Monday, October 20, 2008

Anderson, Navy to Merge Installation Management

Andersen, Navy to merge installation management
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
by Tessa Borja
Marianas Variety News

THE Air Force and Navy bases on Guam are about to sign a memorandum of agreement on how the two bases will operate under the joiThe BRAC decision reached in 2005 directed Andersen Air Force Base to

nt basing concept provided by the most recent Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) agreement. According to the Air Force Times, the vice-chiefs of each service will sign the agreement on Oct. 31.

The agreement will merge Andersen Air Force Base and several Navy bases on Guam into Joint Region Marianas, which becomes fully operational in October 2009.

The BRAC decision reached in 2005 directed Andersen Air Force Base to "relocate the installation management function" to the Commander of U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas, while maintaining its operational command.

Although details for the merger are not yet available, Pacific Air Forces officials have said that the Air Force and Navy will share installation support and management responsibilities with the Navy as the lead agency.

A Navy admiral will command Joint Region Marianas while officers from the respective services will continue to command operations within their base.

According to the Pacific Air Forces' deputy director of installations and mission support, Colonel John Cawthorne, a substantial initiative such as the joint basing comes with its challenges.

"There's some things that needed to be worked through, and we've done that. I think the Air Force does not have any reservation about this working," he told the Air Force Times.

In a roundtable meeting with the local press early last September, 36th Wing commander Brigadier General Philip M. Ruhlman spoke about the initial phase of the merger, noting that he and U.S. Naval Forces Marianas commander Rear Admiral Bill French have been looking forward to working together with Joint Region Marianas.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to continually show what the Navy and the Air Force on Guam have already been doing all along," he said.

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