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With fewer Marines coming, Guam delays selection of new base site

The decrease in the number of Marines headed to Guam has prompted the federal government to rethink the placement of a military base, and a final decision is not expected until 2015, the Pacific Daily News reported.

Guam had been preparing for an influx of 8,000 Marines and up to 12,000 dependents who would be moved from Okinawa under a plan to reduce the U.S. military footprint in Japan. However, the U.S. and Japan announced a revised plan last week that would slash that number to around 5,000 Marines and 1,300 dependents.

The reduction could mean less of Guam's land will be needed to accommodate the incoming Marines. That would be good news for many Guamanians who have opposed the buildup, especially a controversial plan to build firing ranges on ancestral Chamorro land.

Joe Ludovici, executive director of the Joint Guam Program Office, announced Wednesday that the military will once again collect public comment on the impact of the move, and new draft and final environmental impact statements will be released in 2014, PDN reported.

The Marines' move to Guam has already been delayed several times by lawsuits, previous environmental impact assessments and questions over how much of the buildup will be funded by Japan.

Source: Pacific Daily News

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