Ongoing construction on Guam, like this headquarters project in 2018, is creating a new home for Marines currently on Okinawa.

Ongoing construction on Guam, like this headquarters project in 2018, is creating a new home for Marines currently on Okinawa. (U.S. Navy)

The Navy is soliciting public comment on the historic significance, if any, attached to a construction site on Guam before work begins on new facilities for the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.

The public has until May 14 to comment on the potential impact that work may have on the site on Andersen Air Force Base, according to an announcement Wednesday by the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Pacific.

The National Historic Preservation Act, a 1966 federal law, requires federal agencies seek public comment before making final decisions on projects of this nature.

There are historic properties near the construction site at Andersen, but none on the affected area, according to a project memo from the command.

“Some of the traditional Chamorro place names in this vicinity are Fafalog and Caiguat,” according to the memo, which lays out some project details.

A copy of the project memo is posted online at the command website under “Programmatic Agreement Memos Open for Public Review,” along with a comment form and mailing address. The project is P-280 Aviation Administration Building.

Comments may be emailed to Comments become public information and will be posted online.

The building plan calls for demolishing two structures on Andersen to make way for a new administration building for the Marines, who are moving some aviation units to Guam to reduce their presence on Okinawa.

The Corps expects to relocate about 5,000 Marines and less than 1,500 family members to Guam by the end of 2025, according to a project update March 25 by Joint Region Marianas.

A California joint venture, Granite-Obayashi JV, obtained a $165 million contract in 2017 to prepare the Marine Corps site. Joint Region Marianas in its update said the overall project is on schedule.

Guam, recognized by the Defense Department as a key part of its response to a more assertive China, is the subject of several projects aimed at improving its usefulness and survivability.

One piece of those improvements is a future Guam Cultural Repository, a resource for “ongoing research, education, and interpretative activities by and for the people of Guam,” according to Joint Region Marianas. A DOD grant of $12 million is budgeted toward its construction. Twitter: @JosephDitzler

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Joseph Ditzler is a Marine Corps veteran and the Pacific editor for Stars and Stripes. He’s a native of Pennsylvania and has written for newspapers and websites in Alaska, California, Florida, New Mexico, Oregon and Pennsylvania. He studied journalism at Penn State and international relations at the University of Oklahoma.

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