A small detachment of Marines is expected to arrive at Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz on Guam sometime in late 2024.

A small detachment of Marines is expected to arrive at Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz on Guam sometime in late 2024. (Alex Wilson/Stars and Stripes)

A “small detachment” of U.S. Marines is scheduled to relocate to Guam at the end of the year as the island prepares for thousands more transferring from Okinawa, according to the Marine Corps. 

An undisclosed number of logistics Marines will move to Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz this winter, where they’ll help ready new facilities for an influx of new troops, according to Marine Corps Headquarters spokeswoman Capt. Brenda McCarthy.

Camp Blaz is expected to house 1,300 Marines from the III Marine Expeditionary Force and another 3,700 Marines as a rotational deployment force. The base is scheduled to be at full operational capacity by 2028, base spokeswoman told Maj. Diann Rosenfeld told Stars and Stripes in December.

The Marines’ transfer is part of the Defense Policy Review Initiative, an agreement by the U.S. and Japan to relocate some Marine assets from Okinawa to Guam. The deal includes Japan funding $3 billion of the estimated $8.6 billion cost to build Camp Blaz and its surrounding infrastructure. 

“This commencement of force flow honors a concurrence with the Government of Japan and secures a U.S. Marine Corps posture in the Indo-Pacific region that is more geographically distributed, operationally resilient, and politically sustainable,” McCarthy told Stars and Stripes by email Tuesday. 

McCarthy didn’t elaborate on the timeline or disclose the number of Marines slated to relocate. 

Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, in a June 17 interview with Japanese outlet Kyodo News, estimated the detachment will include about 100 Marines and will arrive sometime in December, according to an audio recording of the interview provided by her office Friday.

Camp Blaz currently only has about 80 Marines or U.S. sailors, Rosenfeld told Stars and Stripes by email Monday. 

The relocation likely won’t be completed until the Marines finish construction of Camp Blaz in two to three years, Guerrero added.

Camp Blaz, an approximately 4,000-acre facility on the northwest edge of Guam, was activated in 2020 as the first new Marine Corps installation since 1952. 

Construction on the base is progressing rapidly, with 23 projects completed since work began and another 50 projects underway, Rosenfeld said. 

All projects were slightly delayed due to Typhoon Mawar, which passed just north of Guam in May 2023 bringing 150 mph winds and more than 2 feet of rain in some areas. 

Most delays were caused by lost time due to site preparation and recovery, she told Stars and Stripes by email Monday. 

“A few projects were negatively impacted by the destructive winds, but this type of damage was not widespread,” she said.

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Alex Wilson covers the U.S. Navy and other services from Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. Originally from Knoxville, Tenn., he holds a journalism degree from the University of North Florida. He previously covered crime and the military in Key West, Fla., and business in Jacksonville, Fla.

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