 1999 were relatively quiet, an average of three tropical storms and one typhoon pass within 180 miles of Guam each year. Generally, October and November are when the island has the highest risk of seeing a typhoon.
Although it may be a less frequent occurrence, Guam has experienced direct hits from some very serious storms. On November 11, 1962, Supertyphoon Karen roared ashore with wind gusts estimated near 185 MPH. It caused $250 million in damage and destroyed 95 percent of the homes on the island. The storm killed nine people and injured one hundred more. Soon after Karen, the island began to build much more reinforced structures for protection from these storms. Supertyphoon Pamela was the next devastating typhoon to strike the island, and made landfall on 21 May 1976. It brought with it wind gusts estimated near 165 MPH and 24-hour rainfall totals near 27 inches, a record for the island. Although island facilities sustained $500 million in damage, only one person died in the storm. The next major storm was Supertyphoon Omar, which made landfall on 28 August 1992. It brought to the island wind gusts of 150 MPH, and caused more than $450 million in damage. However, no one died during this storm. Finally, Supertyphoon Paka ravaged the island on the evening of the 16 and early morning of 17 December. Wind gusts were near 180 MPH. The combined effects of wind and rain caused one fatality and more than $600 million in damages.
Although these storms can be very serious indeed, the key to surviving them is to plan for them well before they arrive. Always keep a well-packed typhoon locker with at least a week supply of water, food and plenty of flashlight batteries. For example, Big Navy and Andersen were without power for a one to two week period and without running water for a three-day period immediately following Supertyphoon Paka. Housing at Big Navy and at Andersen is reinforced concrete, enabling them to withstand very high typhoon winds, as long as their storm shutters are completely functional. Check your storm shutters ahead of time to ensure they are working and functional. Once the storm starts, stay inside your house; it is your best shelter from the dangerous winds. Those off base should stay with friends who live on base, or stay at an approved storm shelter. Additionally, stay tuned to the latest information from the Andersen Base LAN concerning Conditions of Readiness, as well as the latest on weather watches and warnings. Most people on Guam are used to these storms, so to them, they aren't a big deal. They know that smart planning such as keeping a typhoon locker, having a safe place to stay, and paying attention to the latest on conditions of readiness and weather forecasts are the keys to surviving any typhoon.
A supertyphoon with sustained winds of 150 mph struck Guam, on Dec. 8, 2002 and has left the island without power and water and only limited telephone service.
FISCAL YEAR 1997 (DOLLARS IN THOUSANDS) __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Navy Other Personnel/Expenditures Total Army & Air Force Defense Marine Corps Activities __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I. Personnel - Total 9,927 2,488 4,366 2,615 458 Active Duty Military 4,218 32 2,137 2,049 0 Civilian 3,131 17 2,131 525 458 Reserve & National Guard 2,578 2,439 98 41 0 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ II. Expenditures - Total $460,894 $10,022 $305,843 $134,704 $10,325 A. Payroll Outlays - Total 342,296 9,608 227,318 97,448 7,922 Active Duty Military Pay 191,646 800 125,210 65,636 0 Civilian Pay 119,928 433 89,457 22,116 7,922 Reserve & National Guard Pay 3,522 1,250 0 2,272 0 Retired Military Pay 27,200 7,125 12,651 7,424 0 B. Contracts Over $25,000 - Total 117,168 234 78,295 37,256 1,383 Supply and Equipment Contracts 2,104 151 725 1,052 176 RDT&E Contracts 0 0 0 0 0 Service Contracts 95,319 83 58,082 35,947 1,207 Construction Contracts 19,745 0 19,488 257 0 Civil Function Contracts 0 0 0 0 0 C. Grants 1,430 180 230 0 1,020 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Expenditures Military and Civilian Personnel Major Locations Major Locations of Expenditures Payroll Grants/ of Personnel Active Duty Total Outlays Contracts Total Military Civilian __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Anderson AFB $149,860 $103,556 $46,304 Anderson AFB 3,040 2,295 745 Agana 142,998 130,375 12,623 Santa Rita 1,728 0 1,728 Guam Nav Sup Depot 8,950 59 8,891 Agana 1,479 1,297 182 Barrigada 2,849 2,698 151 Finegayan 930 740 190 Tamuning 2,686 1,365 1,321 Harmon Village 224 1 223 Dededo 488 89 399 Nimitz Hill 71 10 61 Mangilao 453 0 453 Barrigada 41 41 0 Agat 118 0 118 Yona 24 24 0 Guam Nav Sup Depot 2 1 1 Dededo 1 0 1 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Navy Other Prime Contracts Over $25,000 Total Army & Air Force Defense (Prior Three Years) Marine Corps Activities __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Fiscal Year 1996 $129,315 $493 $84,506 $43,030 $1,286 Fiscal Year 1995 122,247 702 78,085 42,398 1,062 Fiscal Year 1994 295,241 1,633 247,645 38,231 7,732 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Top Five Contractors Receiving the Largest Major Area of Work Dollar Volume of Prime Contract Awards Total in this Area Amount FSC or Service Code Description Amount __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 1. GUAM DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION $17,984 Tuition, Registration & Membership Fees $17,984 2. FARGO PACIFIC INC. 7,968 Maint/Family Housing Facilities 7,316 3. DILLINGHAM CONSTRUCTION HOLDIN 7,850 Sewage & Waste Facilities 7,850 4. INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE CORPORATI 7,804 Maint/All Other Non-Building Facilities 6,322 5. ALL STAR PACIFIC CORP 5,587 Maint/Family Housing Facilities 5,408 Total of Above $47,193 ( 40.3% of total awards over $25,000)
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