Friday, June 29, 2007

US Allies to use the Northern Marianas for Training

US allies to use Marianas for training
By Gemma Q. Casas
Variety News Staff
friday 29 june 07

THE U.S. and its major military allies in the Asia-Pacific region — Australia and Japan — will be using air, sea and land areas on Guam and the Northern Marianas for training.

This month, the U.S. defense representative to Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau began the early stages of preparing an environmental impact statement/overseas environmental impact statement in connection with the range complex’s proposed update and active use.

This range complex, which covers Guam and the Northern Marianas, was last updated in 1999.

This month, American and Japanese pilots held a two-week joint aerial live bombing exercises on the uninhabited island of Farallon de Mendinilla, about 45 miles north-northeast of Saipan.

This is the first time that Japanese pilots tested their high-tech war planes known as F-2 outside of Japan since the prototypes were made in 2000.

Lt. Donnell Evans of the U.S. Commander Naval Forces Marianas public information office said the military is not conducting any new training but simply wants to update the study of the ranges amid plans to more actively use them.

“The training that we’re doing now is sometimes obvious to the public and sometimes not obvious,” said Evans. “We’re looking at training on currently controlled-(Department of Defense) lands but the difference is this is an update to the study of the ranges. We’re a little bit behind because of budget and financial (constraints).”

“(The Mariana Islands Range Complex) is very important. It allows us to get quality training. Not just for the U.S…. These same training ranges will be available to our allies. It helps us in relationship building. It helps us in being proficient in working with the different military and it also helps us be proficient in what our business is,” he added.

Besides Australia and Japan, the navies of Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, among others, may also use the ranges for training, said Evans.

Among the proposed upgrades include activities for underwater mine warfare and antisubmarine warfare, underwater training range, new small arms and mortar ranges and military operations on urban terrain.

Northern Marianas is claiming rights and control over its 200-mile submerged lands. But the U.S. claimed the islands surrendered its rights on such when it became part of the nation through their Covenant Agreement in 1976.

During the recently held scoping meeting on Saipan, a public document showed that the Mariana Islands Range Complex has provided the U.S. military with a safe testing and training environment for over 100 years.

“The land, air, and sea areas of the Mariana islands are irreplaceable. These areas are important to all people of the Marianas, including members of the U.S. military services who call the Marianas their home,” the document stated.

“The ranges and facilities of the Mariana Islands Range Complex are unique because of their location in the western Pacific where deployed forces can maintain warfighting proficiencies. This range complex is also in proximity to Forward Deployed Naval Forces, which also need to maintain their warfighting proficiency,” it added.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More on CNMI Federalization

Administration on federalization: ‘It’s up to the US Congress’
By Gemma Q. Casas
Variety New Staff
June 19, 2007

THE administration was surprised when Sen. Daniel Akaka introduced the CNMI federalization bill in the U.S. Senate and now concedes that the fate of local immigration control will be decided by the U.S. Congress, according to Press Secretary Charles P. Reyes Jr.

Gov. Benigno R. Fitial traveled to Hawaii last month to meet with Akaka, D-Ha., and urged him to take the CNMI’s side on the federalization issue.

But on Friday, Akaka and other senators introduced S. 1634 or the Northern Mariana Islands Covenant Implementation Act, which will extend the federal immigration law to the islands.

“I guess it’s surprising,” said Reyes when asked for the administration’s comment.
“We’ve called for objective studies before major drastic actions are taken that would affect the CNMI economy. Unfortunately, our calls for caution have not been heard. There seems to be a strong determination in the new Congress to address the CNMI…minimum wage and immigration in a rapid fashion,” he added. “Ultimately, it’s not really in our control. It’s up to the U.S. Congress.”

Reyes said the administration will continue to lobby against immigration federalization.

The governor’s special legal counsel, Howard P. Willens, declined to comment on S. 1634, saying he had not seen a copy of the bill.

He said it may be the same 14-page draft bill that U.S. Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs David Cohen drafted upon the request of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

In a separate interview, Speaker Oscar M. Babauta, Covenant-Saipan, said unlike the administration, he is not totally opposed to federalizing local immigration.
“I’m not totally opposed to it. I just hope that whatever is the end result with respect to the CNMI’s immigration system, they would consider the islands’ economy by inserting certain special provisions,” he said.

