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Forum considers business opportunities from military buildup

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It's full speed ahead for the massive Marine relocation to Guam. Several hundred local and off-island participants turned out Wednesday for an industry forum that focused on the business end of the buildup.  The presentations will explain how companies can participate in the $8.7 billion worth of construction projects for the new Marine Corps Base Guam.

Captain Dan Turner is the incoming commanding officer of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas, and said, "The last year and a half we've seen a significant amount of work go into the ground, but going forward, it's even more exciting because we're really still at the start and we're really making a change toward positive momentum moving forward."

The U.S. and Japanese governments are sharing the costs of the buildup. They are also collaborating on the design and construction of the facilities for the 4,000 Marines who will be transferring here from Okinawa. Turner says the recent authorization by congress for up to 4,000 foreign H2B workers comes at a critical time.

"Based on the projections that we know about and the future for the dpi program that we're going to need a significant amount of skilled labor here on island, and quite frankly we're going to quickly eclipse the capabilities that are here now," said Turner.

The three-day forum is sponsored by the Guam chapter of the Society of Military Engineers.

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