Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Camacho talking tougher than ever about DoD

By Clynt Ridgell
Published Dec 9, 2008

Governor Felix Camacho and a couple of senators commented on what they thought about the U.S. military's plans to lease Government of Guam land. Last week Governor Camacho was critical of the way the U.S. Department of Defense has been handling the military buildup on Guam and now in light of the recent announcement that the military will need more land for the buildup the governor is even more critical.

"I believe that before the people of Guam should give up anymore of our assets, our property, our land, our territory," said the chief executive. "There's going to be some give back we have seen nothing in the way of concrete help to this government."

Senator Frank Blas, Jr. (R), like the governor, is wondering why DoD is changing its tune after repeatedly telling the public that they wouldn't need any additional lands. "I'm a little leery of that I mean what more is in their plans what happened to the utilization of the lands that they have in their footprint more importantly too is what are they going to do with the lands that are still in their footprint, that they're not going be able to be utilized why can't they utilize it and if they're not going to utilize it is it going to be returned back to the government," he shared.

Democrat Senator Ben Pangelinan is also disappointed that the DoD is only now telling the public of their need for additional land. He told KUAM News, "I think the military has to know that it's no longer that the people of Guam that they're dealing with is no longer of that generation that has been grateful for the liberation from a brutal enemy there are actually people that look and see this as a re-occupation of Guam and the military to proceed in this manner that seems to be underhanded and cloaked in secrecy is doing nothing at all to advance their mission and their relationship with the civilian community."

The Department of Defense's relationship with the island's highest elected official too appears to be strained. "So here they are we're going to come to Guam," Governor Camacho continued. "We're going to build our base it's going to be a state of the art, we're spending between Air Force, Marines and possibly Army, $15 billion, but there's nothing for the people of Guam. This is strictly DoD money and we're saying, 'Listen, you're coming here, you're impacting us, you want more land and yet you give us nothing.'"

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