He said the CNMI should be allowed to continue hiring foreign workers and welcome tourists from China and Russia.

“We don’t want a total phase-out of foreign workers. We want to make sure that employers can still avail of skilled labor workers. We want to hire more locals, but there aren’t enough available here,” said Babauta.

As for the bill’s provision that would grant non-immigrant status to long-time foreign workers, Babauta said: “Since the CNMI does not take part in granting citizenship to non-indigenous people, I’ll leave that up to the U.S. Congress.”

Monday, June 18, 2007

Marianas Will Be One Big Military Camp

Marianas as one big military camp
By Gerardo R. Partido
Variety News Staff
18 June 07

THE public scoping meetings scheduled to be held on Guam and the CNMI this week may be more important than the ones recently completed for the Marines' relocation plan.

The draft environmental impact statement, or EIS, for the proposed Mariana Islands Range Complex is regional in scope, affecting not only Guam but also Saipan and Tinian.

It also involves not just an increase in military personnel but also an increase in the number and type of training operations such as underwater mine warfare, antisubmarine warfare, and other underwater training that could have an impact on the environment.

The U.S. military has long been using the Marianas as a training range but not in the scope that is being proposed now which is why the military is holding public scoping meetings to draw up a new EIS that would supplant the Marianas Training Plan EIS drawn in 1999.

Moreover, the proposed action not just revolves on training activities but actually goes beyond training and also focuses on the "research, development, testing and evaluation of systems, weapons and platforms."

One such new weapon and platform is the future proposed Littoral Combat Ship which is the first of the U.S. Navy's next-generation surface combatant ships.

The concept behind the Littoral Combat Ship as described by the Navy is to create a small, fast, maneuverable and relatively inexpensive ship that can be easily reconfigured for multiple roles.

These roles include anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, homeland defense, maritime intercept, special operations, and logistics functions that can be launched from Guam during times of conflict in the region.

Both the Guam and CNMI economies are expected to benefit from the expansion of the militar's activities in the Mariana Islands Range Complex as the military also wants to upgrade and modernize ranges and training areas, including new small arms and mortar ranges, Military Operations on Urban Terrain, and a new mortar range and other live-fire ranges on Tinian as well as more capable fixed underwater training ranges.

According to the military, the facilities of the Mariana Islands Range Complex are unique because of their location in the western Pacific where deployed U.S. forces can maintain their war fighting proficiencies.

This range complex is also in proximity to forward deployed U.S. naval forces that also need to maintain their war fighting proficiency."The range complex provides U.S. forces with a wide range of training opportunities involving varying degrees of complexity and diversity, which enhances the training benefit," a backgrounder provided by the military said.

To keep up with advances in technology and new security challenges, the military said the various U.S. Services including the U.S. Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force occasionally need to change their operations, including the way they test weapons and train service personnel.

Before making any changes, the military said it is vital to ensure that the changes will not harm the environment of the Marianas, including the land and sea animals and plants; natural resources; cultural sites and artifacts; and the economic well-being and quality of life of the Marianas people.

Thus, the need for an Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS/OEIS, that would study current and future training activities in the Mariana Islands Range Complex.

The first public scoping meeting for this EIS will be held at the Guam Hilton today from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Subsequent meetings will be held at the Hyatt Regency Saipan on Wednesday and the Tinian Dynasty Hotel on Thursday.

The scoping meetings have two main objectives: to inform the public about the Defense Representative’s Proposed Action and to obtain written comments on environmental issues to be addressed in the EIS/OEIS.

The U.S. Defense Representative is accepting comments throughout the 45-day comment period, from June 1, 2007 to July 16, 2007.

According to DoD, there may be some overlap between the Mariana Islands Range Complex EIS/OEISs and the EIS being prepared for the relocation of the Okinawa Marines.

But DoD said the preparation of these documents between the Commander Pacific Fleet and the Joint Guam Program Office will be closely coordinated to ensure consistency.

Secret Military Memo

1945 secret memo reveals US real intention for Guam
By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
Variety News Staff
June 19, 2007

IF THE U.S. government is making military decisions based on its post-war policy for Guam, then the civilian population might not expect too much help from the federal government when 8,000 Marines arrive from Okinawa because the island’s economic development was the least of its concern.

