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$3 billion Guam buildup bid back on track

By ERIK SLAVIN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 2, 2011

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A $3 billion contract crucial to the movement of thousands of U.S. servicemembers from Okinawa to Guam is back on track, three weeks after a delay caused concern on the island about the military buildup plan’s future.

Bids for the Mamizu Multiple Award Construction Contract are now due June 21, according to a Navy Facilities Engineering Command Pacific news release.

Mamizu is the second-largest contract slated for the buildup, which was originally estimated to cost $10 billion after the United States and Japan agreed to reduce the U.S. military population on Okinawa in 2006.

The Marines have since asked for another $7.1 billion, according to a Government Accountability Office report last month, and the Defense Department has yet to announce a final cost figure for the overall project.

The Mamizu bid deadline had originally been slated for May 16 but was postponed indefinitely May 9, according to online Navy procurement documents.

Shortly after the postponement, three key members of the Senate Armed Services Committee called the Pacific realignment plan “unrealistic, unworkable, and unaffordable” in a joint statement. The plan includes the move of an estimated 8,600 Marines and 23,000 total personnel to Guam.

The bid postponement, along with the senators’ statement, made many in Guam nervous. The U.S. island territory is mired in debt, and many on the island are looking to the buildup to boost Guam’s economic fortunes.

At the time, Naval Facilities Engineering Command officials said the bid deadline had only been postponed because of several late amendments added to the contract terms.

U.S. and Japanese officials are expected to talk more about the realignment plan when the secretaries of State and Defense consult with their Japanese counterparts at a meeting later this month.

slavine@pstripes.osd.mil

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