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Guam - The movement of Marines to Guam from Okinawa is not expected until 2020, according to U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Samuel J. Locklear.
In Washington Tuesday, Admiral Locklear told the House Armed Services Committee "based on current planning estimates we anticipate the movement of Marines to Guam by 2020 and to Hawaii by 2026."
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The 2020 arrival date is 6 years later than the initially expected arrival of the first Marines in 2014 under the now scrapped original buildup plan. And it is about 2 years later than previous predictions under the now revised and downsized buildup plan.
Locklear explained in his testimony that the movement of U.S. Marines out of Okinawa remains "a key transformational goal of the U.S. Japan Alliance, and we are supportive of its implementation."
But that implementation is dependent on "the Environmental Impact Statement under development in Guam and land use alternatives being studied to support a future Environmental Impact Statement in Hawaii."
However Admiral Locklear also recommended "a focused approach be adopted for the identification of required resources so that this estimated
timeline can be accelerated and the strategic benefits of a balanced forward force presence across the entire Western Pacific can be realized sooner. "
Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, USN
Commander, U.S. Pacific Command
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