In a secret memo issued on Nov. 21, 1945, Vice Adm. G.D. Murray, then commander of the Marianas Navy Force, stated that “the economic development and administration of relatively few native inhabitants should be subordinate to the real purpose for which those islands are held.”

“Military control of these islands is essential as their military value far outweighs their economic value,” Murray stated in the three-page memo that recommended the Navy’s control of Guam and other western Pacific islands, including American Samoa.

While recognizing Guam’s strategic importance, Murray said the island’s commercial or industrial value and its resources were “of little or no relative importance to the welfare of the United States.”

“From the military stand point,” Murray said, “a contented healthy and loyal native population contributes a strong link in the strength of those lands as bases.”
Murray described the island natives as “simple people, requiring few of our modern luxuries for their welfare and happiness.”

“The characteristics and nature of the majority of inhabitants on these islands are such that the artificial or forced raising of their standard of living to one approaching that of the United States would be detrimental to their best interest and would contribute little to the safety and welfare of the United States,” Murray said.

The U.S. military government on Guam began on June 21, 1898, with the surrender of Spanish troops. By virtue of the Treaty of Peace signed in Paris on Dec. 10, 1898, Spain ceded Guam, along with the Philippines and Puerto Rico, to the U.S.
Guam was invaded by Japan in 1941, and recaptured by the U.S. on July 21, 1944, which is yearly celebrated on island as “Liberation Day.”

Guam’s strategic location, long recognized by the military, remains to be valuable to the U.S. defense system, hence the unabated military expansion on island.

The business sector welcomes the military buildup, which is touted to generate a construction boom, spur business activities and generate thousands of jobs.
With limited infrastructure on Guam, however, local leaders acknowledge that the island is not prepared to accommodate the influx of population that will be transferred from Okinawa.

Local leaders have not received assurance of federal assistance to aid the civilian population with the need for infrastructure developments and increased supply of water and power.

The 2008 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act passed by the House of Representatives last week appropriates $345 million only for military construction projects that would accommodate the needs of military personnel stationed on Guam.

The 2008 construction budget only covers projects within the Navy base such as the Kilo Wharf extension, the improvement of security of electrical systems, housing and fitness for Navy personnel, upgrade of the Naval Base Guam wastewater treatment plant, and infrastructure development at Northwest Field.

But just the same, Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo expects the military construction activities to “go a long way in stimulating our economy and new tax revenues from these federal projects will be a significant help to our island once the projects are undertaken.”

Monday, June 11, 2007

Money for Marines Move Still Not Finalized

$6B Japan financing not yet final
By Gerardo R. Partido
Variety News Staff
May 29, 2007

THE $6 billion approved by Japanese lawmakers to help fund the relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam is not yet final, the Consulate General of Japan in Guam announced.

In a letter, Consul General Tamio Tomino said the $6 billion that will be shouldered by the Japanese government under its agreement with the U.S. was not outlined in the bill approved last week by Japan's upper house of parliament.

"For the time being, however, this is the figure that the governments of Japan and the U.S. are looking at as Japan's share of the estimated costs for the relocation of the U.S. Marines," Tomino said.

He added that the actual timeline for the Japan Diet to take up this matter for discussion has not yet been decided "and will probably not be" until the U.S. side completes the Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, process and other preparatory work.

So far, the Navy is far from completing a draft EIS as it only recently finished polling residents' feedback about the planned relocation of the Marines.

The input from Guam and CNMI residents will still be forwarded to Navy planners as they prepare to draft an EIS, which will analyze the impact of the Marines' relocation on the community and culture of Guam and the CNMI.

This means that further delay could still occur before the actual extent of Japan's financing could be known.

Guam Contractors Association executive director James Martinez, in an interview with Variety, said his group's members are hungry for more details in the aftermath of the Japanese parliament's approval of the Marine relocation financing.

"Of course, we're happy that the Japanese lawmakers approved the bill. But at this point, we still need to see the details. As far as we are concerned, there is still nothing concrete to go on from which we can base our plans," Martinez said.

In his letter, Tomino also dispelled initial reports that the U.S. would get the primary contracts for the construction projects needed to accommodate the Marines.
He confirmed that the state-run Japan Bank for International Cooperation has been designated as the bank that will give loans to contractors.

