Guam buildup could cost $23.9 billion over next decade, GAO says

Stars and Stripes
By Travis J. Tritten
June 28, 2011

Plans to transform Guam into a major military hub will cost the U.S., Japan and Guam at least $23.9 billion over the next decade, according to estimates released this week by the Government Accountability Office.

The money would pay for the relocation of thousands of Marines from Okinawa to Guam, training ranges on nearby Tinian, transient berthing for aircraft carriers, and an Air Force reconnaissance and strike center. But the price tag could climb even higher because the Department of Defense has not yet calculated all the costs of the massive project, including the possibility of putting an anti-ballistic missile defense system on the island, according to the report released Monday.

The Guam buildup and plans to shift U.S. forces in Japan by relocating the Futenma air station on Okinawa have come under fire from the U.S. Senate, which has called the realignment plans expensive and unneeded. Earlier this month, a Senate panel voted to bar any funding from the upcoming defense budget for the realignment until the military better justifies the need. …

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