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Joint Civil Military Council meets

by Lannie Walker

Guam - As the buildup nears preparation continues with the meeting of the Civil-Military Coordination Council. Tuesday working groups presented a kind of show and tell on what's going on behind the scenes to mitigate the impact of the relocation.

The second meeting of the Civil-Military Coordination Council was held Tuesday. It was created for experts in the local workforce and the military to come together and identify possible issues that may arise during the buildup. Five separate working groups presented today on construction, utilities, transportation, natural resources and housing.

Captain Peter Lynch, Commanding Officer of NAVFAC Marianas, says he was thrilled with the progress of the groups. "So for the last four months or so they have been working really diligently you can see that they have identified what their triggers would be what they have to look forward and see in five months or in six months these three construction projects are going to have some sort of impact in these parts of the island and what can we do to mitigate that?," he said.

Vanjie Lujan, administrator of the Guam Coastal Resource Management Program, talked about the main concerns of the group on natural resources and environment, saying, "Making sure that the terrestrial cultural and environmental resources are going to be able to support all of the development that our quality of life and the resources we are here to protect will be available to the future generations of Guam."

Some of that development already underway was discussed by Joseph Dela Cruz, general engineer on the Guam Buildup for NAVFAC Marianas. He said, "There is Apra Harbor, Uniform Tango improvement - we had the groundbreaking for that project on May 6. we also have the military working dogs, which is another project located on Navy Base Guam. We have three projects up on Anderson Air Force Base, the north ramp parking utilities and communications bank projects, they are currently underway also."

Dela Cruz says the workforce population for the buildup is currently 4,686 - 1000 of those being H-2 workers. These make for numbers that are to be slower to increase than expected. "The actual realization of the influx of the H-2b workers is not going to be realized for quite some time just because construction has been spread out so much," he said.

Spread out but in no way stopped according to Lynch, when asked about recent comments made by us senators on the cost and scope of the buildup. "The senior decision makers in Washington are going to give us the course of direction right now we are executing the plan that we have in front of us we have the construction projects that were mentioned earlier and so that's how we are moving forward," he explained.

The CMCC will move forward with their next meeting in August. But Lynch adds they are flexible to meet sooner if any upcoming developments warrant it.

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