But Tomino said details concerning the contractors and the mode of investment and finance work of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation have yet to be finalized.

"The discussions in this regard between Japan and the U.S. are an ongoing process," the Japanese consul general said.

This leaves open the possibility that the bulk of the contracting work may still end up with Japanese companies as U.S. contractors have feared.

In Japan, opposition continues against the approval of the $6 billion financing, which many Japanese consider too high and unfair.

The approval of the $6 billion financing will mark the first time a Japanese government has agreed to share the costs of building and improving facilities at a U.S. base overseas and this has enraged Japanese nationalists.

"Certainly, it is unusual for a government to finance the building of another country's military facilities in a territory other than its own," the influential Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun said in an editorial.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Message from the DOI on the Military Buildup in the Marianas

The Saipan Tribune
Sunday, June 10, 2007
'Coordination vital for Guam military buildup'
Ginnen I Department of Interior

HAGÅTÑA, Guam-The opportunities and challenges posed by the redeployment of 8,000 U.S. Marines and 9,000 military dependents to this island as part of a force realignment in the Asian-Pacific region was the primary focus of discussion during Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne's official visit here.

Kempthorne held talks with Guam Gov. Felix Camacho, Lt. Gov. Michael Cruz, members of the Guam Legislature, Navy and Air Force representatives and the Guam Civilian-Military Task Force during two days of meetings in this strategically important U.S. territory in the Western Pacific.

“I cannot overstate how important it is for the Department of the Interior to work in close coordination with the Department of Defense and the Government of Guam to ensure that this transfer is accomplished as seamlessly as possible,” Kempthorne said. “While Guam will derive great economic benefits from the military build up, the government will need assistance in preparing the territory's infrastructure for the influx of so many thousands of people over a relatively short time. The Interior Department stands ready to help.”

Kempthorne, whose department has overall responsibility for federal policy in the U.S. island territories, was accompanied by BJ Penn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations and Environment; Donald Schregardus, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for Environment; and David Cohen, Interior's deputy assistant secretary for Insular Affairs.

In addition to the redeployment of U.S. Marines and their dependents from Okinawa, the Defense Department will be moving other Navy, Air Force and Army units to Guam over the next seven years as part of a major regional realignment. The moves could add an additional 30,000 people to the island's population of about 170,000.

The buildup will infuse an estimated $10.5 billion for new construction, rehabilitation and relocation projects in the territory over the next seven years. The work includes housing, naval and air base facility expansion, road and utility work. The Japanese government is contributing about $6 billion of the total cost and the U.S. government about $4 billion. The government of Guam is planning to improve seaport and utility services and significantly expand its labor force to accommodate the build up.

In addition to meeting government and private sector leaders, Kempthorne was briefed at the principal military bases. On Thursday, he visited the naval base for discussions with Capt. Janice Wynn, Chief of Staff, Commander, Naval Forces Marianas. On Friday, he visited Anderson Air Force Base for talks with Brig. Gen. Doug Owens, wing commander. Both bases will play key roles in the Marine redeployment. During both visits, Kempthorne thanked military personnel for their service.

Kempthorne, Penn and Camacho placed a wreath at War in the Pacific National Historic Park, which honors the thousands of Americans and local Chamorros who died during the World War II occupation and liberation of Guam, as well as the citizens of Guam who suffered during the occupation. Kempthorne also attended the interment of Iosiwo Uruo, a U.S. Army soldier from Guam who was recently killed in action while serving in Iraq.

The Cabinet official visited Ritidian Point National Wildlife Refuge for a first-hand look at efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey to eradicate the invasive brown tree snake. Native to Southeast Asia, the species has devastated the native bird populations of Guam, and could spread to other sensitive ecosystems in the Pacific. Both agencies are overseen by the Department of the Interior.

Guam was the second stop of Kempthorne's visit to U.S.-affiliated Pacific communities. He earlier visited the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and will next visit the freely associated states of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, concluding his official visits in American Samoa.

On Monday, June 11, 2007, Kempthorne will meet with leaders of the Federated States of Micronesia and Pohnpei State during his official visit to the FSM capitol.

