Guam News - Guam News
PNC was invited to a press conference today where we were brought out 30 miles northeast of Guam to the USS Bonhomme Richard by way of CHC helicopters.
Local media were not the only ones invited, various Japanese and other Asian media representatives were also part of the tour. Asked whether the exercises were in preparation for the planned realignment of US troops from Okinawa to Guam, Commodore of Amphibious Assault Capt. Cathal O’Connor says it is not.
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"I have lived in Okinawa know the ranges, know the people there ... we’re not worried. We come here and it’s very different, the environmen, the restrictions are different," said O'Connor.
He adds that although this is the first time the American and Japanese troops are conducting these exercises within the Guam vicinity, it's not the first time the countries' militaries are training alongside each other.The USS Bonhomme Richard, along with the 31st Wing MEU began its CERTEX or Certification Exercise while on deployment earlier this month. The exercise is required to determine whether the two are capable of doing certain missions such as humanitarian assistance or disaster relief operations.
"US Navy, US Marine Corp and the Japanese Ground Self Defense [is here to] certify or to evaluate ground self defense force. In fact it’s us training a mission in a joint and a combined environment, we want to participate because we have such close relationships," said 31st MEU Commanding Officer Col. John E. Merna.The USS Bonhomme Richard will be docking on Guam next Wednesday, the 26th and will depart on Saturday the 29th.
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