GAO report questions Marines’ timetable for Okinawa-to-Guam move

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Technicians work at removing unexploded ordnance discovered at a utilities construction site on Guam. The Defense Department has spent years planning to move about 4,100 Marines from Okinawa to Guam, 2,700 to Hawaii and 800 to the U.S. mainland. (COURTESY OF THE U.S. NAVY)
From Stripes.com
Technicians work at removing unexploded ordnance discovered at a utilities construction site on Guam. The Defense Department has spent years planning to move about 4,100 Marines from Okinawa to Guam, 2,700 to Hawaii and 800 to the U.S. mainland. (COURTESY OF THE U.S. NAVY)

GAO report questions Marines’ timetable for Okinawa-to-Guam move

by: Wyatt Olson | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: April 07, 2017
The Marine Corps does not yet have a reliable schedule for relocating troops from Okinawa to Guam, despite years of planning and infrastructure improvements underway on the U.S. territory, a government watchdog says.
 
Marine Corps planning in particular lacks a contingency for delays caused by labor shortages and endangered-species protection in the dozens of construction projects required on Guam over the next five years, the Government Accountability Office said in a report released Wednesday.
 
“If [the Defense Department] does not have a reliable schedule or has not completed risk planning for Guam, it may not have complete information to identify and address risks that may result in cost overruns and schedule delays,” the agency said in the redacted public report.
 
The DOD has spent years planning to move about 4,100 Marines from Okinawa to Guam, 2,700 to Hawaii and 800 to the U.S. mainland. Another 1,300 Marines from Okinawa would be part of a 2,500-person rotational presence in Australia.
 
The relocation plans were the result of sustained public pressure by Okinawans on U.S. and Japanese officials to lessen the American military presence on the small island south of the mainland.