Kempthorne will confer with FSM President Emmanuel Mori and Vice President Alik L. Alik, FSM Congress Speaker Isaac Figir and meet with Pohnpei State Gov. Johnny P. David. He will also meet with U.S. Ambassador Suzanne Hale as well as veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces from Pohnpei and visit Nan Madol, the site of ancient megalithic structures.

As Secretary of the Interior, Kempthorne is responsible for overall coordination of federal policy for the U.S. insular areas, advocating for the islands within the federal government, overseeing the distribution of appropriated funds for island territories, and administering U.S. financial assistance for the freely associated states.

Guam, a U.S. territory since 1898, is the largest (212 square miles) and southern most island of the Marianas Archipelago as well as the largest island in the Western Pacific, and serves as the telecommunications and air/sea transportation hub of the region.

Located 1,500 miles east of Manila and 1,500 miles south-southeast of Tokyo, Guam provides flexibility of movement for forward-deployed U.S. forces in the region. About 3,700 miles west-southwest of Honolulu, Guam's Apra Harbor is the largest deepwater port between Hawaii and Manila.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Gun Beach to Be Developed

Gun Beach to undergo multimillion commercial development
by Mindy Fothergill, KUAM News
Tuesday, June 05, 2007

An undeveloped area in the heart of Guam's tourism district will soon be home to the island's tallest high-rise. The multimillion dollar venture is a sign that off-island investors see hope in the island's ailing economy. The area that now houses the normally peaceful and undisturbed Gun Beach along Tumon Bay may look like acres and acres of jungle at the moment, but three years from now could be home a massive commercial development effort.

"This is basically a high-rise condo and also some other buildings for residential and some shopping arcade, mini-shopping malls; and specifically, we emphasize on the big water parks," explained Juno Eun, a corporate counselor and business development vice president for CoreTech International, a local company working with Korea-based developer Kyung Maek C&D, LLC. The Two Lovers Towers is slated to be the island's premier landmark in Tumon, complete with hundreds of executive condominiums, a village arcade containing a mini shopping mall and restaurants, and the island's largest water park.

The Towers, along with the Cliffside Towers, are slated to be thirty-five stories high, containing approximately 1,500 rooms. Eun says the development plan has been in the works for the last year as Kyung Maek has confidence in the island's economy. "Investor's confidence is based on the economy's estimation and forecast for Guam...the military's coming and other real estate price will hopefully be going up and with appreciation, we expect as the rest Korean monies freely coming from Korea to Guam and Korean real estate market has been changing and they're looking for some other market to invest in," he noted.

The Korea-based company acquired the property in Guam's visitor district for an undisclosed amount of money. Gun Beach is a hotel/resort zoned property that in all spans more than 87,000 square meters.

Eun says the development, which the company hopes will begin in the next few months, will have even more economic benefits for the island. "For construction wise we believe about 500 people, lay workers for years and after we've completed projects we are going to hire more than 100 people, minimum wise to operate and maintenance, so we're expecting 3,000 total manpower for total projects."

With construction slated to begin before the end of the year, Kyung Maek and CoreTech are hopeful the new high rise project will be completed by 2010 - just in time for the military buildup on Guam. Once completed, the units depending on their size, will be sold for an estimated half-million dollars each.

As for those residents who are concerned about beach access, CoreTech assures the public that access to Gun Beach will still be available once the high rise is built. CoreTech is the same company that is currently building the Ironwood Estates and the island's six new public schools.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Peace marches expected to snarl Okinawa
By David Allen and Chiyomi Sumida,
Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Friday, May 11, 2007

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa • If you're driving along major highways on Okinawa now through Sunday, expect delays due to a three-pronged peace march by thousands of people commemorating the 35th anniversary of Okinawa's reversion to Japan.

Local residents, peace activists and labor union members from Okinawa and mainland Japan are expected to take part in the marches that were slated to begin Thursday and end Sunday with a massive attempt to encircle Kadena Air Base.

The Okinawa Peace March is an annual event that began in 1978, six years after the U.S. ended its WWII occupation.

Organizers say 3,000 people will participate in the marches, beginning with a gathering in the northern village of Kunigami on Thursday that will proceed south to Nago for a 6 p.m. protest rally against plans to build a Marine air facility on Camp Schwab to replace Marine Corps Air
Station Futenma.

As of Wednesday, military officials on Okinawa had not issued any advisories concerning the protest activities.

