by Nick Delgado from KUAM.com
Guam - While the Record of Decision anticipated to be released on Monday, the commander of the USS George Washington says Guam is a very strategic area to have an aircraft carrier berthing facility. The military plans to dredge Apra Harbor to accommodate a deep draft wharf for the berthing facility inline with the buildup and relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam.
Commanding Officer Captain David Lausman says that other vessels such as the Kittyhawk, the Midway and the Independence have all been to Guam before, and he feels this will only strengthen the relationship with the military in the area. He does admit that it is rare for a Navy ship to hit a port more than once a year.
"It is very beneficial to have that," he explained. "It gives us another area to operate, we have a long history of military relationships there, some of the ranges are good, the ability to work with other forces there are good and operating area around that is very beneficial, so it's a very good thing and we are looking forward to coming back to it."
The George Washington is currently part of the annual Operation Valiant Shield exercise.