Monday, March 13, 2017

Marine training site plan open for public comment

The public has been asked to comment on the plan to use the 1,946-acre former administrative annex to Andersen Air Force Base, also commonly known "Andersen South," as a Marine Corps urban combat training facility.
The 45-day comment period continues through April 24, and offers the public an opportunity to weigh in on the identification and evaluation of ancient historical and cultural sites within the project's area of potential impact.
One of the training areas will include the proposed development of a hand grenade range, and a live-fire shoot house, according to the military's plan.

Another training area will require demolition of some of the abandoned structures at Andersen South, such as certain former enlisted personnel barracks. New buildings will be developed as simulated urban landmarks, such as an embassy, an apartment building, a bank, a church, a courthouse/jail, a gas station, a hotel, a United Nations Building, a school and a warehouse, for combat exercises.
Cultural sites
There are known cultural resources within the proposed training areas that are eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, according to the military's announcement of the public comment period.
These cultural sites include:
  • Artifacts from the Latte Period, scattered approximately 270 meters east-west by 50 meters north-south, comprising pottery fragments, stone tool fragments, a shell adze fragment and fire-altered pieces of coral. A few pieces of charcoal, terrestrial gastropod shells and a bird bone fragment were also observed.   
  • Another area that has scattered Latte Period artifacts spread across 60 meters northeast-southwest by 40 meters northwest-southeast, situated at the southeast side of what is known as the Mogfog Depression, according to the military. The site is comprised of varying densities of pottery fragments, stone tool fragments and fire-altered pieces of coral.   
  • A concrete structure, possibly associated with the 204th Army Hospital, with a design and location that suggests it may have been used as an incinerator.
  • Remnants of a latte set, including several broken columns and capstones, one complete column and capstone and a mortar stone. The non-bulldozed portion of the site includes a sparse surface-visible concentration of 19 pottery fragments.   
  • Latte Period pottery fragments in an area measuring 8 meters north-south by 5 meters east-west.  
Members of the public are encouraged to submit comments by email to, according to the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas.

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