Guam Homeland Security assesses island's readiness - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam Homeland Security assesses island's readiness

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In light of the latest threats made by North Korea to launch missiles in the waters near Guam, KUAM News spoke with Guam Homeland Security to see the agency's stance on how safe we really are, and what defenses are in place to protect the island.  

Helicopters could be seen in the skies above Guam this morning as military officials conducted training in Barrigada. The exercise was meant to enhance the readiness of military personnel, with the Joint Region Marianas maintaining the island's forces are ready to respond to any threat. Meanwhile, Guam Homeland Security Advisor George Charfauros said any potential missile strike near Guam would be met with a web of defense capabilities.

"Now, whether they want to hit a specific target in Guam, that's going to be very difficult with the layers of defense we have in place," he shared.  These defenses include the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system at Andersen Air Force Base, the THAAD in South Korea, the Patriot defense system in Japan as well as Aegis war ships in the Sea of Japan. This doesn't include classified defenses unknown to the general public.

"I'm very, very confident in their ability to defend the island, from one missile or several missiles," Charfaurous said.

But with a new threat from North Korea again today warning of a strike near Guam in the coming weeks, residents are paying close attention to the fiery exchange between the US and North Korea. "It's pretty crazy - and I don't know I've been looking at the people here acting like it's not a problem, but I think it's a really big problem for us," said resident Victor Bilon. Alexandra Harvey added, "My husband's military, so from the military side of it, I think if it was really imminent they would have let us know."

However, Charfauros maintains the island is in a Condition of Readiness 4 - and at this point, he does not foresee any increase to the island's threat level.

"My assessment is that it's probably just a lot more rhetoric," he stated.

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