Written by Staff Sgt. Jamie Lessard, 36th Wing Public Affairs
Anderson Air Force Base, Guam: With all the construction planned here for the upcoming year, people may ask whether we are doing our part to conserve the cultural resources on Guam.
According to Dave Lotz, the environmental impact assessment programmer for the 36th Civil Engineering Squadron, the sites that include Sirena (Tarague) Beach, The Habitat Management Unit, and the field training exercise areas at Northwest Field all must be surveyed for possible cultural resources before any construction can take place.
"Tarague Beach has a whole range of cultural resourses including Japanese fortifications, Chamorro culture and remnants of the Atkins -Kroll Plantation from the 1920's." Mr. Lotz said.
According to the Historic American Engineering Record, Northwest Field is significant under criteria A at a national level for events during World War II that aided in the defeat of Japan and the ending of the war.
The property's significance is tied to its dedicated use for night missions against the Japanese oil industry, for its having the only bombers especially equipped with the AN/APQ-7 "Eagle" radar, for the 315th Bomb Wing's development of the "compressibility" procedure and for its planes flying the last bombing mission against Japan.
In keeping with Air Force Instruction 32-7065, Cultural Resource Management and the National Historic Preservation Act, Andersen is taking the necessary steps to ensure there is no destruction to the cultural resources on base property.
According to Patrick Lujan, Deputy State Historic Preservation officer, the following steps should be followed before any construction ensues: identify the cultural resources, access the adverse effects of building, and resolving the adverse effects.
"Andersen is taking steps in the right direction," Mr. Lujan said. "Since the National Historic Act of 1966, this time is the most crucial for Andersen and its property because of all the build-up. There is so much Chamorro history that needs to be protected."