On Friday, the marchers will take off on three routes.

The Eastern March will start Friday at the Henoko fishing port at 8:30 a.m. and will proceed south along Highway 329, stopping briefly for a rally in front of the main gate to Camp Hansen, organizers said.

On Saturday the eastern route will continue, starting at 8:30 a.m. in Uruma and heading south down Highway 329, diverting to Highway 330 and a rally in front of Kadena Air Bases' Gate 2.

The Western March starts from Onna village at 8:30 a.m. Friday and proceeds south along Highway 58 to Highway 6 in Yomitan and west to Torii Station, where another rally will take place. The western marchers then will pick up their walk at the Yomitan village office Saturday at 8:30 a.m., walking along Highway 6 and back to Highway 58, passing by Kadena Air Base's Gate 1, where they plan to have a brief rally.

The southern marchers step off Friday morning at Peace Prayer Park in Itoman. On Saturday they will start in Urasoe and walk north up Highway 330, pausing for brief rallies in front of the U.S. Consulate General's Office, MCAS Futenma's Gate 2 and Camp Foster's headquarters gate.

The three groups are scheduled to meet Saturday at the Chatan Town Ball Field for a rally at 6 p.m., organizers said.

Okinawa Peace March organizers say they expect about 20,000 people in an attempt to encircle Kadena Air Base in a protest expected to start at 3 p.m. Sunday and last one hour.

*"Although Okinawa is marking the 35th anniversary of its reversion to Japan, the U.S. and Japanese governments continue to pursue a military-first policy for the island,"* said Shiko Sakiyama, chairman of the Okinawa Peace Activity. He cited *plans to build the new air
facility on Camp Schwab and the recent move of Army PAC-3 missile batteries at Kadena Air Base as signs that Okinawa will continue "to bear the burden" of U.S. bases.*

*"Encircling Kadena Air Base is a way to express the voice of the Okinawa people against this military-first policy," he said. "It is also a way for us to send a message to the rest of the world that Okinawa aspires to world peace." *

Anti-base protesters last circled Kadena in July 2000, during the Group of Eight summit, drawing international attention to the Okinawa base issue. Then, 18,000 to 27,000 people, depending on who was doing the counting, *managed to join hands around the 10.8-mile perimeter of the air base*.

Friday, June 01, 2007

PARS request Bordallo re-file RECA bill

PARS asks Bordallo to re-file RECA bill
By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
Variety News Staff
May 30, 2007

TAKING a cue from Idaho lawmakers' renewed bid for federal support for Idaho residents sickened by radioactive fallout, the Pacific Association of Radiation Survivors yesterday reiterated its call for Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo to reintroduce a bill that would include Guam in the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act program.

"We sent our draft bill to the congresswoman in January but, until now, she hasn't introduced the bill. We were told that the bill is still under legal review," PARS president Robert Celestial said.

Celestial urged Bordallo to take the opportunity to put forward Guam's own case while the request to amend RECA has shown movement in Congress.

Congressmen Mike Simpson, R-ID, and Jim Matheson, D-UT, last week wrote to the House Judiciary Committee requesting an oversight hearing on RECA, its amendments of July 2000, and the possibility of expanding the legislation to cover individuals exposed to radioactive fallout that are not currently covered.

The nuclear bomb tests were carried out in the Nevada desert in the 1950s and 1960s at the Nevada Test Site. More than $440 million in compensation has been paid to so-called downwinders and their survivors in Nevada, Utah and Arizona under the act, but none to downwinders in Idaho.

"For Guam, we don't want an oversight hearing. The congresswoman must introduce the bill and from there, we will ask for a committee hearing," Celestial said.
The National Research Council's report two years ago concluded that "Guam did receive measurable fallout from atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons in the Pacific," and recommended that people living on island during that period be compensated under RECA "in a way similar to that of persons considered to downwinders."

The U.S. conducted a total of 67 nuclear tests on Enewetak and Bikini Atolls in the Marshall Islands from 1946 to 1962, resulting in fallout across a wide area in the Pacific.

In 2005, Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, introduced a bill that would have made Idaho residents eligible for RECA payments, and Bordallo sought the inclusion of Guam in that bill, which stagnated in the Senate and eventually died when the 109th Congress adjourned.